After seven years at the company she co-founded, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson is moving on to take on the role of CEO at a startup that launched just a few months ago. The companies in question would be Gilt Groupe, where Wilkis Wilson most recently served as Head of Strategic Alliances, and Glamsquad, a beauty on-demand service that allows users to schedule hair and makeup appointments at a location of their choosing.
According to Glamsquad, Wilkis Wilson will move over to Glamsquad on September 1, at which point current CEO Victoria Eisner will become chief creative officer. Last January the startup raised $2 million in venture capital financing, and it officially launched in New York in May, leading with hair appointments and adding makeup to its offerings in July. Glamsquad is currently in beta in Los Angeles; Eisner moved out there a few months ago to focus on its forthcoming launch.
On a phone call Tuesday afternoon, Wilkis Wilson said she first started speaking with Glamsquad chairman Jason Perri about the company at an event for Harvard alums early this spring. She has a few priorities when she officially starts work at the start of September: Accelerate growth, build Glamsquad's brand, focus on execution and foster a customer-first culture.
Wilkis Wilson's role at Gilt has been reduced over the past few years, so it's not terribly surprising that she is moving on to a new project, even ahead of Gilt's much-rumored impending IPO. The "Uber for [fill in the blank]" is a hot (if a little overplayed, at least from a marketing standpoint) segment of the startup space right now, and Glamsquad isn't the only beauty on-demand service out there: In New York, it's joined by companies like Priv and City Mani.
In some ways, Glamsquad and its kind are descendants of styling bars like Drybar and DreamDry, which allow busy women to stop off for a quick blowout between their day's appointments. There's also the potential that an on-demand service mind wind up poaching those institutions' clients. Wilkis Wilson says women who were visiting a blowout bar once weekly might use Glamsquad two or three times per week, since they don't have to leave their homes or offices to do so.
While some similar services and personal shopping startups focus on stylists' individuality, allowing them to build their own brands and aesthetics, Glamsquad is looking to establish a "consistent, reliable" experience across the board, Wilkis Wilson says. If a woman needs a last-minute blowout, she should be able to get the same blowout she's used to with any of the stylists. (For what it's worth, Glamsquad's lead makeup and hair stylists come from top-notch backgrounds: Mac and Fekkai, respectively.)
Needless to say, we're looking forward to seeing how Wilkis Wilson builds out this service. As she points out, there are a lot of channels for growth here, both in terms of Glamsquad's customer base and the range of services they'll be offering.
Update: This article has been updated with new comments from Wilkis Wilson on her move to Glamsquad.
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