The MNY Spotlight
Meet Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Co-founder of Clerisy, Gilt, & Glamsquad
I am Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. I am a wife and mother of 2 children (+ 1 cute Havanese puppy named Churro). I have spent the past decade and a half as an entrepreneur and operator at the intersection of consumer and technology. I am most known professionally for being co-founder of Gilt although I have done a number of other things including writing a New York Times bestselling book, By Invitation Only. Recently I launched a growth equity fund with a fabulous partner named Lisa Myers. Our fund is called Clerisy and we invest in fast-growing consumer and techsumer companies.
Alexandra wears the Shimmy Shimmy Tassel Dress in Sunkissed
I have always believed in empowering other women, actively seeking mentorship from women I admire, as well as providing mentorship whenever possible to others. I went to an all girls school in New York City for 10 years from age 5-15. Through that experience, ever since I was a little girl, I learned the importance of collaborating with other women and offering support-- a rising tide lifts all boats.
The execution of business ideas is actually much more important in entrepreneurship than the idea itself. I recommend testing out hypotheses as quickly as possible, getting to an MVP (minimum viable product) and learning and iterating as you go. In my opinion, a viable business must have product/market fit. Additionally, to build a successful business it should be scalable.
I am hard on myself, my fiercest critic, but I try to maintain a glass half full, rather than empty approach. I find when I have a bad day, sometimes the best thing I can do is to go to sleep, because somehow, everything always appears rosier to me the next morning. It’s important to enjoy the victories, although I often forget to do that as I am my harshest critic. I am finding that sharing little wins with my children who are now old enough to understand more about my career, helps me to enjoy these positive moments as I can see they are proud of their mom which always brings a smile to my face.
I am really enjoying seeing the urgency created lately through social media channels with live selling. It’s relatively new and companies seem to be experimenting in different ways. I like the authenticity and spontaneity I am seeing.
As a parent, I strive to teach my kids grit. I am resilient and a fighter. It’s not easy to teach that, but I hope they are learning, especially over the past 18 months while I have been working from home, so they have been able to see my day-to-day firsthand.
There’s nothing like the moment when your startup has a full price transaction made by paying customer who is not a friend or family member!
I know the brand is inspired by the Philippines, but I also think it has a Latin flare which I love. I love my Shimmy Shimmy Tassel dress, it’s just perfect for a night out on the town in Miami!