There is nothing more inspiring to us than an intelligent girl with an entrepreneurial spirit. Alexandra Wilson seems to be the queen of start-up successes. As a co-founder of Gilt Groupe, Alexandra shook up and revolutionized the way we shop. Her latest venture, GLAMSQUAD, is on par to make big waves in the beauty industry as well by offering on-demand, at home beauty services.
We caught up with Alexandra as she discussed her latest shift into the beauty world, her vision for GLAMSQUAD and her advice to young entrepreneurs out there.
Exclusive for our readers: Use the promo code “CFGLAM” to redeem credits on the GLAMSQUAD app, valid for one complimentary blowout for first-time users.
CollegeFashionista: Where did you go to school and what did you study?
Alexandra Wilson: I graduated from Harvard College and studied Romance Languages and Literature. I got my MBA from Harvard Business School.
CF: One of your first ventures was co-founding Gilt Groupe. What made you decide to leave your day-to-day job there and head to another start-up?
AW: I love early-stage companies and working with a team to turn an idea into a reality. I’ve been very involved with a number of start-ups since we launched Gilt in 2007.
As any entrepreneur can tell you, building a business from the ground up is both exhilarating and enormously difficult. Having done it once, only to turn around and take part in the start-up journey again, I understand the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs come to expect the unexpected, including the highest highs and the lowest lows. Passion, determination and a great team are key to building a successful business.
CF: What did the experience of starting Gilt Groupe teach you as it applies to your newest venture as Co-Founder and CEO of GLAMSQUAD?
AW: At Gilt, we spent a lot of time and energy creating our corporate culture and this is something we as a team have been focused on at GLAMSQUAD. We are working tirelessly on executing our vision of being our clients’ beauty obsession and on fulfilling our mission of making the process of getting ready a whole lot easier. Our team at GLAMSQUAD (the GLAMFAM as we refer to ourselves internally) thrives largely because of our team members’ diverse skill-sets and personalities, our shared vision, our trust in each other and constant communication.
CF: What made you interested in going into the beauty market?
AW: I started itching for the feel of a fledgling business again, which drew me to GLAMSQUAD. I love how GLAMSQUAD fills a need in the beauty space, delivering professional and affordable hair and makeup services directly to our clients’ doors. The on demand economy is a hot space right now for start-ups, and I not only wanted to be part of this exciting moment in technology but wanted to help pioneer the disruption.
CF: What is your vision for the future of GLAMSQUAD?
AW: My goal is to lead the expansion into new service lines, geographies and revenue streams. I hope to create a loyal customer base of women who rely on our services and are excited to share the app with their friends. We will be expanding to new cities and launching other beauty verticals, which is all very exciting. We believe there is much potential for building the GLAMSQUAD brand.
CF: What are some spring beauty trends that have been popular with the GLAMSQUAD clients?
AW: It varies between our three cities (New York, LA and Miami). For example, ‘The Weekender’ style, a beachy loose wave, is very popular in LA and ‘The New Romantic,’ style, a classic blowout with a touch of wave, is highly requested in New York market. Of course, during festival season in LA, braids were very popular. GLAMSQUAD had a visible presence at Coachella.
CF: What are your beauty must-haves?
AW: Cle de Peau Eye Contour Balm, Erno Laszlo 3-9 Balm, Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, beautyblender, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz, Chanel Soleil Tan, Bobbi Brown Bobbi’s Chocolates Long-Wear Eye Trio, Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder, Dermalogica Cleansing Wipes, Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum and IT Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Mascara.
CF: What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs out there?
AW: Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.