Shop Talk – Bend Professionals Share Partner Website


Choosing the people you want to invite into your home starts with your team of builders, architects, designers, & artisans who help bring your vision to life. We have that same desire to learn about the tradespeople in our community. Join our conversation with LOCAL BEND experts here in Shop Talk.


Cloninger Custom Homes

Matt Cloninger, Owner LLC, CCB 189667

Builder Matt Cloninger has been a part of the Bend community since 1991. His passion for building quality, energy-efficient homes is evident in each and every project.

Matt is a hands-on builder with over 25 years of experience. From the foundation to finish, he is on-site working with subcontractors. His objective is to establish a relationship of trust and confidence with the project owner.

Matt uses local architects and designers and is engaged in the project from the initial vision to the final draft. His attention to detail and thoughtful designs are tailored to each building site, which is the core of Cloninger Custom Homes’ vision and values.

What services do you offer?
Custom home builder focused on new construction.

What geographic area do you serve?
Bend, Oregon

Do you have any special certifications or specialties?
All of my homes are Earth Advantage Certified. I have achieved all levels of EA certification including Net Zero certification. Most of my homes are Platinum level, but can achieve any level of certification depending on the project and budget.

When did you know that you wanted to go into construction and what motivated you?
I have always admired quality home construction and have been inspired by Old World craftsmanship and timeless architectural design. Utilizing quality building materials and practices to create homes that will last for centuries is my ultimate goal.

What project(s) are you most excited about right now?
Discovery West is a new development just west of Northwest Crossing. I am part of the Discovery West builders guild and look forward to working alongside the development team and other guild builders in the estimated 10-year project.

Describe your process—how do you work with clients, designers, and architects?
I am a hands-on builder, I love being on-site with my subcontractors. This enables me to keep

a close eye on quality, answer questions as they arise, and manage the project’s timeline, budget, and finish product.

What other specialties do you have in-house?
I incorporate PV solar into every project if solar access is feasible/available. Central Oregon boasts 300 days of sunshine, so harnessing the sun for electricity to power an entire home on an annual basis makes sense to me.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love going to work every day. I appreciate the challenges each day brings and strategically preparing for the next challenge. I have a great subcontractor base, and I have been working with many of them for over 20 years.

How did you get your start?
I started in construction in 1994 pushing a broom and moving lumber for a local builder. I worked my way into a superintendent position from 1996-1999. After three years as a superintendent, I decided that I would go out on my own. After framing and siding for a couple of years, I met my mentor and we worked together on several projects, doing everything from the foundation to finish.

That is when I truly honed my skills and learned the ins and outs of all aspects of the home building process.

If you weren’t in construction, what would you be doing?
I would be a captain on a fishing boat in Hawaii or somewhere tropical.

What music do you listen to when you work?
Punk rock, ‘80s new wave, metal, rap, hip-hop. It’s a pretty mixed-up playlist.

What places in the world do you find most inspirational?
I haven’t been to Europe but would like to tour the centuries-old buildings, architecture and Old World craftsmanship.

Do you have a Favorite season?
All four seasons have something to offer in Central Oregon. We have a great ski resort, mountain biking, hiking, golf, lakes, and rivers. There is always an outdoor activity out our doorstep year-round.


“I am a hands-on builder, I love being on-site with my subcontractors. This enables me to keep a close eye on quality, answer questions as they arise, and manage the project’s timeline, budget, and finish product.”
–Matt Cloninger, Owner


Merryweather Home Gift & Design

Jessica Merryweather Pollard, owner

Merryweather is the vision of Jessica Merryweather Pollard. It is a curated destination for home décor, gifts, accessories, and design consultation services. Jessica’s influences stem from growing up in an 1810 farmhouse on a horse farm in Ohio and working in art galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is drawn to an eclectic mix of antiques, classic and modern lines, all influenced by the artistic beauty found in Santa Fe.

For the past 14 years, she has taken inspiration from the combination of mountain, river, and high-desert landscapes of Central Oregon, OR. She hopes that Merryweather customers will discover unique and timeless decor they can add to their home and find gifts they are excited to share.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by color and texture, both in nature and made by humankind. I love seeing how an adobe wall is topped off by a turquoise blue sky. Throw in a craggy old cottonwood tree in October and it becomes magical. I love putting together colors and textures to create a visual experience.

When did you know you wanted to go into this field and what motivated you?
I’ve always known I would have a business of my own at some point in my life. I grew up in a variety of family businesses that included building, renovating, and creating. My parents instilled in me a great work ethic. I was taught to love what you do because then the work is a blessing, not a burden.

How do you see retail changing in the next five to ten years?
There is conversation in the retail world that the internet is killing brick and mortar stores. With that belief out there, I feel that, as a store owner, it is my responsibility to create a well-curated experience for my customers. From the minute customers walk through the doors, I want them to be inspired by the colors and textures layered throughout the store. Brick and mortar stores need to create visual and tactile experiences that engage the senses.

how do you work with clients, contractors, designers, and architects?
Merryweather opened for business on July 1st, 2020. We are gradually building a design consultation service. Suggestions or ideas are always offered in-store as part of our normal customer service philosophy. Customers can bring pictures of a space in their home or office, or a pillow, or a piece of fabric that reflects their design goals or personal tastes. If we don’t have the perfect complementary item(s) in stock, we can do some research and place a special order with our extensive network of vendors. We look forward to collaborating with the design community in Central Oregon.

What do you enjoy about your line of work?
I love building relationships with my customers, whether they live in the area or are from out of town. It is satisfying to help a customer pick something unique for their home, help them with a design project, or find a special gift.

What music do you listen to when you work?
There is something about flamenco guitar that gets my creative juices flowing. I always play it when I am working on store displays.

What is on the top of your list as a great getaway?
Morocco is on my list. It sounds so fascinating—colors, textures, and scents all woven together throughout the narrow streets. It has beautiful architecture, coastline, and the Sahara Desert…a feast for the senses.

Favorite season?
It is a toss-up between spring and fall. I love the spring because everyone and everything is waking up. There is new growth and it means a fresh start. I love fall for the colors. The days are still warm, but the nights are crisp.

What do you enjoy most about living and working where you do?
I feel so fortunate to live in Bend. How lucky are we to have beautiful mountain views and the Deschutes River be a part of our everyday lives? There is an amazing quality of life here in Central Oregon and a wonderful community to top it off.


From the minute customers walk through the doors, I want them to be inspired by the colors and textures layered throughout the store. Brick and mortar stores need to create visual and tactile experiences that engage the senses.
– Jessica Merryweather Pollard, Owner