Friday, July 9, 2010
Garagiste is a Seattle-based retailer with a unique business model. Proprietor Jon Rimmerman travels the world finding unique wines and then offers them for purchase through beautifully worded stories in daily E-mails. I've been receiving his E-mails since February of this year and one in particular this past week really impressed me. The guy is a fantastic writer.
The video embedded below is from last year's Small and Special conference, but I just made time to watch it today. Here are some points that jumped out at me:
- He started the business with just $500 after building up relationships in the organic food trade.
- They do somewhere south of $30 million in annual sales and they don't have an e-commerce system. You just reply to their E-mail offers and tell them how many bottles you want. The famous Niki responds and, assuming they have your credit card on file, your order is processed.
- They've got almost 100,000 people on their E-mail list, many of whom subscribe just for the writing.
- He recognized that consumers like connecting directly with people and immediacy long before Twitter existed. They're on Twitter now (@Garagiste_Wine) but their business still hinges primarily around connecting personally from proprietor to consumer through Jon's E-mails.
At minimum, your call to action today is to sign up for their E-mail list. And when you can set aside some time, watch the video. I think you'll enjoy getting to know Jon a little better and you'll benefit from the ideas he shares whether you're a wine lover, a small business owner, a blogger, or all three.
Thanks to @joshiemac for the referral in the comments section of this piece from last year on the top wine deals of 2010. Like he says- the action is in the E-mails not on their website.
If you like the Garagiste model where you respond to email offers and build towards a case over time check out this New York retailer. Totally different style, but similarly outstanding deals.
Jon Rimmerman - Garagiste - Small and Special 2009 from Small and Special on Vimeo.