Shopping Secrets From Gilt Co-Founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson

Here at LearnVest, we don’t shy away from asking all those awkward and fascinating money questions. How much did that cost you? Do you have a big investment account? What’s a secret splurge you haven’t told anyone else about?

In our series, 10 Things You Don’t Know About My Finances, we get interesting people (like Al Roker, Lucky Editor in Chief Brandon Holley, former First Lady of New York Silda Wall Spitzer and our own extraordinary reader Carla) to reveal their funny, head-scratching and refreshing approaches to finance. 

If you're one of the over 3.5 million users who has waited patiently for 12 p.m. to hit and the Gilt Groupe sales to start, you know how addictive the site can be. If you're not, well, suffice it to say that Gilt.com has changed the way millions of women shop nationwide, by bringing designer sample sales online through limited-time flash sales on deeply discounted couture.

We picked the brain of one of the site's founders, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, who helped bring the high-fashion sample sale shopping experience online.

Alexandra, along with her co-founder and friend Alexis Maybank, recently authored a book detailing the early days of Gilt Groupe, called, “By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop.” Before Gilt, Alexandra worked in finance at Merrill Lynch; after business school, she worked in the luxury industry, at Louis Vuitton and Bulgari.

It's hard to imagine shopping before the days of Gilt, Groupon and their competitors. But how did these friends decide to leave safe jobs and launch a shopping site? And how is that site now valued at $1 billion?

We got the inside scoop: What part of Alexandra's job led to a clinical diagnosis of "too much stress"? And, with more cute clothes at her fingertips than she could ever imagine, what are her favorite splurges?

Read on for ten surprising facts about Alexandra's finances and shopping habits you won't find in the book--including the one fashion item she hates spending money on.
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  • Countyroad

    Hmmm. Interesting timing after Laura Shin’s mention of Gilt in last article.

  • vikram

    hi interesting timing