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One Tough Mother: Taking Charge in Life, Business, and Apple Pies
When a heart attack claimed Gert Boyle's husband in 1970, the forty-six-year-old housewife and mother of three found herself at the helm of Columbia Sportswear, a small outerwear manufacturer in Portland, Oregon, that was struggling financially. With no business experience whatsoever, Boyle was faced with the challenge of running Columbia, which had been founded in 1937 by ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 12th 2006 by Basic Books
(first published April 1st 2005)
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I read this a while ago, but thought of it again after Gert foiled attempt to kidnap her, she really is one tough mother! This book is a quick, fun read, and she has had an interesting life. I love the "Gertisms" that they also use in Columbia Sportswear ad campaigns, such as "Blue hair? Maybe. Blue toes? Never." I submitted my own Gertism to the company and they sent me a free jacket! My winning Gertism was "Ravaged by time, but not by the weather."
This is a must read. It's a quick autobiography of Gert Boyle, how her family started with a shirt shop in pre WWII Germany and ended up becoming one of the largest manufacturer's of outdoor sportswear. Gert doesn't mince words, but nor is she cruel. She is a very fair woman and did a tremendous job of saving Columbia Sportswear and making it was it is today. I loved this book. And her recipe for Apple Pie! :)
I don't generally read business bio's, but my husband read this book and suggested I read it since it was about a woman, running a Portland business, who also was a mom. It was an extremely quick read - give it 90 minutes and you are done. In truth, that is all I would be willing to give it. Nothing profound or life altering. Just interesting.
This was a quick and easy read. Entertaining? Yes. Inspiring? Kind of. For being a kid of the NW, I don't know how I missed the majority of Boyle's rise with Columbia, but it's great that this tough mom never gave up. This is more like 'the little engine that could' than any business book I've read. Good stuff.
A quick read of the history of Columbia Sportswear and its CEO who after the death of her husband took over management of the then $800,000 annual sales and 40 employee company with her son. They then turned it into an over $1 billion in annual sales and 2000 employee internationally recognized company.
Very enjoyable but not very deep autobiography from Columbia Sportswear's Gert Boyle. She's had quite an interesting life, and has faced all sorts of adversity with grace and grit. It's a quick read but well worth picking up.