Check out the essential items for a spirits specialist.
From left: Traditional Lead-Free-Crystal Glencairn Glass, Brown Bombay Tie Journal, Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66.
Moiz Ali and Steven Abt discovered a mutual appreciation for craft spirits while attending Harvard Law School. In 2012, two years after graduation, they quit their law-firm jobs to found Caskers, a members-only website that sells artisanal booze (think Tap 357 whiskey and Oaxaca mescals). Since launching last June, the New York City business has made more than $500,000 in sales and signed up 23,000 members in 44 states. Here are three of Ali's go-to items for surviving start-up mode. --as told to Judith Ohikuare
Brown Bombay Tie Journal It may seem old school, but I use this leather-bound notebook from Barnes & Noble, which a friend gave to me for my birthday, to create to-do lists and take notes during meetings. Typing on an iPhone or laptop during a meeting can come across as rude. Besides, I can jot down notes more quickly than I can type. When we first started out, I used plain spiral notebooks to take notes, but this journal looks more polished. Cost: $16.95
Asics Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 Being an entrepreneur can make you unhealthy. You tend to work late and eat whatever you can get. Wearing comfortable sneakers every day helps keep me active, whether I'm working out at the gym in the morning or taking the 30-minute walk home from our office at night. They're nice enough for the office, and the yellow stripe adds a bold element of color, which suits my personality. Cost: $80
Traditional Lead-Free-Crystal Glencairn Glass My co-founder and I spend more than an hour each week tasting spirits to showcase on our site. This glass from Scotland is a go-to in the industry. When sniffing whiskey, it's best to keep your mouth open and smell gently, instead of taking a huge whiff. The elegant tulip shape of the glass makes it easy to sniff and swirl the whiskey without spilling. We like the glasses so much, we recently had a few dozen engraved with the Caskers logo to give away at an event. Cost: $8
Tip: No one relies on business cards to share information anymore, but a nice card can be a good conversation point. When I was a lawyer, my card was incredibly boring and plain. Now, my card has our company logo on an eye-catching red background on one side, and my name and contact information in a nice font on the other. It's simple, but it makes a great impression.
IMAGE: From left: Kelly Kollar, Courtesy Company (2)