Business Founder Talks With NBC Miami

'Miami is hub for Latin Americans': Gilt founder Wilkis Wilson never sleeps. The members only, discount luxury retail site's three warehouses (located in Brooklyn, Las Vegas, and Kentucky) are busy 24/7 packaging and shipping orders from all over the United States.  After all, an average of two thousand orders are placed every hour.

" really is a viral business," Gilt's founder and chief merchandising officer, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson told NBC Miami.

So viral, that word of mouth got Gilt five million members so far, most of whom log on every day at noon when the sales of approximately 20 brands go live.

Wilkis Wilson was recently in Miami to announce that Gilt is now shipping to 90 countries.

"We are shipping to Latin America and Miami is certainly the hub in this country for Latin Americans," she said.
In November, also celebrated its four-year anniversary. The website sells luxury goods from women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, handbags, furniture, to hotel packages from around the world on its sister site for up to 60 percent off.  You can shop designer brands like Missoni, Marc Jacobs, Christian Louboutin, Oscar De La Renta, and Hugo Boss.

One of the bestsellers on were three Volkswagon Jettas that sold in just minutes for $6,000 each. Wilkis Wilson adds the most expensive item sold went for $205,000 for a villa rental in the Bahamas on Jetsetter.
Gilt is a play on words standing for guilty and also referring to the luxuries of the gilded age. It was founded four years ago by this 35-year-old Harvard alum and her friend, Alexis Maybank.

"The concept of was very much the bringing the excitement of a sample sale to an online format," Wilkis Wilson says.

Wilkis Wilson worked for Louis Vuitton and Bulgari and uses her connections in the fashion world and her MBA from Harvard to make it all work.
"In our early days, it was literally going to people I was friends with and had relationships with the fashion industry and explaining our vision for and asking them to trust us with their most prized possessions," she said.
What once started out as an eight member team now boasts nearly 1,000 employees and three warehouses filled with inventory. And anyone interested in feeling guilty after a major but discounted shopping spree can join for free.

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