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Speaking to the World

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

Entrepreneur, Author & Co-Founder of Gilt and GlamSquad


Alexandra Wilkis Wilson is the rare entrepreneur who is successful in virtually everything she has endeavored in her young but already seasoned career. Having launched a wildly successful luxury e-commerce site that quickly became an industry legend followed by a mobile app company on target to scale similar heights of success, Wilson encapsulates the new modern view of business leadership and innovation — one that places meaningful work above quick profits and rampant growth or expansion. Read More >

Wilson rose to prominence at the nexus of technology and the luxury goods sector as the co-founder of Gilt, one of the first flash-sale sites in the U.S., which now claims over 9 million members, ships to over 180 countries and sells more than 4,000 international brands. Over the course of seven years, she assumed multiple roles at the influential start-up, including her initial role as Chief Merchandising Officer. Together with Gilt co-founder Alexis Maybank, she is the author of the New York Times bestselling book By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop (Portfolio/Penguin) documenting the company's meteoric and much-imitated trajectory. Prior to Gilt, Wilson managed retail operations at Bulgari, overseeing 15 North American stores, and worked in sales planning for Louis Vuitton North America.

Her latest venture is GlamSquad, a mobile app recently launched in several major U.S. cities which aims to transform beauty in the same way Uber re-imagined ridesharing for a generation of tech savvy consumers. Accessible by smartphone, GlamSquad delivers high quality hair, make-up and nail services into private homes by providing instant makeovers performed by seasoned professionals at an affordable price point. Already a sensation in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, the mobile service plans to expand to 12 additional cities within two years.

As a pioneering New York City-based entrepreneur and dealmaker in digital commerce, luxury merchandising and business development, Wilson speaks regularly at international conferences and events, sharing stories ranging from launching a successful startup and maintaining innovation in the workplace to building your brand and navigating the work-life balance. A working mother who is raising two young children, she is also an advisor, mentor and angel investor who shares her wisdom and expertise with diverse entrepreneurs including the startup accelerator Techstars and Liberty Media's Women's eCommerce Network (WeCN). Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

APB Presents: Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

Speech Topics

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. Read More >

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. Read Less ^

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.

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.

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.

Building a High-Performing Team

Building a team is one of the most critical things you can do to drive results within a business, whether you're working in the startup or corporate environment. Referencing examples from her own experiences as an entrepreneur, advisor and angel investor, Alexandra examines teamwork at every level of the game, using the Myers-Briggs Test as one of many frameworks for building a high-performance team.

Women in Business and Leadership Today

As a frequent and celebrated speaker at women's organizations, Alexandra is particularly adept at encouraging women to become leaders and find their true potential in the global workplace. Sharing firsthand experience as a leader and entrepreneur in her own right, she shares stories of working in male-dominated environments including investment banking and the luxury sector, as well as the barriers she shattered in her own endeavors at Gilt and GlamSquad.