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Take all the feelings onboard and just keep going

Luxury Student exclusive community for students who seek finer things in life

Please introduce yourself and your startup to our readers

My name is Aileen Gilani and I am the CEO and founder of The Luxury Student. The Luxury Student, also known as TLS to our members, is an exclusive community for students who seek finer things in life. It’s a unique network for those who want to feel like their future CEO self, now. We offer masterclasses that focus on insights into the luxury industry, how to start and build a luxury brand and career coaching. Other membership perks include VIP stylist consultations, personal assistance, exclusive event invitations, discounts, offers, taster days luxury spas and other lifestyle experiences. 

How did you get the idea for The Luxury Student?

Whilst studying at Oxford Brookes, I came to the realisation that many luxury brands assume that students live on a budget. However during University, I saw many students, who would purchase the latest It Bag or travel around the world. That’s why I wanted to change this cliché and encourage students to experience the most luxurious perks and network with those who share the same expensive taste. 

How difficult was the start and what challenges did you have to overcome?

As every start-up business, you face obstacles. My personal entrepreneurial journey was difficult, as I had just come out of university and I was trying to prove to people that my business idea had potential. It is much harder to introduce a business concept that hasn’t been thought of before. Critics called me dumb, materialistic and vain, just for wanting to create a platform where young career-minded people can network with each other, whilst enjoying a luxurious life with the perks of The Luxury Student. Essentially, this experience did not stop me from fulfilling my vision. I recently released my book ‘From Student To Entrepreneur,’ where I share tips and tricks for anyone hoping to build a business.  

Who is your target audience?

The Luxury Student is for both undergrad and postgraduate students who enjoy a luxury lifestyle and want to network within the luxury industry. 

What is your USP of your startup?

The Luxury Student’s USP is that it is a completely unique and brand-new business concept. We partner up with luxury brands and services that wish to introduce themselves, products, services and venues to our Members. Our Members are their future clients! Nobody has ever heard of an exclusive community and private members club only dedicated to students. It is a perfect opportunity for those who wish to start a career within the luxury industry and encourages students to appreciate the lifestyle.

Can you describe a typical workday?

My typical workday at The Luxury Student is pretty busy. I usually will be hosting a meet and greet event for members at an exclusive location such as the Westbury Mayfair and making sure everything is lined up for our evening of networking, usually hosted at a bar like Mahiki. I’ll also be running around London meeting with several luxury brands negotiating collaborate on future projects. For example, we host premium pampering events with beauty brands, where members can trial and experience luxurious products. We host luxury dinners, lunches, Masterclasses, networking and social events.

Where do you see yourself and your startup in five years?

In five years, I see The Luxury Student becoming the most exclusive and successful network for young business-minded people who enjoy the finer things in life. In the near future, we’re also considering expanding our membership tiers to include bloggers and influencers. Essentially, I would like to build a version of LinkedIn – where students can network with luxury brands and start a career in the luxury industry. There are many projects coming up and so many goals I want to achieve, therefore it’s hard for me to tell you which one comes first. But keep an eye on our TLS platform! 

What 3 tips would you give other startup founders?

When starting a startup or business, there will be the feeling of stress, doubts and crippling anxiety, but you will overcome this. The tip is to take all the feelings onboard and just keep going. There will be obstacles and not everything will go according to plan, but that is part of everyday business

Research, research and more research. Without market research you won’t succeed. I conducted market research with both students and bloggers to see both perspectives. Their feedback and reaction were crucial to the growth of my business. 

Forever think like an entrepreneur and brainstorm all the different ways to expand your brand. Your brand will never just be one thing; brands need to develop to survive. In my book ‘From Student to Entrepreneur,’ I cover all basis of how to build a brand or business. This self-help book is a step by step guide for young entrepreneurs, who face obstacles and doubts that I hope will help them transform their idea into a successful business. 

More information you will find here

Thank you Aileen Gilani for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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