Spokane Journal of Business

Young marketing company Bend & Sway moves into space once occupied by WhiteRunkle

Former bank VP started new firm earlier this year

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Young Spokane-based content marketing company Bend & Sway has moved into 1,000 square feet of space at 518 W. Riverside downtown, in part of the building that once housed former advertising agency Miller.whiterunkle Inc.

Jason Miller, co-founder of Bend & Sway, says the move follows the company’s launch last January. The company previously was located in the Saranac Building, at 25 W. Main downtown.

Bend & Sway is co-owned by Miller and Russ Vaagen, founder of Colville-based cross-laminated timber manufacturer Vaagen Timbers LLC. 

The company has four employees and is looking to bring on two more next year, says Miller. 

Bend & Sway focuses on marketing content on social media, blogs, websites, and related platforms through video photography and writing, he says.

The company tells client stories, he says, that are meant to be authentic and genuine, Miller asserts.

“They’re meaningful stories that are more about connecting you to the brand and less about selling the product,” he says.

Miller formerly was senior vice president of marketing and culture at Inland Northwest Bank, and Bend & Sway was launched while he still was working in that position.

“Content marketing was a very cost-effective way for us to build our brand, and that’s where this company came to fruition” he says.

In March, Miller learned the Billings, Mont.-based First Interstate Bank was acquiring INB, and by October, Miller transitioned to working completely at Bend & Sway.

Miller says neighboring tenants in the building on Riverside Avenue include an Indaba Coffee Roasters shop and a handful of startup companies.

“There’s a lot of activity and energy going on in that building right now, so it’s a great fit for us,” he says.

WhiteRunkle, which operated later as Miller.whiterunkle, was a full-service advertising agency established here in the 1980s. The company’s prominent clients included AT&T Wireless, Nintendo of America Inc., the Spokane Hoopfest Association, and others. The advertising agency was purchased by Bellevue, Wash.-based Ascentium Corp. in the late 2000s. 

Samantha Peone
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Reporter Samantha Peone joined the Journal in 2015 as research coordinator before later transitioning into a reporter role. She covers real estate and construction.

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