Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, Peter Albert Bugnet, owner of Peter the Great Magic, moved to Florida in the mid 90s to attend graduate school at The University of Florida. From 1998 to 2011, he taught science and math at St. Joseph Academy in St. Augustine. Throughout his teaching career, Peter did magic shows at birthdays and various festivals on a part-time basis. However, in June 2011, Peter decided to take his love of magic and turn it into a full-time profession.
"We were originally going to open a family furniture business," he said. "Unfortunately, at the time, the market wasn't doing so well. I spent some time as a stay-at-home dad as I started to build my magic business. I did some shows at different schools and libraries and slowly expanded from there."
Peter took advantage of social media marketing and built a website to advertise his services. He also utilized Google ads and formed a partnership with a magic shop in Daytona Beach.
Customers are drawn to Peter's unique style of magic and his genuine enjoyment of making people smile. He offers packages for different sized groups and will even perform magic under various themes, including Cat in the Hat, Dr. Confusion, Professor Snape and the Wizard.
"I do educational magic programs for schools and libraries, birthday parties, private events, company/organization fundraisers and other celebrations," he said. "With my science and education background, I'm well suited to bring a different feel to magic programs which catch the attention of the attendees."
Looking ahead, Pete would like to expand his magic beyond Flagler County. He's done shows in Jacksonville, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Port Orange and other nearby cities, but the ultimately goal is to take his magic statewide.
What advice does Peter have for aspiring entrepreneurs? "Keep at it," he said. "Success takes hard work."