Hummingbird Beats: Alexandra Chong Jill Donenfeld

Half-Jamaican, half-Canadian Alexandra Chong is the Founder and CEO of Luluvise, the first social network dedicated to girl time, all the time.  She lived on the cheap to get her business prototype built and carries an inhaler because she’s moving so fast! Alexandra resides in London and thinks the best place on earth is where your best friends are.  That’s hummingbird heart if I ever heard it. This gal finds a kindred spirit in media rockstar Arianna Huffington and thinks baba ganoush is the bees knees.

What’s in your bag? When you pack for a trip, in your handbag, in the pockets of your jeans…?   

I never go anywhere without my iPhone, my Blackberry, some sort of lipstick or lipgloss in a plum shade, my glasses, my Canadian passport and my asthma inhaler.

You have 5 minutes to pack up – for a trip of which the duration you’re not sure. What do you take? 

Jeans, bikini, undies, a couple of t-shirts and tops, ballet flats and my credit card for any necessary purchases once I get there.

What is your most essential article of clothing? 

A bra.

What are the top 5 songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?

I’m half Jamaican, so reggae definitely – Bob Marley’s ‘Pimper’s Paradise’ and Tanya Stevens’ ‘It’s a Pity’.  Right now, I’m listening to Ed Sheeran’s ‘A Team’, Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ and that old classic Michael Jackson song, ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’.

What is your preferred hummingbird beat/cities you like to frequent? 

New York (where my business partner lives), Ocho Rios, Jamaica (my hometown), Madrid (so many friends there, the sunshine, the food, a great feeling of life, the shopping), and Miami (my on-the-way-to-Jamaica stop — always feels like a mini-homecoming).

What’s something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (Like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a certain, weird material you needed?) 

When I started Luluvise, before I had an in-house development team and was still working as a marketing executive, I hired an agency to build the prototype.  I gave them 80% of my salary each month and lived very frugally for the year.

What is one tip you have for traveling – a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip… ?

See the city or place through the eyes of a local.  Eat their food and get a feel for their culture.  Don’t necessarily go by the guidebook you brought with you.  Look to them for clues about what’s great about where they live.

What makes you a good house guest?

Well, besides bringing a lovely hostess gift and not staying too long, I think it’s important to be independent.  I never want my hosts to feel that they have to entertain me every second.  And of course, I always like to cook for my hosts, too – it’s a great way for me to check out local markets and try new things.

What’s a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe? 

In Munich a few weeks ago at the DLD Conference, I had sausages and bratwurst for the first time.  And I fell in love with Lebanese food when I was in Beirut.  Seriously, the most amazing food ever – I still dream of the baba ganoush.

Where have you had your best night’s sleep? 

At home, in my own bed.

Who would you like to travel with – three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)? 

Alison Schwartz, my business partner. Nanakarina Kwofie, my BFF since grade 10.  Arianna Huffington, who I just met at the DLD Conference. She’s awesome.  I’d love for the 4 of us to go the Greek islands so Arianna can show us around.  (Do you think she does the caravan thing!?)

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