GARY GETS BUSINESS: Meet Gary Vaynerchuk (www.garyvaynerchuk.com), a 35 year old New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author and radio host who is also a self-trained wine and social media expert. From a young age, it was clear that Gary was a businessman. At 8 years old he was operating 7 lemonade stands in his neighborhood and by 10 he had moved onto selling baseball cards at local malls. In high school while working at his family owned liquor store, Gary started reading The Wine Spectator and wine books, and realized collecting wine offered an allure similar to his previous hobby of collecting baseball cards. With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary spent every weekend of his college years at his parents’ wine store. Recognizing the importance of e-commerce in 1997, Gary launched Winelibrary.com and helped grow his family business significantly from $3 million to $45 million by 2005. Gary is currently hosting his own weekly SIRIUS XM show, Wine & Web with Gary Vaynerchuk, on Thursday evenings.
GARY GETS WINE: In 2006, with a flipcam and NY Jets bucket Gary began WineLibraryTV (www.winelibrarytv.com) which revolutionized the wine world. Today, his irreverent wine reviews currently attract over 100,000 viewers each day and his email queue typically holds 1,000 messages from die-hard fans, self-named “Vayniacs.” Gary’s cult-like following is the result of his unconventional, often irreverent commentary on wine. Using comical expressions like “Sniffy sniff” and “The Oakmonster,” he encourages straightforward wine tasting and debunks wine myths. Also, Wine Library launched Cinderella Wine (www.cinderellawine.com), a wine website which features one wine per day beginning at 9PM EST for 24 hours sold at a severely discounted price. Additionally, Gary owns Cork’d (www.corkd.com), where wine lovers can review, share and discuss wine in a fun, interactive way.
GARY GETS SOCIAL MEDIA: Gary does not claim to be a ‘techie’, but in 2005, he began video blogging and is known as a true social media trailblazer! He has close to 1 million followers on Twitter and was included in BusinessWeek’s list of the top 20 people every entrepreneur should follow. Gary’s first business book Crush It! Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion (October 2009) hit the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press Best-Sellers lists in its first weeks. It maps out Gary’s road rules for how to “Crush It” in today’s business market by following your passion and building your own personal brand. In the spring of 2009, Gary and his brother AJ launched VaynerMedia (www.vaynermedia.com), a new breed of agency that helps Fortune 500 companies like Forbes, the NY Jets, the NHL and the NJ Nets find their social media voices and build their digital brands. In March 2011, Gary released his second business book, The Thank You Economy, which details the effect of social media on business.
GARY GETS NOTICED: Gary has appeared on countless programs from Jimmy Fallon, LateNight with Conan O’Brien and Ellen to FOX News, CNN and NPR. He was also notably featured in Decanter Magazine’s 2009 Power List which is a list of the 50 most influential people in wine and named Innovator of the Year at Wine Enthusiast’s 2009 Wine Star Awards. Additionally, Gary was one of Askmen.com’s 49 Most Influential Men of 2009. Gary’s ultimate goal is to own the New York Jets.