When a heart attack claimed Bert 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 father-a Jewish immigrant who fled Hitler's Germany to come to America. Though many expected Boyle to fail, she and her son Tim persevered, and kept the business afloat through very challenging times. In 1970, Columbia Sportswear boasted forty employees and $800,000 in annual sales. Under the leadership of Gert and Tim Boyle, the company now has more than two thousand employees, annual sales approaching one billion dollars, and is the leading seller of skiwear in the United States. And thanks to a creative advertising campaign that billed her as ""one tough mother,"" Gert Boyle has become an icon in her industry, and she is the first woman ever inducted into the International Sporting Goods Hall of Fame. In ONE TOUGH MOTHER, Boyle presents and honest, open, and often irreverent account of her truly remarkable journey from a childhood in Nazi Germany to fame and fortune in America. Boyle offers insights into succeeding in business and in life, and shares many of the advertisements and strategies that have made her so recognizable. Her story is one that will inspire anyone who dreams of turning a small business into a bigger business, as well as individuals who find themselves facing circumstances beyond their control.
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