“It’s been incredible to witness this e-commerce revolution the way I have over the last 20 years.”Jeff Ogzewalla
Founder & CEO
Jeff Ogzewalla was a digital marketer who had spent years advertising and reselling products online. “For a one-man show in his basement, I was moving quite a lot of merchandise,” he recalls. “But then I realized that when it came to paying the bills, the margins for reselling products weren’t good enough. I needed to sell something that I could make.” Looking around, Jeff ruled out products made from textile, metal, and glass—”anything that needed giant facilities,” he says—before deciding on wooden wine racks. “I had ordered one earlier that year. It wasn’t complicated, not finished very well, and I remember thinking, ‘I could make a better wine rack,’” he shares. In 2002, Jeff launched Wine Racks America, building and selling wooden wine-cellar components out of his two-car garage.
Wine Racks America has always made high-quality products, but for many years, “our edge was that we were first and foremost digital marketers,” says Jeff. The company was an early adopter of AdWords, Google’s advertising program, which they still use to reach customers across the U.S. and Canada. “It is by far the largest revenue generator we have,” he notes. Google Analytics equips them with the customer insights to continually refine their marketing campaigns and online presence. G Suite tools, such as Docs, Sheets, and Drive, keep their internal operations running smoothly. And aside from the occasional trade show, all of their marketing budget goes to digital formats. “Google really has created a magic recipe to connect businesses and customers via their platform,” Jeff adds.
Today, Wine Racks America is a 50-person team operating out of a 29,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. They have grown at a double-digit rate in recent years and, on average, fulfill 1,500 orders per month. The company has also expanded their product line to include complementary products, such as wine-cellar cooling systems. “When I started this business, I was just a digital marketer looking for a product to sell. I didn’t really understand how special wine cellars were to our customers,” Jeff shares. “But now I do. It’s one of those things people want to do. They think about it for years, and plan for it, and save up. Then they find us through this magical thing called the Internet. We never meet the person. We don't really know each other, but we have this bond.”