Big Interview with Mike Crowshaw

Mike Crowshaw, Managing Director at leading foam and fibre converter, Peak Converters, talks about his admiration for his father, how he almost swapped a furnishing industry career for the slopes and what activity he has done more than 50 times away from work.

Let’s start with you. Can you share a bit about yourself and your background?

I studied Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough, graduating in 1999. On returning from a few years of travelling, I started my career working for a software company specialising in mobile data for field engineers.

A few years on my father offered me a position in the family business to fill a vacant position as IT Manager.

For nearly 20 years I managed all technical facets of Breasley Pillows Ltd.

What is your current job role and key responsibilities?

Since 2020 I have been Managing Director of Peak Converters Ltd.  It is my responsibility to ensure the business achieves our mission and objectives.

What do you love about your job?

My team. Every member of the Peak Converters family brings something to the table and our success is down to our ability to work together to overcome challenges and continue to improve.

I am incredibly proud of every member for getting us to where we are today.

What time is your alarm clock set for and do you have a morning routine?

6:30am, but usually my wife and I are woken up earlier by my 4-year-old daughter, Livvy.  We’re looking forward to her lazier years but she’s an adorable alarm clock.

Why did you choose to work in the furnishing industry?

It’s in my blood. My father, Alan has been in the industry for 50 years.

Who do you most admire in the industry and why?

My Dad, Alan and his late business partner, Pete Walker. They built Breasley Pillows Ltd from a market stall to a business with revenues over £30m operating from three factories with more than 200 employees. An incredible achievement.

Have there been any special moments during your career?

There have been many. Recently, securing a partnership with upholstery titans, Whitemeadow Furniture.

Whitemeadow are a highly respected business, and the partnership has provided stability and security for Peak Converters.

What is your favourite item of furniture you own and why?

It’s a close battle between my armchair and bed but as we’re predominantly converters for the upholstery industry, I’m going to say, “armchair”. Preferably with a glass of single malt.

What do you think is trending within the industry at present?

Eco furniture. More than just a buzzword these days. We now have a showroom dedicated to displaying our eco material ranges.

What would you change in the industry?

The furniture industry is a great place to work and is at its very best when businesses cooperate, sharing their skills, knowledge and capabilities to achieve the greater good for the end user. I would like to see more of this.

Can you share an insight into your future plans?

It is our mission to be market leaders and we leverage technology to ensure we remain at the industry forefront.

Our plans over the next few years are to invest in machinery and IIoT technologies to increase capacity and reduce downtime.

What do you enjoy most outside of work / free time?

I have always been a gym lover and for the past eight years my wife and I have enjoyed Crossfit. In fact, we met during my first trial class.

My daughter Livvy also loves Crossfit kids’ classes, so we get to enjoy exercise as a family.

We also love to ski as often as possible.

What might someone not know about you?

I have bungee jumped over 50 times.

If you had a different career, what would it be?

A ski instructor. This almost happened but the week I started my training I took a nasty tumble.

Finally, if you were an item of furniture, what would it be and why?

I struggled with this question so asked my wife.  She said, “a sturdy armchair”.  I’m trying not to take that personally.

Five Fun qs:

If you could hack into any one computer, whose computer would you choose and why?

My daughter’s 15 years from now because I already know I’m going to be an over-protective Dad.

What fact amazes you every time you think of it?

Space is completely silent.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

In my early 20’s, before beginning my career in the furniture industry I decided to become a ski instructor. Sadly, a knee injury put a stop to this.

What is the most important object you own and why?

Our home. We made the risky decision to move home just after starting Peak Converters.  Thankfully, it’s one of the best decisions we have made.

What did you think was cool when you were young but isn’t cool now? 


Find out more about Peak Converters on the Big Furniture Show.

Save this article for later

You can revisit this article if you save it as favourite news!

Leave a Comment


Peter Harding, Managing Director at Fairway Furniture, shares a deeper insight into the ongoing refurbishment at their flagship Plymouth store....