Alexandra Wilkis Wilson is best known professionally as Co-Founder of ecommerce sensation, Gilt which transformed the landscape of luxury and fashion ecommerce with the invention of the flash sale, creating urgency of demand and innovating the online shopping experience. Wilson owned the Chief Merchant role at Gilt and filled many other seats on the journey from start-up to $650M in revenues. Having learned how to parlay the ability to sell luxury and accessible luxury items into selling travel and experiences, Wilson was more than intrigued by the idea of using technology to efficiently deliver services.
As a co-founder and CEO of GLAMSQUAD, Wilson brought beauty to the home of the time constrained and GLAMSQUAD professionals engendered a level of trust which ultimately permitted the development of a product line, creating a full-service beauty company. Before AI and machine learning became household words, Wilson jumped at the challenge to use this advanced technology to create a shopping tool, which Google found so compelling that they bought it pre- launch. Wilson and her team had simultaneously developed an accompanying analogue tool which they ultimately sold to peer-to-peer luxury recommerce company, Tradesy.
While no one would have flinched if this pioneer in digital commerce, retail, merchandising, sales, business development and marketing had launched another start-up, Wilson decided to take the path more traveled when she joined Allergan, the global pharmaceutical leader in aesthetics, to help them learn how to communicate directly with the consumers they sought to engage, rather than delivering samples to doctors. Befittingly, Wilson coined Project Moonwalker and hired a team of 70 to execute the vision.
Today, Wilson has launched together with her business partner Lisa Myers from L Catterton, a growth equity fund called Clerisy, investing in consumer and techsumer companies at the growth equity stage.
Don’t hold it against Wilson that she is a double H – Harvard B.A. and MBA. Wilson’s humility is disarming, especially when she speaks to you in your native language (of which she speaks five). Wilson is a relentless consumer, forever testing new platforms and products. She will often have suggestions on a first meeting. When she is not analyzing a new consumer concept, Wilson can be found on the tennis court, and not missing her New York roots as she soaks up sunshine with her husband and two kids in their new Miami digs.
How to Build a Brand
It is critical to build a compelling and consistent brand when launching a consumer facing business. But how can you do this with minimal marketing dollars? In this presentation Alexandra offers tips and insight into getting the word out about your business idea, product or venture even with minimal startup funding. She examines why some brands succeed while others fail and offers hints on how to build your brand quickly yet effectively.
The Art of Building & Maintaining Your Network
Everyone can benefit from a powerful network. But where do you begin building successful personal and professional relationships... and how can one leverage an existing network? Visiting chapters from her bestselling book, By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop, co-authored with Alexis Maybank, Alexandra explains why it's important to help others whenever possible in order to build good karma — because what goes around truly does come around.
Maintaining Innovation In The Workplace
Most companies and individuals can benefit from incorporating innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and action in the workplace. No matter if you work at a startup or in a big corporate environment, innovation leads to growth, success, job retention and loyalty among employees at all levels. In this presentation, Alexandra explains why it is critical that companies incorporate and welcome innovation and creativity from all levels of an organization.
Entrepreneurship 101: Creating A Business From Idea To Launch
It is no secret that most startups fail — how can you prime your start-up for success from the get-go? It's about creating an entrepreneurial culture and results-oriented working environment that attracts the best talent in the business. It's also about taking a disruptive idea and turning it into a viable business, employing entrepreneurial thought along the way.
Delving into some of the stories and themes in her bestselling book By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop, Alexandra shares tips on how to start, grow and scale a successful business.
Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
Alexandra shares openly how she has successfully navigated and thrived in predominantly men's business worlds from being a serial entrepreneur and operator in consumer tech to being a prolific angel investor and now having her own growth equity fund investing in fast-growing consumer and techsumer companies. She is a passionate advocate for women in business and shares her best practices for how women can band together to help shatter the glass ceiling.
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