Stylish attire and up to date fashion is an important factor to a lot of people in this day and age and being stylish and fashionable in sleepwear is no exception! Peter Alexander is a true entrepreneur and founder of the infamous, Peter Alexander Sleepwear! Peter grew the company from a single man operation on a living room table to an internationally recognized sleepwear business and multi-million dollar brand name.
At age 24, having worked for four years in the retail industry, Peter Alexander decided it was time to be his own boss. Identifying a gap in the market when his female friends were unable to find comfortable women’s pyjamas that weren’t flannelette nighties or lacy lingerie styles, Peter decided to establish his own business.
With the support of his parents, Peter Alexander began making women’s pyjamas for the wholesale market, working from his mother’s living room table. He worked like this for four years and in the early days was the only person working in the company. When the phone rang, in order to make the business seem bigger, Peter would pretend to be someone else.
During this time, many people tried to discourage Peter because he had no formal training and no business experience. However when a department store cancelled an order for 2000 pairs of pyjamas, Peter’s biggest setback became his biggest opportunity. In desperation, Peter put a mail order advertisement in Cleo magazine. The response was overwhelming and Peter was flooded with 6000 orders from one advertisement. Since then, he hasn’t looked back.
Voted the least likely to succeed at school, Peter Alexander’s teacher suggested he leave and go to TAFE. Peter didn’t like being told what to do and decided to stay at school anyway. He successfully completed Year 12 and says this is what gave him the confidence to believe in himself and trust in his own abilities and decisions. This goes to show that as long as you believe and have faith in yourself you can achieve anything no matter what others throw your way!
Peter Alexander’s only regret about his education is that he didn’t do a business course. ‘As a result I didn’t make any money from my business for seven years because I didn’t know what I was doing’ he says.
Peter believes that goal setting is a very important aspect to success and people with high goals have far more chance of achieving them, than people with lower goals or no goals at all.
A few years ago, having felt he had taken the business as far as he could, Peter sold Peter Alexander Sleepwear to Just Jeans for an undisclosed sum. At the time of sale, the business was making $6 million per year and growing by 40% each year. Part of Peter’s arrangement with Just Jeans is that he continues to run Peter Alexander sleepwear for five years. He currently manages the company and employs eight full time staff and twenty casual staff
The Ultimate Australian Success story – listen to Peter talk about setbacks and success in this 2 part video