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Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

Entrepreneur, Board Director, Investor, Advisor, Mentor & Author

Biography

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson is a visionary entrepreneur, investor, and board member who has distinguished herself with a string of digital enterprises that have delighted consumers and disrupted industries. One of the founders of the ecommerce pioneer Gilt, Alexandra has thrived at the leading edge of digital, with recent successes in the on-demand economy, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. She’s advised scores of new and developing businesses, served on the boards of public and private companies, and personally invested in 10 startups. Read More >

As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Clerisy, Alexandra is leveraging her trailblazing experience and extensive network once again to support extraordinary entrepreneurs in the consumer/techsumer space. With Co-Founder Lisa Myers, Alexandra is currently building a $100M private equity fund, largely with capital from the international family offices of successful entrepreneurs who can add value to portfolio companies based on their experience.

Alexandra is a Board Director at KDC/ONE, a privately-held global provider of manufacturing and packaging solutions for the beauty, personal care, and household sectors. She previously served on the boards of Corelle Brands, Talalay Global, and Perry Ellis International (Nasdaq: PERY), where she was a member of the Governance, Nominating, Compensation, and Investment Committees. Alexandra has been as an advisor to more than 50 startups, and she has also been active in the venture capital community, with prior investment and/or advisory roles at Forerunner Ventures, Montage Ventures, The Female Founders Fund, and The Fund New York.

In her most recent corporate executive role, Alexandra was SVP, Consumer Strategy and Innovation (2018-2020) for the $15B revenue global pharmaceutical company Allergan, responsible for launching consumer-focused digital properties (Spotlyte and Regi) that transformed the way the company marketed its medical aesthetics portfolio, including BOTOX and Juvederm, to consumers.

Earlier, Alexandra partnered with serial entrepreneur J. Michael Cline to create two high-tech fashion businesses that had successful exits, including DRESR, which was acquired by Google before launch for its powerful AI technology, and Fitz, a fashion styling business that was acquired by Tradesy. Alexandra was also Co-Founder, CEO, and Board Director at GLAMSQUAD, an Uber-style business that provides in-home hair, makeup, and nail services, where she continues as a shareholder and an informal advisor to the management team.

Alexandra began her career in Global Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch, and subsequently worked at Louis Vuitton North America and Bulgari Retail USA before joining her co-founders to create Gilt, the shopping and lifestyle etailer that transformed early online shopping with flash sales of luxury designer goods. As Gilt’s Co-Founder and Chief Merchandising Officer, Alexandra helped create the winning strategy that defined the user experience and traveled extensively to enlist thousands of global luxury brands to sell on Gilt at steep discounts, which was virtually unheard of at the time.

Alexandra earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Harvard College. She has been featured in dozens of major media outlets, received many prominent awards, and given 100+ keynotes and other addresses. A native New Yorker, Alexandra now lives among her Cuban roots in Miami and speaks five languages. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Women Entrepreneur: A Dynamic Force in Global Growth

Be Transparent to Help Your Business Grow

The Importance of Staying Connected

Forbes Undercover Mentor

Testing Fitz Closet Organizing Service

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.