NBA Wife Spotlight: Illia Hayes
If anyone has ever had the notion that NBA wives don’t work, well they’ve obviously never met Illia Hayes! Wife of NBA small forward Jarvis Hayes, Illia is busy “building her family’s empire” with three businesses! Find out how this successful entrepreneur juggles work, motherhood, and being married to a professional athlete who happens to be a twin! To Illia, it’s just another day in the life of a woman who plans to leave her own legacy…I see a Forbes list in her future. Brains and beauty, she’s definitely one of the baddest…or should I say, the Illest.
MirraMirror: Illia, where’s your hometown?
Illia Hayes: I am originally from Charlotte, North Carolina.
MM: What’s your educational background?
IH: I went to the University of Georgia for undergrad, and I also have a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
MM: Tell us about your business, Luxe Concierge.
IH: Luxe Concierge is my baby! I went into corporate America originally when I graduated from college but, I started Luxe Concierge because I wanted something for myself. I really strongly believe in working for myself. Luxe Concierge is a full fledged concierge service where I deal with high net worth individuals…I have a lot of athletes, entertainers, and corporate execs. I do relatively anything near and dear to their hearts just to make their lives easier. One of the reasons that I decided to start the company was because at the time, (the beginning stages of starting my business) I was engaged to Jarivs and he just had a lot that he needed! A lot goes on with their careers and when they have downtime, they are focusing on regrouping for practices or games. I was acting as a personal assistant! So, I really capitalized on that need and realized that there were a lot of people just like him that needed help!
MM: How did you and Jarvis meet?
IH: We actually met in college. He and I went to the University of Georgia together. I had a full track and field scholarship and he had a full basketball scholarship. So, we were both collegiate athletes. We didn’t start out immediately dating in college. We both were in other relationships. So I got to see how he was in other relationships, and he was always the perfect gentleman. He and I were very, very close in terms of friendship. Then one day, I don’t know how it happened…we just took things to the next level. It was like a little fairytale.
MM: How long have you been married?
IH: We’ve been married since 2008, it will be 3 years this July 26th!
IH: We have two kids. Jarvis II, he turned two in March. And we have Miles, and he’ll be one on June 4th. They’re big…. and busy!
MM: So, what’s a typical day like for you?
IH: A typical day for me is I wake up, fix my children breakfast, make sure their clothes are ironed, and they are dressed. Then I start my day working on my businesses. I may go out and meet some friends or clients for lunch….depending on who wants to meet me for lunch! (laughs) I make sure that on each day, I take time for myself…whether I go to Target and walk around and relax, or go to the spa, or go get my hair and nails done, or workout…I make sure that I dedicate at least an hour for myself. If I’m not working in my home, I’ll come home, and cook dinner for my children, put them to bed, and get up and do it all over again.
MM: What is Jarvis like as a husband and father?
IH: I can honestly say this from the heart, I have the best husband! Jarvis is a true romantic! Both of our parents are still married and I think he has the perfect role model, which is his father. His father and mother still date. They are still in love. He treats her (my mother-in-law) like a queen! And my husband took on those same traits and characteristics. Jarvis is very romantic. He puts my needs first all the time. He’s always supportive of everything I want to do. And, I’m very busy! One misconception people have about wives of professional athletes is that we sit around and do nothing all day…Well, I’m very busy and it takes time away from the family. But, Jarvis is good about pulling me back and making sure we take time for each other. He has the utmost respect for me. He’s very loving, very caring, very humble, genuine, and kindhearted….I think he’s the best!
MM: Describe the experience of being married to a twin.
IH: I think it’s great! They have the cutest relationship. They talk on the phone ten times a day. He knows when something is wrong with his brother and vice versa. It’s a beautiful relationship and it doesn’t bother me at all. We’re one big happy family.
MM: How do you deal with “groupies?”
