I first met the lovely Angela Aiello when I got into blogging in 2010 during one of her wine events. I have always admired her hustle, hard work and expertise on something I personally find a bit daunting – wine. Angela Aiello works to make wine accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy wine and I love her fun approach. Her entrepreneurial spirit is what I find the most inspiring. Meet Angela Aiello everyone!
Do you remember what first sparked your interest in wine?
Yes, I remember loving a bottle of Riesling like nothing I’ve ever had before when I was 18. It was my mom who told me to apply for the job in wine when I was 16, but it is Riesling who is my one true wine love and has helped spike my interest in the whole industry.
What was the definitive moment for you when you decided to pursue a career in wine?
I realized after trying to earn a career in media upon graduating from university and working in Toronto that I had 8 years of wine experience that was very valuable. I had worked in the wine industry to put myself through school and although I had a communications degree and wanted something in media, it was hard working at the bottom of the food chain in that industry. I realized that all my wine knowledge was an asset and started to brainstorm a way to integrate my in-field experience with my degree.
5 years ago I went full-time into my own freelance work and haven’t looked back since, but it was a big move to make the change from stable work to the life of a hustling entrepreneur.
How did you end up starting your company iYellow Wine Group?
I started iYellow Wine Group in 2006 and in 2016 it will be a 10 year-old company. It’s hard to believe how long things actually take to come to fruition. When they say Rome wasn’t built in a day, they are so right! It’s taken a lot of creativity and passion to keep it going especially through the tough times.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of launching his or her own business?
Well, number 1 is making sure you want to work hard. Number 2 is move to the beat of your own drum and number 3 is work harder.
What are three wines you love for summer right now?
That’s easy! Ontario Riesling, Aveleda Vinho Verde and South of France reds like Paul Mas Estate Cab Merlot.
What was the most important non-negotiable thing for you when designing your lifestyle and work life?
Haha, well I would say that up until this year, everything in my life has been negotiable. I worked weekends, weeknights and whenever I could to define what I do and to take opportunities.
Part of my business philosophy is to be flexible. I recently got engaged and now love is on my top priority list. So at this point in my career it’s about setting boundaries and truly analyzing opportunities before jumping right it- which I did a lot of in our younger years as a business.
What do you do to de-stress?
A glass of wine is really my perfect fix, but I also love to work out with my trainer, listen to good music and be near water.
What’s a typical day like in the life of Angela Aiello?
Like everyone I wake up, grab a coffee and get to work on email. My days are typically talking and communicating with our current clients, spending some time on social media, and making more phone calls with other prospective clients. In the evenings, I’m usually at one of our awesome events in the wine cave teaching people about wine!
What did you study in university or college and is there anything you would have done differently?
I have an honours degree in communications and I would not have done anything differently. Maybe one day I will set my sights on getting a masters in something fun!
Best piece of life advice to share?
Travel, it’s the only way to see the world and bring true understanding of the world into your life. It’s the best investment into your soul and into business. Sip and savour the wondrousness of the world. It’s the most amazing thing and a great investment in your own life.
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