Whether you admit to watching the Kardashians or flipping through People magazine while in the grocery store line, we are all curious about how the rich and famous live. With so much disposable income, what types of services might they use? Personal assistants, chefs, drivers, security, event planners and stylists all seem to be must-haves to keep up this lifestyle.
I was curious who delivered these types of services to the “rich and famous of Charlotte,” so I started researching. I quickly found out that if you are not “rich and famous,” it is difficult to connect to these businesses. It’s not the sort of thing you Google. Even my wealthiest friends were at a loss: they were either not rich enough or just too frugal.
Finally, I hit pay dirt with the luxury hotels in Charlotte. The Ritz-Carlton and The Ballantyne Hotel cater to the wealthy. They referred me to businesses that offer extravagant services delivered in an extremely personalized and professional manner.
I learned that the client’s privacy is highly guarded. Anonymity is part of the package. Some places expressed concern that I wanted them to name names, while others wouldn’t even call me back. The business owners who agreed to an interview were willing to share details about their business, just not their client list.
The expensive price tags on these services make it impossible to use on a regular basis for people with a modest income, but a one-time splurge can make a special birthday, event or anniversary a memorable experience.
Here are six extravagant services offered by businesses in Charlotte:
(1) Personal chef
Having a personal chef come to your home to prepare your meals is a must-have if you have the dough. Chef Thomas Carrig is a personal culinary nutritionist and works with several athletes who play for the Carolina Panthers.
He said, “They have figured out that what they eat is very important to how they perform.”
Price tag: $500 for a dinner party for six guests (without wine)
(2) Private clothier
William Wilson offers custom-made clothing.
“I have an extremely limited edition, ultra exclusive line of suits called the Morehead Collection that start at $15,000,” he said. Wilson provides 100 percent custom-made suits, professional clothing, sports coats, skirts and pants for men and women.
Price tag: $150 for a comprehensive consultation
(3) Executive security
Joseph A. LaSorsa is a certified protection professional and an expert in the security field. A former secret service agent assigned to The White House, he is the principle at LaSorsa and Associates. They assess the safety of estates and corporate environments. They offer safe room consultation and provide armed drivers.
Price tag: $5,000 and above for a comprehensive security assessment
(4) Event planner
Angel Wilkes, owner of Children’s Party Plus, coordinates custom party planning for children of professional athletes, bankers and politicians. A themed party can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000.
Price tag: $95-$200 for party entertainment
(5) Overnight accommodations
The Ballantyne Hotel offers The Cottage at Ballantyne, a four-bedroom residence set off the first tee of the golf course. At the request of the guest, a helicopter tour, romantic picnic, musicians or private dinner with a chef may be planned.
Price tag: $2,000 per night for The Cottage at Ballantyne
(6) Professional driver
When Uber just won’t do, James Weymann’s company, SilverFox Limos, has a fleet of Sprinter Limos and blacked-out SUVs to provide ground transportation for Charlotte’s elite. Sprinter Limos, the more popular ride, offer Bluetooth, Apple TV, Direct TV and standing room.
“It is top notch service,” Weymann said. “Drivers are dressed in three-piece suits with vests. They look a little bit more like secret service. They have the black sunglasses. We make sure the cars are immaculate.”
Price tag: $1,100 for a six-hour night on the town in a Sprinter Limo
Photos: The Ballantyne Hotel, William Wilson Clothing, Children’s Party Plus