"I don't have that one place that I think is mine, but also, as an upside, I really think of the whole world as my oyster," says Alexandra Dorda. "And to me I could live almost anywhere. You could plop me down in most places and I'll feel comfortable."
On the Being Home With Hunker podcast we have Alexandra Dorda, founder of Kasama, a small batch rum from the Philippines.
In this conversation, Alexandra shares how — as a person raised in three different cultures on three different continents — "being home" is a fluid concept. For her, it's not a place, it's feeling at home with yourself.
She talks about how she travels often because of her work, but as she said, she can't stay still. She needs to move to feel comfortable and happy. And while she doesn't have that one place she feels she can call her own, she does feel as though she could live almost anywhere in the world. (She's been to around 70 countries!)
Entrepreneurship is in her blood — both her parents are entrepreneurs and have always been interested in charting their own path. This spirit was transferred to her — she's always wanted to have her own business. And so, Kasama rum was born.
Kasama means "together" or "companion" in Filipino. Alexandra wanted to build a brand around (and pay homage to) the Philippines, so she could celebrate what's special about this place, her mother's country. She also talks about Poland, her father's country (he is the co-founder of polish vodkas Chopin and Belvedere), and how Poland is part of her rum as well.
And we talk about her family in Poland and the impact of the war in neighboring Ukraine. (She was in Poland when the war broke out.) She shares how this has changed her relationship to both her home and her physical belongings — and how this sobering situation makes you reevaluate what matters in your life.
In this episode we also talk about:
- How she has been immersed in the family business from an early age and grew up going to the family distillery in eastern Poland.
- She talks about moving to Poland from California when she was 12 and spending her middle school and high school years growing up in that country.
- The importance of travel in her family and her international upbringing.
- How she and her mom spend time every year in Manilla – it's her happy place.
- The different ways she's witnessed how people set up their homes after growing up on three continents – and the elements she tries to bring into her home space now.
- How she believes that spaces have energies and feelings – she's a person who is sensitive to her environment.
- She and her mom started the Kasama Community Foundation to channel charitable elements into an orphanage in the Philippines. (And she talks about why this place has a personal meaning to her family.) For 20 years, she and her mother have sponsored the education of orphan or disadvantage children.
- She talks about how businesses can help other people, and how it's important to give back.
- She talks about the Philippines – the history, the friendly people, the beautiful beaches.
- She shares how friends often go to her for cocktail recommendations … and she always has a recipe at the ready.
And she talks about the daily rituals and routines she's been incorporating recently.
Learn More About Alexandra Dorda
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Being Home With Hunker is a new podcast where we explore the idea of "home" — not just as a place where you live, but as an expression of your identity. Each week we talk with designers, creatives, and artists about who they are, how they create meaningful spaces, and what "being home" means to them.
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