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One Tough Mother: Taking Charge in Life, Business, and Apple Pies
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One Tough Mother: Taking Charge in Life, Business, and Apple Pies

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  77 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
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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Beth
May 09, 2011 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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."
Cheekey
Mar 08, 2011 Cheekey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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! :)
Katherine
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.
Michelle
Feb 26, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Susan
Feb 17, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
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.
Melody
Apr 09, 2012 Melody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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.
Debbie
Aug 14, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one cool mother who makes a fabulous product. I still have my first Columbia fleece from almost 20 years ago; the zipper broke once and they fixed it for free.
Angie
Jun 27, 2014 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute little anecdotes.
Bryan
Jun 07, 2009 Bryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Quick read about the CEO of Columbia Sportswear. Interesting story about her life and how to took over and ran the company after her husbands death.
Gavin
Sep 06, 2015 Gavin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
Short and interesting enough to be read in one sitting. Sage business advice and some intriguing anecdotes from a woman who refused to give up.
Kimberly Howlett
Jan 15, 2012 Kimberly Howlett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved
Great Book! Her determination and attitude through hardship is inspiring. Humor throughout the book just adds more enjoyment. Wonderful.
Amanda
May 30, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: small business owners
This is the story of Gery Boyle who took over Columbia Sportswear when her husband died. It was interesting, and had some funny parts.
Andrea
Oct 26, 2010 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Easy, fast read with lots of good common sense business advice. Would be nice to work for this type of company.
Dana
May 07, 2009 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great quick read. Learned a lot about how women can grow from dispair. And, Gert has an awesome personality!
Erin
Sep 28, 2011 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographical
Good, quick read. She is quite a resilient woman.
Louise
Feb 19, 2008 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ha! She is the epitome of a Northwest woman.
Chris
Oct 02, 2010 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
light, interesting story.
Marge
Good read...good story..
Lisa Zvorak
Jul 29, 2011 Lisa Zvorak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great book
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