Ike Iregbulem (above) is the founder and president of "The Opulent Lifestyle," concierge company. He has the distinction of being the only black male to head a luxury concierge company in this country. Iregulem generates millions per year with a client list that reads like a "who's who" manifest: Terrence Howard, Vince Young (NFL) Hill Harper, ESPN, Pepsi, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, just to name a few.
Numerous celebrities hire concierges to obtain the "unattainable," example: Front row tickets with backstage passes, sky box accommodations, private jet charters, private island rentals, submarine rides, access to movie premieres with stars, your name added to celebrity guest list parties. One man even rented a island to entertain a number of pin-ups.
These services are usually "invitation only" and you have to generate a six or seven figure annual income to be considered as a potential client.
Iregbulem's company mainly deals with a celebrity clientele. Other concierge companies cater to rich CEO's, millionaires and billionaires.
Madonna's concierge gained notoriety when they delivered her favorite soup on time while she was on location overseas.
These companies are well connected and can do the impossible for an annual fee.
We recently had the opportunity to interview Mr. Iregbulem.
How did you get into the concierge business?
I Started in the concierge business first as a event organizer and club
promoter. I was handling a lot of logistics for clients and starting a
concierge company was only logical. I was already doing it, just not getting
paid for it. Everyone knew that i had the connections to make things happen so
i was getting asked to line things up for clients consistently.
What is your typical day like?
In this business there are no typical days. Everyday is different because
client requests vary. If I'm working with a company, I may be helping them
arrange services for their staff or for their clients. If it's an individual, I
may be calling or lining up dinner reservations and then nightclub table
service. It all depends on what the clients are asking for at that time.
What are your functions as a concierge?
As a private concierge or lifestyle manager, my core functionality is
handling clients legal requests. That is first. However, you also have to be a problem
Please indicate your areas of expertise, sports tickets, concert tickets,
backstage passes, theater tickets, industry functions?
At Opulent Lifestyle Concierge, we focus on high end luxury services and
products. Because of our strong relationships with service providers we can
attain tickets, private jet charter, nightclub access, hotel reservations, etc.
Our job is to attain the unattainable. We thrive on being able to satisfy a
clients needs. There is not a main umbrella of services we are not strong in.
If you can think it up, we will try and make it happen. But, of course none
has an 100% request completion rate.
What is your most memorable experience regarding your job?
Actually, it was when I was going to Las Vegas for All Star weekend. There
was a terrible snow storm that day and flights out of JFK were being cancelled left
and right. A client called me and I was able to get him on a last minute
private jet out of Teterboro right before they closed the airport. I love stuff
VIP clients? (if it's not confidential)
We have worked with clients such as:
Athletes: Pro-Bowler Larry Johnson, Giants Kareem Mckenzie, Vince Young, Matt
Leinart, #1 Draft Pick Mario Williams, Lamond Murray, 49er Mike Adams, Jerome
Bettis, Bears Anthony Adams, NBA Mike James.
Artists: Reggaeton Superstar Don Omar, Fredro Star, Bookim Woodbine, Terrence
Howard, Foxy Brown, Actor Hill Harper, Camron.
Companies: ESPN, Pepsi, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs.
I'm a die hard poker fan. Love the game. Play basketball. Love to travel.
Who are your favorite entertainers?
Musically I would have to say Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Evanescence.
Actors-Al Pacino, Robert Deniro, Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, Will Smith.
Favorite travel destination?
I love London. Its the only place I know of with a nightlife that can compare with
New York. After that i would have to say Las Vegas.
Seafood, Shrimp, Salmon, Lobster.
Ultimate goals in regards to business?
Ultimately I want to take the Opulent Lifestyle brand, global. I want to make
our service accessible to clients around the world. It would be one of the few
minority owned global luxury entities.
"BLACK SPORTS CONCIERGE"
Scott Graham, 29, above, heads "Extreme Personal Assistant Concierge Service (XPACS)."
He told "Black Enterprise Magazine," in their latest edition: "While I was a student and basketball player at California State University, Fresno in 1999. Through my coach Jerry "Tark," Tarkanian, I met professional athletes and noticed that they often had no time for personal errands. My solution: "Concierge services could alleviate unnecessary stress from their lives."
Graham started doing odd jobs, such as making restaurant reservations and handling travel arrangements, charging anywhere from $10 to $100 dollars in commission.
To find clients, Graham met athletes and agents at sporting events such as the Super Bowl and the NBA All-Star Game.
Graham also started serving the entertainment industry. "A lot of entertainers would be at those events too," he says.
His company is based in Newport Beach and has contracts ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 and by 2006, the 10-person firm had made just under $1 million in revenues. That's when Graham decided to expand his client base again.
Today, XPACS offers Fortune 1000 companies concierge services for their employees.
"Contracts can range anywhere from $500 a month to a million-plus annually," Graham says.
The company expects to make $2.3 million in 2007.
Clients include or have included: Baron Davis (NBA), Verdine White (EWF), Bryan Berad (NHL) and Deron Williams (NBA).
Source: Tamara E. Holmes @ Black Enterprise