Meet the BFFs Behind HandsDown

The whole thing started with a group text, as most great ideas do.

Seven friends who met in college, then scattered across the country, started sharing their favorite things in a group chat. Mike (New Jersey), Anne (New Hampshire), Sam (San Francisco), Esther (North Carolina), Becca (Dallas), Sonia (New York City) and Jenna (Vermont) quickly realized that sharing your faves with your friends is:


A really fun way to stay connected and up-to-date with each other.

A really fun way to discover awesome stuff from people you trust.


Soon the group text moved to a spreadsheet, as most great information sources do.


Each of the friends got a tab and a task: share your ten favorite things, with only one rule—it had to be link-able on the Internet. And the group text that became a shared spreadsheet began to grow. And grow. Each year, more people were invited to join. Cousins, siblings, work friends—it seemed that everyone who heard about the spreadsheet wanted in on it. The spreadsheet got so big, with so many tabs, a person would have to scroll and scroll to see all of the recommendations. 


And then the group text that moved to a spreadsheet gave way to a bigger idea, as most amazing spreadsheets do. 


Two from the OG group chat—Sonia, a product visionary, and Jenna, a creative and operational inventor—decided to take the happy magic of this shared activity and offer it to more people in a scalable way with an app that’s easy and fun to use and share with your own friends. 


HandsDown is the brainchild and lovechild of these BFFs, created to foster fun and connection with old friends and new. And maybe help end your lifelong search for the ideal shampoo along the way.


On behalf of Sonia and Jenna, and ​​Mike, Anne, Sam, Esther and Becca too—welcome! We have one question for you: What are YOUR favorite things? 

Start your list and invite your friends!