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It all began in 1937 when Gert's parents fled Nazi Germany and settled in Portland where they purchased a small hat manufacturer, naming it the Columbia Hat Company. Signifying a fresh start for the family, the business eventually passed from Gert’s father to her husband Neal and then to Gert herself in 1970 when she went from housewife to executive overnight after Neal's sudden passing.
Our founder Gert Boyle’s "Tough Mother" persona lives on in the Columbia brand. Her legendary perfectionism ("It's perfect. Now make it better.") and the high standards to which she held herself and others still guide us today.