Tess Nguyen Who Bought Midnight Mischief From GUMTREE Builds $2M Sleepwear Empire

Tess Nguyen (pictured) who was told she made a big mistake after buying a little-known company from Gumtree for $15,000 has built a $2 million sleepwear empire

A physical therapist who was told she made a big mistake after buying a little-known business on Gumtree for $15,000 has built a $2 million sleepwear empire.

Sydney-based Tess Nguyen had always dreamed of owning a clinic – but she made a surprising career switch after coming across an ad for sale in 2018 for Midnight Mischief, a monogrammed pajama brand.

At the age of 22, she took a financial risk to pursue the Australian nightwear label, despite having no experience in business, e-commerce or fashion.

“This story surprises everyone because it’s not your typical start-up story. I was scrolling through Gumtree late at night looking at prices for physiotherapy clinics when out of nowhere an ad for ‘Midnight Mischief’ went up for sale,” Tess, now 25, told the Daily Mail Australia.

“I don’t know if it was intuition, but I was immediately drawn to the ad and the idea of ​​the company. It was my first time hearing about personalized pyjamas, so I thought it was a great idea. I don’t know what happened to me, but I decided to investigate. A month later I had a business.’

Fast forward three years, her brand — beloved by celebrities, models, and beauty gurus — has gone from $15,000 to over $2 million in revenue in less than two years, with a set of pajamas now selling every 10 minutes.

Fast forward three years, her brand has gone from $15,000 to over $2 million in revenue in less than two years, with a set of pajamas now selling every 10 minutes

Fast forward three years, her brand has gone from $15,000 to over $2 million in revenue in less than two years, with a set of pajamas now selling every 10 minutes

Fast forward three years, her brand has gone from $15,000 to over $2 million in revenue in less than two years, with a set of pajamas now selling every 10 minutes

Fast forward three years, her brand has gone from $15,000 to over $2 million in revenue in less than two years, with a set of pajamas now selling every 10 minutes

“Although I bought the company, it wasn’t finalized and was just an idea at the time. I had to grow it from scratch because there was little to no data being transferred,” says Tess.

When she asked a commercial accountant and her friends for advice on her new venture, they all gave her the same stern warning: “You’re setting yourself up for failure.”

“I started to doubt myself after hearing everyone’s thoughts. I was extremely afraid of failing, but I was more afraid of the ‘what if,’ she said.

“But I don’t blame them, because on second thought, it sounds kind of strange that a 22-year-old physical therapist with no business experience wanted to start an e-commerce store that sells nightwear.”

Refusing to give up, Tess started the label as a side job from a spare room in her parents’ house — while working full-time as a physical therapist seven days a week.

“It was honestly one of the most challenging periods of my life,” she said.

She'd always dreamed of owning a clinic - but she made a surprising career switch after she came across an ad for a monogrammed pajama brand

She had always dreamed of owning a clinic one day, but she made a surprising career switch after she came across an ad for a monogrammed pajama brand

With millions of Australians staying at home more than ever in the midst of a global pandemic, her brand saw a 165 percent increase in sales between July 2020 and July 2021.

With millions of Australians staying at home more than ever in the midst of a global pandemic, her brand saw a 165 percent increase in sales between July 2020 and July 2021.

Every day, Tess commuted to town for over an hour so she could start her job from 6am before going home at night to work on her brand.

‘In the beginning I still clung to my dream of working as a physiotherapist. I pushed myself to my mental and physical limits and I was chronically sleep deprived,” she said.

As she struggled to keep up with the demands of her career while juggling her business, Tess decided to cut her hours by working part-time as a physiotherapist.

I was at the right time and in the right place when everyone stayed home in their pajamas during Covid-19

“I wanted to keep my job for as long as possible and everyone, including my accountant, told me to stop working. But I didn’t follow their advice,” she said.

“I’ve stopped all my spending on myself and social life and channeled it into my business.”

It took about a year for her to see significant traction in the business — eventually taking over every spare bedroom in her parents’ house, including the garage.

“In the beginning, I was growing my business organically and saw consistent, slow growth. When I had a marketing strategy, Midnight Mischief started taking off… this was towards the end of 2019,” she said.

“Then in early 2020 I was in a lucky position where I had momentum and I was at the right time and in the right place when everyone stayed home in their pajamas during Covid-19.”

The monogrammed pajama brand has a legion of fans, including celebrities, models and beauty gurus (pictured by singer Samantha Jade)

The monogrammed pajama brand has a legion of fans, including celebrities, models and beauty gurus (pictured by singer Samantha Jade)

She eventually took over every spare room in her parents' house, including the garage

She eventually took over every spare room in her parents’ house, including the garage

Her brand saw sales increase by 165 percent between July 2020 and July 2021

Her brand saw sales increase by 165 percent between July 2020 and July 2021

Her brand saw a 165 percent increase in sales between July 2020 and July 2021.

“I saw unprecedented growth in 2020 and decided to quit my job to work full-time on Midnight Mischief,” she said.

“I feel very blessed and grateful. I’m happy where I am now and I never expected Midnight Mischief to grow so fast, so I count my blessings every day.”

For those looking to start a business, Tess said, “It’s a cliché, but I listened to it and it worked for me. Start and figure it out later. If there is a will, there is a way and the answer you seek is always there.

“Ultimately, there is no one there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to hold your hand in life — you have the power to change your own life.”

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