Five young entrepreneurs share a few of their favorite things--and what’s on their holiday wish lists.
Ceo of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea
Zhena Muzyka was 25--a single mom with $6 in her savings account, no health insurance, and a sick child needing surgery--when she started Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, in 2000, selling tea from a cart. The granddaughter of a Ukrainian Gypsy, Muzyka grew up blending teas. Today, she makes and sells 30 blends, all of them organic and fair-trade certified. Muzyka plans to double her staff of 12 in the first half of 2008 and hopes her annual revenue--more than $2 million in 2007--follows suit. Muzyka has reason to be optimistic: Sales increased 50 percent this year, and her son, Sage, recently received his first clean bill of health.
Acai berry smoothies “These give me energy and antioxidants in the morning. I sweeten mine with Hemp Bliss milk and agave syrup.” $59 for 28, sambazon.com
Toyota (NYSE:TM) Prius “I love that it gives me an average of 45 miles per gallon. It’s my karmic payback to the world for the years I spent in an SUV.” $20,950, toyota.com
Canon (NYSE:CAJ) EOS 30D SLR “This digital camera takes amazing shots of our products. I take it with me to the tea fields. And to my son’s soccer games.” $1,500, canon.com
What She Covets A yurt. “I would set it up in the backyard and have my art supplies, Hula-Hoops, journals, tea blending materials, and aromatherapy concocting lab inside. It would be the place I could go to create without interruption.” $16,000, coloradoyurt.com
CEO of Four Hands
Some 25-year-olds travel the world to find themselves; Brett Hatton found inspiration for a business. While hitchhiking through Pakistan, Hatton happened across a warehouse full of beautiful antiques. Smitten, he bought several pieces and later opened an antique store in his native Essex, England, before moving to Texas to start Four Hands, in 1996. Now his company, which manufactures antique reproductions in China and India, employs 125 people and has $42 million in annual sales. Retailers such as Crate and Barrel and Neiman Marcus sell its furniture.
Tan cashmere sweater “It feels great, and it goes with everything. I travel a lot and pack light. This is the only sweater I need.” $178, bananarepublic.com
Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike “For me, biking is the perfect combination of exercise, relaxation, and release.” $3,700, specialized.com
1967 Austin Healey 3000 Mark 3 “This is my Sunday car. I drive it for sheer pleasure. I bought it on eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY). It only had 48,000 miles on it.” $89,950, ebay.com
What He Covets A trip around the world to buy favorite wines. “I’m building a new house with a wine cellar. My dream is to travel the world buying wines to stock it. I’d get white Burgundies like Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet. And reds like Marques de Riscal Gran Riserva. South Africa has some great wines, too, and is an awesome travel destination.” About $100,000 (including the wine)
Truman and Minhee Cho
Co-Founders of Paper+Cup Design
Brooklyn, New York
Truman and Minhee Cho, both 33, met in fourth grade. They started dating in their twenties and launched Paper+Cup Design--a stationery and graphic design company--in 2003 after Minhee left her job as a magazine designer. They married last year. Minhee now oversees a staff of five. Truman, a computer engineer who still works full time for EMI Records, spends several hours each evening at Paper+Cup’s offices overseeing the business side of things, including wrangling investors and new retail clients. The company’s note cards, journals, and gift tags can be found in about 250 stores nationwide.
Roof Boxer V helmet “This helmet changes from a full-face helmet to a three- quarter helmet. If I’m riding on the highway, I want full face. If it’s a beautiful summer day, I go for three-fourths.” $527, roof.fr
Custom George Lowden acoustic guitar “I play classical pieces to relax. I love the craftsmanship of this guitar. It’s made in Ireland and has a subdued sound.” $12,500, georgelowden.com
Jeffery-West boots “These are so versatile. I can wear them with jeans or a suit. I like how they have this British-dandy-slash-rocker look.” $460, jeffery-west.co.uk
Goyard Saint Louis bag “It’s the perfect everyday bag. All of my stuff fits in it, and it’s waterproof. I love that you can customize it.” $1,155, goyard.fr
Vans checkerboard slip-ons “I wear these almost every day, unless I have a meeting. I am all about comfort.” $40, vans.com
Vespa Gtv250 “Truman bought this for me on my 33rd birthday. On weekends, we take the Vespa everywhere. It’s easy to find a parking spot.” $6,799, vespausa.com
What He Covets Glashütte Original Sports Evo GMT watch. “I love watches. I really like how this one can keep track of two time zones. Plus, Glashütte Original makes all of its movements in-house. It’s serious craftsmanship.” $9,900, glashuette-original.com
What She Covets Hand-carved bed frame. “I want this in white. Tru thinks it’s too girly, but I love it. It’s modern but very ornate. It reminds me of Versailles.” $1,799, brocadehome.com
Founder and CEO of See Jane Work
Thousand Oaks, california
Holly Bohn, 34, went from helping start-ups design their accounting systems to bringing modern design to people’s desks. The idea for her current venture, See Jane Work, an online retailer of stylish office supplies, came to her while she was visiting clients of her first company, a consulting firm specializing in accounting. She noticed desks cluttered with personal knickknacks and thought there might be a market for folders, staplers, and pencils that reflected personal style. She was on to something: See Jane Work now employs 12, and sales doubled last year, to $2 million.
Bedat & Co. No. 3 watch “I wanted this for two years. I have a hard time recognizing my successes, so my husband made me buy it after See Jane Work made Oprah’s ‘O List’ for the second time.” $5,500, bedat.com
Tivoli Sirius satellite radio “I like to throw parties, but I never have time to put together playlists. This does all the work for me, and it’s interruption-free.” $300, tivoliaudio.com
Linen duvet and pillows “My bedroom is my sanctuary, and I wanted to create a sense of calm. So I got everything in white.” $496, potterybarn.com
What She Covets Design Within Reach Airstream trailer. “My husband and I go camping with our two boys. I have always wondered, Why are campers so ugly inside? My dream is to have a stylish one like this, decked out in modern décor.” $49,066, dwr.com