Mike Wolfe was born on 11th June 1964, in Joliet, Illinois USA. He rose to prominence as the creator and star of the television show “American Pickers” (2010 – present) aired on History Channel. He became widely known through the reality series, though he had been ‘picking’ since his childhood.
How rich is the antiques hunter? The creator of the expanding business empire, Mike Wolfe’s net worth is as high as $5 million. Aside from actually ‘picking’, the sources of his wealth are the television show, various endorsement deals, production lines, books and retail stores. Looks like someone can make money from scratch.
Mike Wolfe Net Worth $5 Million
Wolfe was raised in Joliet, Illinois together with his two siblings by their mother. Being just six years old, he began his picking career, looking for old bicycles and other old stuff which he found to be useful and valuable. This really was the start of his accumulation of net worth. Later, being an adult he founded an Antique Archaeology store in Nashville, Tennessee and later another one in Le Claire, Iowa in which people were able to buy or sell antique treasures.
This business became more popular after the reality television series “American Pickers” (2010 – present) was launched, created by Mike Wolfe himself and developed by Mark Poertner and Stephen Pettinger. The main star of the series is Wolfe who together with Frank Fritz travels around the USA looking for old but still valuable stuff. Afterwards, they sell antique findings or add them to their own collections. Another star of the series is Danielle Colby who is responsible for the stores. Meanwhile, co-star Frank Fritz sells their findings in his store in Savanna, Illinois as well as on the internet.
It is worth mentioning that Mike Wolfe is not only the main star and creator of the series, but also one of executive producers. Others are Charles Tremayne and Mark Poertner. The series attracts a huge audience as at the end of the first season it was watched by more than 5.4 million viewers. According to the ratings the series could rival only the “American Idol”, as even while debuting the series gathered more than 3.1 viewers, and was the highest rated debut aired on the History channel. No doubt, Mike Wolfe net worth significantly increased after the series was premiered.
As a result of the success other business branches were added. The online community named “Kid Pickers” was created. Children are able to share their own picking experiences as well as findings on the website. What is more, the books “American Pickers Guide to Picking” (2011) and “Kid Pickers” (2013) were published which contains guidance on picking for children with special needs.
In his personal life, Mike Wolfe married Jodi Faeth in 2012, and they have a daughter named Charlie Faeth Wolfe. It is important to highlight the fact that Mike works not only to benefit himself, but he does a lot as humanitarian, too. He is a constant host of various fund raising events on projects to help various animal shelters, the ASCPA, Operation Smile, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and others.
Mike is the oldest of three children; he has a brother Robbie, and a sister, Beth. Robbie often appears on "American Pickers" with his children.
His first motorcycle was a Kawasaki 100. He upgraded to a Honda Elsinore 250. A Can-Am 250 came next.
Mike's motorcycle collection includes a 1948 Indian, and a 1913 twin with pedal cranks, made the first year the Indian had a rear suspension.
Mike and wife Jodi Faeth welcomed daughter Charlie Faeth Wolfe on January 30, 2012.
Mike married Jodi Faeth on September 8, 2012, in an "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?"- themed ceremony in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee.
Mike's home in Le Claire, Iowa, is in a former grocery and boardinghouse built in 1860 that looks over the Mississippi River that he purchased for $175,000 in 2004. The ground floor holds two home decor stores and includes a two-car garage and courtyard.
After the $8.7 million effort to restore the historic Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tennessee, was completed a few years ago, Mike was recruited to provide vintage 1940s fixtures for the green room.
Mike and "American Pickers" co-star Frank Fritz met in junior high school.
In his early 20s, Mike was a competitive bicycle racer (from '89 until '98, he was Cat 4 and Cat 3). He also owned two different bike stores in Iowa during the 1990s: The Village Bike Shop in East Davenport and a store in Eldridge, Iowa, that he financed from the money he made by selling a 1934 Harley Davidson motorcycle to a collector in Bangkok, Thailand.
Mike launched a kids' initiative in 2012 called Kid Pickers.
Mike tried to sell the idea for a reality show about pickers for five years before The History Channel gave him the green light.
MIke's first TV show concept, "American Pickers," debuted on The History Channel on January 18, 2010, drawing 3.1 million viewers. It was TV's highest rated new non-fiction program among adults 25-54 of that year. In its fourth season, it averaged 4.7 million viewers a week.
Mike owns and operates two locations of Antique Archaeology, in Le Claire, Iowa, and Nashville, Tennessee, where he sells treasures from the road and official "American Picker" merchandise.
Mike began picking at the age of six, pulling an old bicycle out of his neighbor's trash. He cleaned it up and sold it to another kid for $5 - his first profitable flip.
Loud and frequent laugh
His use of "picker slang"
[on seeing a motorcycle for the first time] I was 13 when I saw my first motorcycle. I was walking down the sidewalk when this guy who was like the high school champion stud-he was the team quarterback, got all the chicks, everything-did this incredible burnout on his Honda 900. I can remember the day so clearly, how warm it was, and him looking at me as I walked by. I thought, "Oh, man. That is the coolest thing in the world." That's what started me on my journey of wanting a motorcycle.
[on his first pick] I was walking to school one day and saw all these bikes in the garbage. I was just amazed because I didn't have one and I found it incredible that anyone was throwing them out. So I gathered up as many as I could and put them all in our garage. They were mostly banana-seat bikes from the '60s, maybe one was a Schwinn. There was a girl's balloon-tire bike, too. That was the first bike I learned to ride because there was no bar in the middle-I was little, so I would ride it almost right above the cranks. ... Then I sold one. It didn't take much to get it going. I put air in the tires and cleaned it all up and stuff, and then I sold it to an older kid down the street. I think I was six then. I was always fascinated with bikes because when I was young I was very small and slow, but I could go fast on a bike.
[on racing bikes competitively] I started racing pretty heavy, from like '89 until '98. I did road racing and criteriums. I was a Cat 4 rider, and then I moved up to a Cat 3 for a little while, and then I kind of got out of it. When you run a bike shop, you never really get out of it, though, because you're around it so much. ... I liked the Italian stuff. I rode Bottecchias. My first really high-end bike was a Viner and that was my first handmade frame, and I always rode Campagnolo. Even when I was in high school, I had a Super Record Campy bike, which was a very expensive bike back then. I had an Atala, which is another Italian bike. I raced that quite a bit, did really well on that one. When the balloon-tire craze was hot, I was buying Phantoms and Panthers, anything with a horn tank. I love the Schwinn stuff. But I was a purist. I grew up watching these pros and they were all riding handmade Italian Colnagos and Medicis and all that stuff. And everything was Campagnolo, and it was all exotic and amazing and beautiful. I wanted that, so when I started racing and had my own shop, those were the kind of bikes I rode.
[on his first bike] It was a Kawasaki 100, a little Enduro. It was sitting in a friend's garage, kind of beat-up and rundown. He had a couple older brothers who had moved on and left the bike. I traded him my stereo speakers for it. I never took it home, though, because my mother would have absolutely killed me if she knew I owned a motorcycle, so I kept it in different friends' garages. Motorcycles keep me on the road. All the other stuff is gravy.
[on working hard and his current success] I'm a businessman, so I'm gonna make hay while the sun's shining. I've been self-employed for 23 years. That's an accomplishment in itself. You gotta be out there hustling. If you're not, you're not gonna make it. ... Everything has an expiration date. I'm a realist. Do I think I'm Pickin' Jesus? No. That's ridiculous.