Gary and his family immigrated to the US from Belarus in 1978. He lived with 8 family members in a studio apartment in Queens, New York, before relocating to Edison, New Jersey. Gary often calls himself a “purebred entrepreneur” having successfully started a lemonade franchise at age 7, and eventually selling tens of thousands of dollars worth of baseball cards and toys throughout his high school career. At 14 he joined his family business bagging ice for $2/hr. When Gary identified “the internet” as a land-grab opportunity in the late 90’s he transitioned his father’s local liquor store (then named “Shoppers Discount Liquors”) into one of the first e-commerce platforms for alcohol in the country resulting in explosive top-line growth. Renaming the business to “Wine Library,” Gary grew his father’s company from $3-60MM in sales during his tenure at Wine Library.
During his time at Wine Library, Gary Vaynerchuk started one of the first long-form episodic video shows on YouTube in 2006 called WineLibraryTV. Gary produced an episode almost every day for 5 years . Gary’s charisma and uncanny ability to engage with his community landed him appearances on national television with Ellen Degeneres and Conan O’Brien.
After growing his family business through what Gary calls “underpriced attention,” including the impact of content, ecommerce, email marketing, and Google AdWords, Gary began his own journey of producing original business content as the voice of entrepreneurship online.
In 2008, Gary gave a keynote at Web 2.0 in New York City that would ultimately change his career. That speech solidified and was the backbone of Gary’s $1M, 10-book deal with HarperCollins leading to his first book, Crush It! in 2009 which went on to become an international bestseller laying the foundation for his principles on media, marketing, and communication. Soon after, Gary began angel investing in notable companies including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, Snap and Venmo.
Replicating what Gary had done for WineLibrary for other businesses and brands, Vaynerchuk then co-founded VaynerMedia in 2009 with his younger brother, AJ Vaynerchuk. True to his own DNA, Gary never raised startup funding and began the business in a conference room at Buddy Media. Just 9 years later, the company now includes more than 800 employees, servicing clients such as PepsiCo, GE, Johnson and Johnson, Chase, AbInBev and more.
VaynerMedia has flourished into having built best-in-class capabilities in paid media, strategy, full-service creative, influencer marketing, IoT & Voice, eCommerce, personal branding, SMB marketing and in-house consulting. In 2017, VaynerMedia entered the publishing space by acquiring premiere women’s magazine PureWow under the Gallery Media Group and restructured into VaynerX. In the summer of 2018, the second media brand under the Gallery Media Group umbrella, men’s lifestyle brand ONE37pm was launched.
True to his word, while scaling his business, Gary continued to behave as media company on his own writing 4 more New York Times bestselling business books and becoming one of the most sought after public speakers.. 5 Years in, Gary launched #AskGaryVee, a business and advice Q&A show online which later led him to launch DailyVee, a full-blown vlog documenting his life as a CEO.
Pioneering the practice of building a personal brand, Gary devised a new content strategy by producing these pillar shows. Today, Gary has more than 12M combined followers across social media, producing content daily on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Spotify and more.
Gary also hosts a global top 100 business podcast, The GaryVee Audio Experience, which features new episodes every day.
In the Fall of 2017, Gary announced his first signature sneakers in collaboration with K-Swiss. The GaryVee 001 & 002s were released in November 2017, the GaryVee 003s were released in July 2018 & the GaryVee 004s will be released later this year.
Gary’s life ambition is the pursuit of buying the New York Jets.
Gary Vaynerchuk was born in Babruysk, Belarus, in the former USSR. His parents were fortunate enough to find their way to America as part of an exchange program where Soviet Jews were allowed to immigrate to the US in exchange for food aid. While the entire extended family shared a studio apartment in Queens, Gary’s father Sasha began working at a relative’s liquor store in New Jersey and eventually moved the family to Edison, NJ.
As a young child, Gary began his entrepreneurial career by ripping flowers out of his neighbors’ yards and using his natural charm to sell them right back (a profit margin he has still yet to equal). Soon he had upgraded to operating an entire lemonade stand franchise, managing multiple locations and commuting via big-wheel to collect his profits.
In his early teens, Gary cornered the local market for baseball cards, often making thousands in a weekend with his keen eye for deals, and his razor-sharp sales-tactics. All of this came to a halt when, at the age of 14, Gary’s father literally dragged him into the family business. In the blink of an eye he went from making thousands of dollars in a weekend to making $2 an hour bagging ice in the basement of Shoppers Discount Liquors, which his father had taken full ownership of by that point.