IH: Having to deal with them was big in the beginning of our relationship because we were much younger. Jarvis and I would go out to night clubs together…and these ladies were very bold. I’ve calmed down a lot since I have children now, but my temper was short back in the day. What helped was that Jarvis was always very respectful and he would nip it in the bud if somebody was trying to be disrespectful. He wouldn’t entertain it and he always made sure I felt secure. I’m not going to lie, it does anger and upset you that women would lower their standards and do certain things just to be around a high profile athlete. But, now it doesn’t really play a role in my life anymore. I’m much older, I’m very mature now, and I just kind of laugh at it. As a woman now, my way of dealing with it, is not dealing with it. When I’m out with my husband, he and I are completely into each other…we don’t see anyone else.
MM: Are you and Jarvis involved in any charities or foundations?
IH: We are! Actually, Jarvis has a non-profit organization called The Jarvis Hayes Foundation. He started it back in 2007 and one of the main things that we focus on is at-risk youth. We’re very actively involved in that. That’s Jarvis’ baby and I support him in any way that I can. I’m actually the executive director of his foundation. We do various fundraisers and activities in the community. Jarvis is very big on giving back!
MM: What are you passionate about?
IH: I’m passionate about helping others achieve their dreams…showing people a different way of life, not necessarily just in terms of finances. I’m passionate about people in any aspect that I can help them.
MM: Tell me about any projects that you have in the works.
IH: I have a couple of things in the works. I’m working on putting together a back-to-school event for The Jarvis Hayes Foundation. My husband also has a management company and I help him out with that. But, my new baby is my involvement in a company that is a home based business where I basically teach people how to make money from the comfort of their own home. I think that’s powerful because it’s shown me a different way to make money…the power of residual income. That’s one way that I’m able to give back to the community and open up our minds. Showing people a different way to work…that you don’t have to show up to work to get paid! Being able to be in business for yourself…the sky’s the limit for you. Just being able to show people a way of free enterprise is what I’ve been focusing on the last few months.
…When people fail to plan, they plan to fail. It’s important to me to make sure that when my husband’s career is over, we have a smooth transition…that nothing has to change. A lot of guys (athletes) don’t know what that next career move is. It’s important to me that while my husband is doing his part on the basketball court, I’m helping to build our family’s empire. I’ve always worked. I’ve always been on to the next hustle. If I have $2, I can turn it into $20. If I have $20, I can turn it into $200. The sky’s the limit for me. I’m excited as to where I’m going to be in ten to fifteen years down the road and our children get old enough to understand. I want them to look back and say, “wow, Daddy did this, but this is what Mommy did, and Mommy raised us, and she was an awesome mother, but Mommy also helped to build this empire!”
Favorite clothing designer: I have a thing for Herve’ Leger dresses!
Favorite shoe designer: I can’t get away from the red bottoms! (Christian Louboutin) And, I also love Jimmy Choo.
Favorite handbag: Louis (Vuitton) and Gucci are classic, but I like Balenciaga as well. And what girl doesn’t like Chanel?
What’s the last thing you splurged on? Truthfully…a minivan! (Laughs) My husband laughed at me, but he was tired of french fries and chicken nuggets in our cars! I love my van!
Favorite vacation spot: It’s actually where we went on our honeymoon. It’s a resort in Anguilla called the Malliouhana and it is our absolute favorite place to vacation. It is so secluded…very remote, very low key. We stay in a villa and just open up the doors and the windows and just listen to the ocean.
What’s Jarvis’ favorite meal that you prepare? Jarvis really likes any pastas that I prepare…fettucine, seafood alfredo, spaghetti.
Favorite NBA city: Hands down, Washington, D.C.
MM: Do you have any closing remarks?
IH: One thing I’d like to say is that sometimes people don’t think that wives of professional athletes are able to step outside of their husband’s shadow. People think that we sit around and get dressed up in high dollar outfits to go to the games, go to dinner, and the spa, and take vacations. I just want to tell people there is more to us than that. There are different programs on tv, and different blogs out here that put people in a negative shadow. But all of the NBA wives I know are doing something positve, whether it’s raising their children and supporting their husbands, or building their empires. Most of us are very educated. Most of us conduct ourselves as ladies, and most of us didn’t meet our husbands in a night club. We have our own lives and we bring as much to the table as they do, it’s just in a different way.