Whassapp? Deep in the COVID pandemic, while many a lockdowned citizen obsessed over sourcing sourdough starters, Alexis Swanson Traina channeled her stress into creating HiNote, a free phone messaging app that launched in February.

Back in 2020, Traina — an author (From Napa with Love), former vintner and influential creative — found herself glued to her phone, checking on friends and family via texts: “I’m embarrassed to admit the hours I spent reading and sending those blue and gray bubbles.”

Catherine is the Chief Social & Cultural Correspondent


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