Renowned as a heritage outdoor clothing brand, Columbia Sportswear has become a namesake in everyone’s wardrobe. Providing us with technically advanced design and practical outdoor clothing, here is our complete buyer’s guide with everything you need to know about the brand, sizing and styles.
Who created Columbia Sportswear?
Columbia today is a family run business with third-generation CEO Tim Boyle heading up the publicly traded company. It was founded by Paul Lamform, Tim Boyle’s grandfather, wh0 was passed down to his son in law and then was run by Gert Boyle Tim’s mother and Tim for many years.
Columbia Sportswear History
Columbia Sportswear Co. was originally set up as a small hat company which was predominantly men’s headwear. Tim’s grandfather Paul Lamform originally started the company in 1938 after fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany.
Tim’s mother Gert Boyle spent her teenage summers working in the factory before moving to Tuscon in 1943 to attend university. It was here she met her husband Neal Boyle who sold vacuum cleaners. After getting married in 1948, they moved to Portland, a year later and Neal joined the family business. By the fifties the brand had started selling a few outerwear items such as skiwear, leading to the company changing its name in 1960 to Columbia Sportswear.
In 1964 Paul Lamform passed away and left the company to Neal, Tim worked on and off for the family business before heading off to university. Unfortunately, his plans to study law after graduation changed when in 1970 Neal Boyle suddenly died of a heart attack.
Before Neal died he had taken out a $150,000 business loan unfortunately so the family where left with no choice but to make the business work. The family looked to sell the business, but after the buyer added additional costs the sale of the company would have totalled £1,400. For that price, Gert stated ‘I’ll just run it into the ground myself’.
They employed an advisor, streamlined the clothing they were making and stopped turning out such a breadth of products. They also started selling out across America outside of Oregon, Washington, Northern California and Alaska.
The company has always aimed to create innovative solutions. They become known for their iconic advertising with Gert’s life moto’s and ‘tested tough’ stamp becoming the trusted quality stamp that people looked for.
Early to bed, early to rise, get to work and advertise.- Gert Boyle
What is Columbia Sportswear’s mission?
Columbia Sportswear has always aimed to design and create clothing that is functional and practical to the wearer. The brand’s mission is outdoor, high-quality products for active consumers of all ages with a reasonable price tag.
it’s perfect, now make it better. - Gert Boyle
The Columbia Logo
The “Bug” logo is a graphic representation of a basic textile weave pattern that was adopted as the corporate logo in 1978.