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The road to NOEW: Alexis Korman and Austin Sherman’s backpack report

From March 20 – 27, New Orleans’ annual business festival, New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, returns. The week of programming, centered upon innovation and entrepreneurship, will culminate in crowd driven pitch contest The Big Idea. In partnership with The Idea Village and their blog, #IDEAinsider, NolaVie presents “The Road to NOEW,” a month-long series highlighting some of the entrepreneurs who will be showcased this year.


Big Easy ‘Bucha co-foudners Alexis Korman and Austin Sherman spill the contents of their backpack.


Though unilaterally innovative and driven, members of New Orleans’ entrepreneurial community are an eclectic bunch in their backgrounds, the premises of their ventures, their appearances. One unifying aesthetic among the city’s varied composition of entrepreneurs is the eponymous ’trep backpack.

With New Orleans-based entrepreneurs serving as celebrities in their own right during NOEW, we want to know: What exactly goes inside of their overstuffed backpacks?

NolaVie has asked some of the entrepreneurs participating in NOEW to reveal the contents of their backpacks and tell us a little bit about why these items are staples in their bags.

Today, Alexis Korman and Austin Sherman, a couple who met in New Orleans and the co-foudners of Big Easy ‘Bucha — a NOLA-based purveyor of small-batch, artisinal, organic kombucha, fermented, probiotic-containing tea — share ten staples they keep in their backpack.

1. iPad – It’s lightweight and perfect for looking things up on the go because it has a personal hotspot with unlimited data (or for one of us to work in the car while the other is driving), or to play music as we bottle.

2. Fresh fruit – Whatever is in season or looks good at the market. We’re big believers in eating as naturally and healthfully as possible. Right now we’re huge on citrus, plus oranges are a very aromatic snack.

3. The latest New Yorker It’s chock full of beautiful writing, even about relatively mundane subjects like TV shows or art openings in Manhattan. It’s also a bit nostalgic (Alexis moved to New Orleans from Manhattan three years ago).

4. Business cards – We always keep extras on hand. You never know who you’re going to meet on the road.

5. Something inspirational – You’ve got to nourish your mind, body and soul, so we keep an uplifting book on hand. This month we’re reading Practicing the Presence of Jesus by Wally Armstrong. There’s one page devoted to every calendar day, but we just flip randomly to a page and feel informed by the message.

6. A cute button – These are from Tales of the Cocktail last year. They’re super cute and show our New Orleans pride!

7. A spiral notebook and colorful pens – This makes the task of writing down a to-do list much easier, also useful for taking a doodling break.

8. A vintage handkerchief – It sure is prettier than a box of Kleenex.

9. A voodoo doll – This one has been a kind of a lucky charm for us. It’s also the inspiration for our newest flavor, Voodoo Brew, so we don’t dare take it out of the bag.

10. Kombucha – We never go a single day without drinking some of our own product.


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