TREC Founder Alex Merrell is creating a travel brand that connects a new generation of creatives and entrepreneurs around the world.
Technology is finally catching up in the travel industry with TREC – an app founded by Canadian born DJ Alex Merrell that allows users to connect through shared travel calendars and socially curated city guides. Currently in public beta with a full release coming later this year, jetsetters around the world will soon be able to find sanctuary wherever they go.
The idea for TREC, short for The Remarkable Explorers Club, was sparked during a trip to Miami in 2013 where she was performing during Art Basel. After eight years as a full-time international DJ, the Vancouver native is no stranger to what she calls “the frustrations of the consistently mobile.” Flying over 100,000 miles per year to play events for top tier global brands in cities such as Hong Kong, Berlin, and Sydney, she had difficulty keeping track of her peers, many of whom were also creative entrepreneurs she had met on the road.
“I found myself scrolling through my Instagram feed trying to figure out which friends were in town and realized how ridiculous it was to be using a photo sharing app for that purpose. I couldn’t find the technology in the travel space that I needed, so I decided to build it.”
I caught up with Merrell the day before her trip to Austin for South by Southwest (SXSW) – where she was doubling down on her career both as a DJ and tech entrepreneur, networking for TREC by day and spinning at events by night, sharing the bill with The Strokes, Lil Wayne and Sia. In traveling to a multimedia festival like SXSW, where thousands of creative entrepreneurs flock and collaborate, she is able to embody the very lifestyle her brand promotes.
“The events I’m playing are usually filled with our target users. It was my life as a DJ that inspired TREC, and it is continuing to travel and be around creatives that keeps me in touch with our demographic.”
Merrell describes that an overwhelming majority of travelers cite family and friends as the most influential source of travel information, and with TREC she is providing a platform for them to share that content more easily. She aims to revolutionize the travel experience through personalization, allowing users to navigate cities with the suggestions of their social circle and see crossovers with friends during future travels. Whether one is headed to New York for Comic-Con or Fashion Week, they will be able to find convenient, relatable content from sources they value.
Merrell’s travels with TREC have been extremely rewarding thus far, as she has been simultaneously building her company and maintaining her career as a DJ. She is demonstrating a lifestyle that shines a light on the potential of creative entrepreneurs when they have better connection and better knowledge on the road. “A lack of environmental stability forces one to evolve their internal stability, which is wonderful” she concludes, “but we all crave connection face to face, and our technology needs to start reflecting that more strongly.”
Written by Jack Dilday