Hello, friends and neighbors! You may have already seen the GeekWire article floating around, but we figured it was about time we properly introduced ourselves. We’re the team behind Fresh Chalk, a new site for sharing recommendations for professionals with your friends.
Like many of you, we’ve been managing busy households with multiple jobs, kids, pets, cross-country moves, and general chaos for decades. We know the only way to survive is to get help (HELP!), and the best recommendations come from friends and family in our communities -- the ones who know our taste, our budget tolerance, our values, and who personally stand by their recommendations.
The problem is, getting recommendations from friends in the normal course of life (via text, chance encounters, or planned social events) is no small task. We’ve all been through it. The mental overhead alone -- when you’re already overwhelmed with tasks and decisions -- is huge. The alternative -- blindly trusting reviews on the internet -- can be downright scary. I know from experience: the movers I hired last year based on Google reviews had me legitimately spooked.
There is something intrinsically better about having a personal connection with the professional to whom you’re entrusting your home, your health, your appearance, or your loved ones. When your toilet starts overflowing in the middle of the night, would you rather have a ready-made list of plumbers your friends like, or start texting people who might know someone? Us, too. So that’s exactly what Fresh Chalk does: it compiles a list of recommendations in categories (like wellness, pets, health, home, and real estate) from people you already trust. When you need them, they’re there.
While we’re just getting started, already the average user on Fresh Chalk has 119 recommendations in 60+ categories from eight friends. We’ve got listings for 550,000+ businesses across 200+ categories in 1700+ cities, and we’re adding new ones all the time.
The founding team at Fresh Chalk is made up of veteran entrepreneurs with plenty of successes and failures to go around. Adam Doppelt, Nathan Kriege, and Patrick O’Donnell (in various combinations) jointly founded Urbanspoon & Dwellable, and spent time at Mighty AI, Snapvine, Whitepages, Jobster, and others. I was CEO for 5 of my 11 years at LiquidPlanner, with stints at Google and Amazon before that, and most recently spent time at Streem. David and Yaprak DeCarmine, co-founders of Game Jolt, are our newest additions to the team. Today, you can find us (along with our office pup, Cash) in Pioneer Square and Austin.
The idea for the business came when Adam noticed that his friends were constantly asking him for recommendations for good professionals (all kinds of them!). He kept a list in a spreadsheet, but maintaining it was tedious, and sending out contact information piecemeal was inefficient. In a classic, “there has to be a better way!” moment, Fresh Chalk was born. Our mission is to make sharing valuable recommendations with friends easy, efficient, and fun. We’re super excited about the interest we’ve seen from people who have tried it so far. The ride ahead will be exciting. Please join us!