Most entrepreneurs would consider themselves lucky if they could build one company that solves a real problem for consumers. Alexandra Wilkis Wilson has built three of them. The serial entrepreneur is the co-founder of both Gilt Groupe and Glamsquad, where she was CEO until 2016.
Wilson's third startup venture, Fitz, is an in-home service that organizes and edits your wardrobe, helps you build outfits and shop for what you need. Wilson sat down with Project Entrepreneur to discuss the vision for her third business, advice for early-stage founders, and why she starts companies that solve women's problems.
Project Entrepreneur: Tell us about Fitz, your newest venture. What problem is it solving?
Wilson: We created Fitz with one simple mission--to make getting dressed easier for everyone. Fitz Stylists organize your wardrobe, help send out items for resale, repair, alteration or donation, assist you in building outfits and provide you with shopping recommendations.
How did the idea for this venture come about and what is your vision for the future of the company?
I partnered with seasoned investor and serial entrepreneur J. Michael Cline. In the future, we hope to make it easier for consumers across the country to get dressed by using advanced technology to help consumers manage what they already own and to suggest what they are missing and should buy.
All of your ventures--Gilt, Glamsquad and Fitz--solve problems for women. Is this intentional? If so, what draws you to these ideas?
I love putting on my consumer hat when I am building startups. I enjoy trying to create solutions for pain points that resonate with me personally. It's more fun for me and I think my instincts are sharper when I can relate to the target demographic of the business.
You've co-founded three business. What keeps you coming back to entrepreneurship?
I love working with teams to turn business ideas into reality. Consumer behavior has changed so much over the past 10 years, largely thanks to technology.
I feel so lucky to have been able to work with teams who are able to innovate and be at the forefront of so many of these exciting changes and consumer trends. Most people are terrified of the early stage, but I think it is really fun even though it is really tough work.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of growing their businesses?
Figure out what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. Build diverse authentic relationships and work on them every single day.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Admit what you don't know. Find that right balance of exuding confidence and humility.
Doing a startup is a choice you have made, so enjoy it and recognize that it can be fun--even though you will have ups and downs! It doesn't really get easier; the challenges just change with time and scale.