He returned to Sweden in 1984 and studied economics at IHM Business School, after which he started the skateboard company Street Style with his brother Thomas.
He moved to Hermosa Beach, California, in 1980, and for several years was a professional skateboarder, winning several international competitions. In 1984, while in California, he founded the skateboarding magazine Transworld Skateboarding. Later, he founded another skateboard company, Svea, which launched a skateboard brand and a clothing label.
Holknekt developed a drug addiction, and went through a life crisis in 2000, during which he lost everything, became homeless, and supported himself by selling the Stockholm street newspaper Situation Sthlm.
He sought treatment for his addiction and regained sobriety. After four months of being sober he successfully applied to become a housemate on the first season of the Swedish Big Brother series, in which he finished in second place after being voted off in the final on Day 74.
The show was broadcast on Kanal 5. In 2002 Holknekt started working with fashion designer Karin Jimfelt-Ghatan, and together they started the international clothing company Odd Molly.
In 2010 the two were named "Founders of the Year" at Sweden"s annual entrepreneurial gala Entreprenörsgalan.
In 2013 Holknekt revealed that he would leave Odd Molly after twelve years to start working as a branding consultant for different brands. He was the chief editor, but only two issues were published before it was discontinued. Holknekt was one of the hosts of the Sveriges Radio show Sommar in 2010.
In 2014 Holknekt published his autobiography, Per Holknekt 1960–2014, co-written by Markus Lutteman.
Holknekt is also a successful pinball player, and has participated in national, European, and world championships hosted by the Professional Amateur Pinball Association.