Alexandra Wilkis Wilson on the Confidence Building Power of Beauty

This is the second post in a multi-part series that we’re calling “The Beauty of Balance,” meant to entertain, educate, and inform busy women (and aren’t we all?) in association with Sonäge’s upcoming “The Beauty of Balance” event in Manhattan. Next Wednesday, March 9th, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder and CEO of app-based beauty provider GLAMSQUAD, will be joining a select group of female entrepreneurs to explore the topics of health, beauty, and how to invoke personal and professional balance. A busy entrepreneur and mother of two -- not to mention board director and advisor who invests her time in support of causes and initiatives about which she is passionate -- Alexandra became a GLAMSQUAD client after running into former Harvard classmates who had initially developed the mobile app. Recognizing the value the service brought to her life, and the potential to do the same for other women, she joined the founding team. Sonäge had the pleasure of speaking with Alexandra to learn more about GLAMSQUAD, what she thinks of balance, and how she manages to achieve it in her life. When you first heard about the app that your GLAMSQUAD co-founders had developed, what about it captured your interest?     The business had just launched in New York with at-home hair services. As a busy working mother and consumer, this concept appealed to me. I personally feel better about myself when I have my hair blown out for an occasion. I found GLAMSQUAD's services to be convenient - they would come to my home early in the morning, before work, or late in the evening, prior to me leaving for a business trip the next day. And the quality was as good as, or better than, conventional blow dry bars, especially in terms of the pricing. After using the services, I recognized the growth and opportunity for the company, and I fell in love with all things GLAMSQUAD. This convinced me to join the company full-time. Who is the GLAMSQUAD client? The GLAMSQUAD clientele is diverse. It includes: - Professional women - those just starting out in their careers to those in the “C-”Suite,” owners, founders and CEOs who have to invest in their appearance - Busy mothers - those who parent full-time, and those who work and run households - Companies - prepping for photo shoots for e-commerce, lookbooks, editorial pieces, and brand headshots - Bridal events - leading up to and including the “big day,” including brides, bridal parties and wedding attendees - Women with hair that they’re not able to do themselves - “power users” (weekly or more frequently) whose hair texture is challenging in that is curly and needs to be tamed or is straight and needs added volume Recently, we received an inquiry from a young teenager asking if GLAMSQUAD could do the hair and makeup for a group of girls attending prom. And another email came in last week from a luxury yacht company who wanted to a hire a team of GLAMSQUAD professionals to go on a five-day cruise in the Caribbean to provide daily services for the women. We see so many different types of requests. Beauty plays a role in so many women’s lives. What are the most common reactions when women have the GLAMSQUAD experience for the first time? They are very emotional. If you could bottle up confidence and deliver it to someone, that is what we see in our clients. We are in the confidence building business. Other comments we receive on a consistent basis include how easy it is to use GLAMSQUAD -- you don’t need to fumble for cash at the time of the appointment, the service fee, including gratuity, is charged directly to your credit card. Clients also appreciate how respectful the beauty professionals are of privacy and that they can customize the look to whatever the client wants - the GLAMSQUAD suggested looks can be an inspiration or starting point for any beauty service appointment. You currently offer GLAMSQUAD services in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. Where to next? We offer three core services - hair, makeup, and nails - delivered to your home, office, hotel, or anywhere you happen to be within our three markets. We’re really focused on these three cities. The team sees more opportunity for growth and the chance to fine-tune our offering. When the time is right, we’ll launch in Washington, DC. Looking at the landscape, can you share insight on the demand you see for technology-enabled services in the beauty space? Women who are adopting technology don’t have the luxury of time. They use apps to facilitate efficiency in their lives. With that said, we recognize that not all women want to use, or are comfortable using, an app or website to book an appointment. And some have questions that they want to have answered as a part of the process. Clients can email or call to ask those questions and book their appointments. How else do you use technology to make your life simpler and more efficient? Efficiency for me comes though using the calendar on my iPhone -- both my personal calendar and my GLAMSQUAD work one. I use them for everything - to set reminders, to schedule meetings, appointments and travel, and to manage my family's schedule. And I don’t like to have my email get backed up, so I try to get through emails as quickly as possible. You’re an entrepreneur, board director, advisor and angel Investor. The most obvious question is how do you manage to do it all? It isn't easy! Teamwork! How do you take care of yourself? I get spoiled by a lot of GLAMSQUAD appointments. And I exercise, not every day, but a few times a week. I love playing tennis! In a recent New York Times “Corner Office” interview, you mention the necessity of balancing risks with careful planning in business. Do you have a philosophy when it comes to personal and professional balance? I strive to achieve overall balance - but not balance each day. GLAMSQUAD is an app-based beauty provider delivering professional and affordable beauty services to the home, office, hotel, or wherever you may be. Their services are currently available in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The GLAMSQUAD app is available for free download. Prices range from $50 for hair services and $75 for makeup applications.