Alexandra Chong is the Founder & CEO of Lulu, the highly-acclaimed yet provocative female app that allows users to rate men. Disrupting the way in which women are able to connect and openly communicate their thoughts on dating via social networking, Lulu is often described as the private network for girls where they can “share their experiences and make smarter decisions.” A law graduate from London School of Economics, Alexandra went from being a former tennis Olympian to now high-profile entrepreneur — with the Lulu app now being used by 1 in 4 US college girls.
I recently sat down with Alexandra to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey and strategy in building the wildly successful Lulu. Her story as well as advice to others looking to put a business idea into action is inspiring and insightful.
Tiffany Pham: What inspired your moves from law to marketing to founding the women-only social app Lulu?
Alexandra Chong: I graduated with a law degree from the London School of Economics, and I went to work in the legal department of a music licensing start-up. When the head of marketing left, I started filling in for her in addition to my day job. I loved it – the pace, the scrappiness, getting to build a business from the ground up. I quickly realized I wanted to start my own business.
I was hunting for my own idea when I went to brunch with a group of girls the day after Valentine’s Day. It was a table of just women sharing stories about guys, relationships, sex, beauty recommendations, health, and careers. It was an incredibly candid conversation, and the tone would have changed by adding even one guy to the mix. I concluded from that brunch that women needed their own network for sharing with other women – and that nothing like that existed.
I called my close friend Alison Schwartz after that brunch, and we started discussing early ideas that would eventually become Lulu.