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Entrepreneur Pearce tells his rag-to-riches story

Retail entrepreneur Jeff Pearce has unveiled his rags-to-riches tale in the fashion business in his autobiography called My Mother’s Son.

Pearce, who won the Drapers Independent Retailer of the Year Award in 2002 with his Jeffs of Bold Street store in Liverpool, describes his colourful experiences in the fashion sector and gives tips on surviving a recession in the book, which is self published. He wrote it after teaching himself to read and write three years ago, overcoming severe dyslexia.

Pearce began his career in retail aged just four, by selling second-hand clothes on his mother’s Liverpool market stall. After a stint on his own stall in his teens, he opened his independent fashion store in 1979 and grew the business to six branches, becoming a self-made millionaire by the age of 28.

He subsequently launched 
his own contemporary womenswear label, Tickled Pink, which was supplied to about 600 stores in the UK.

However, in 1992 the business collapsed. Pearce said: “The banks pulled the plug on the business virtually overnight. I lost £5 million, the business, my house and everything.”

Despite the setback, Pearce went back onto the markets and rebuilt his empire, eventually opening middle-market menswear store Jeffs of Bold Street.

In 2003, he sold the shop for £1m and retired at the age of 50. He said: “I traded through the 1980s and the 1990s recessions. In 2003, I felt a recession was going to come again. I didn’t like what the high street was doing so I decided to sell up.”

To buy the book for £8.99, visit www.mymothersson.co.uk

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