Founder of Peter Alexander Sleepwear, Peter grew the business from a single man operation on his Mum’s dining room table to an internationally recognised brand name.
At age 24, having worked just four years in the retail industry, Peter 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 long flannelette nighties or lacy lingerie styles, Peter decided to establish his own business.
With a $3000 loan from his Dad, Peter began making women’s pyjamas for the wholesale market, working from his Mother’s living room table. In the early days, Peter and his Mother, were the only ones working in the company. When the phone rang, in order to make the business seem bigger, they 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 turned his biggest set back into an 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!
As a kid Peter struggled with learning disabilities. Peter was voted the least likely to succeed at school, and his teachers 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.
Believing in the importance of setting high goals, Peter says people with high goals have far more chance of achieving them, than people with lower goals or no goals at all.