A one-time principal at Bain Capital Ventures and a self-professed data geek, Michelle Lam hated shopping for bras. So she founded the online lingerie business True&Co., which lets consumers fill out a short "fit quiz" and then receive custom-fitted underthings. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, to learn what she most treasures in her daily life. Lam, whose company has raised $23 million in funding, favors items that echo True&Co.'s ethos: all thoughtfully designed, with the consumer in mind.

What I require

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Two Moleskine notebooks, one small, to catalog observations about her company every few days, and one large, to review overarching goals every six to eight weeks. "It's not for notes or to-do," Lam says. "It's so I can continue thinking about the business in a strategic, consistent way over time, and evolve. With digital media, you never see the whole picture."

What inspires

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A laser-cut skirt from the Japanese label Kolor. "It's the craziest thing you've ever seen, but it kind of teaches you form-function design," Lam says. Though she doesn't design True&Co.'s lingerie, Lam keeps close tabs on the latest fashions. "It's like, 'Damn. This skirt is a work of art. An artisan-craftsman constructed this thing to be different.'"

What I most desire

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A home by Commune Design, a Los Angeles-based firm that worked on the Ace Hotels in downtown L.A. and Palm Springs. "They have this kind of mythical, fresh West Coast vibe," Lam says. Her design aesthetic favors modern lines and open spaces. This rustic mansion in L.A.'s Nichols Canyon is her dream home. "The wood slats in the garden," she sighs. "Wow."