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One Tough Mother: Success in Life, Business and AP

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  25 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 and financially struggling outerwear manufacturer in Portland, Oregon. With no business experience whatsoever, Boyle was faced with the challenge running Columbia, which had been founded in 1937 by her ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Westwinds Press
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Alisa
Sep 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, women-rule
Surprisingly quick read for a memoir but if you know anything about Gert Boyle it is that she cuts to the chase pretty darn quick. The challenges she overcame throughout her life only furthered her resolve, and she navigated her way through her business and personal life with practical thinking and determination. Columbia Sportswear turned into a powerhouse under her leadership, and even though she was not terribly fond of the 'tough mother' ad campaign that featured her, she embraced it with ...more
Nathan Albright
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Carpe Diem Press in exchange for an honest review.]

As someone who enjoys reading both corporate histories well-stocked with entertaining advertising photos [1] as well as memoirs of success despite a difficult life [2], this book was a refreshing look at an eventful life from the busy “ChairMa” of Columbia Sportswear Company, Gert Boyle. Coming off as a fierce but loveable Jewish mother, deeply involved in the life of her family, tenacious, and
...more
Mary Sak
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book about the chairman of Columbia Sportswear. It was both inspirational and funny. Highly recommend.
Mike
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a fun and entertaining book. Gert has a fascinating history and it was great reading a book that is much like Gert, "straight and to the point".
Kathy
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kathy-s-shelf
Quick read. She really does give you her tips to find success in your life. She seems very down to earth & probably a hoot to hang around with!
Cheekey
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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! :)
Beth
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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."
Susan
Feb 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Katherine
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Melody
Apr 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Angie
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Cute little anecdotes.
Marge
Jul 25, 2011 added it
Good read...good story..
Dana
May 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great quick read. Learned a lot about how women can grow from dispair. And, Gert has an awesome personality!
Chris
Oct 02, 2010 rated it liked it
light, interesting story.
Lisa Zvorak
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
great book
Bryan
Jun 07, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Amanda
Apr 28, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Louise
Feb 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ha! She is the epitome of a Northwest woman.
Andrea
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Easy, fast read with lots of good common sense business advice. Would be nice to work for this type of company.
Debbie
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Sharon
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this little book. Gert Boyle made lemonade out of lemons in her life. Love her sense of humor.
Kimberly Howlett
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved
Great Book! Her determination and attitude through hardship is inspiring. Humor throughout the book just adds more enjoyment. Wonderful.
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