“Stay home and do housework. That's not my bag.”


Gert Boyle (1924- )
Not a stranger to unexpected change; Gert fled Nazi Germany at age 13, and was the mother of three children when her husband suddenly died. Gert inherited her husband’s company and significant debt guaranteed by her house, her mother’s house and the life insurance policy. About to lose everything, she decided to run the business. With declining profits she resigned to sell, but received only one offer of $1400. Gert replied, “"Why should I let you have all the fun? For $1,400 I can run the business into the ground myself". But she didn’t run it into the ground and today Columbia Sportswear is worth nearly 800 million dollars. At 86 years, Gert recently outsmarted an armed robber in her home. Perhaps, that’s why she’s affectionately referred to as, “One Tough Mother.”