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“People are spending money like it’s going out of style,” says Jaclyn Sienna India, founder of Sienna Charles, a boutique travel company that she has transformed into a lifestyle concierge firm. Its new membership model runs its clients — billionaires, studio heads and celebrities — $150,000 a year.
For the one percent, according to India, the pandemic prompted a pivot toward more extravagant purchases. During the height of COVID-19 travel lockdowns and bans, India got her clients into hard-to-enter places (think Azerbaijan), tricky tasks that epitomize the “fixer” nature of her evolved business. “We’ve done whatever people need,” says India. “We get a request, it’s my vision, and the team [of eight] goes and executes it.” It might be a celebrity for a child’s birthday — she’s working on getting Post Malone to perform a private concert for a kid — or a sold-out Richard Mille watch or Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, now going for $60,000 over list price.
India’s new business focus is becoming “more of a collaborative service,” she says, as in finding people to build members’ yachts, decorate their planes, design and staff their home gym or wellness room, or build out theirwine cellars. There was such a shortage of private chefs during the pandemic that a major request became recruiting from top restaurants.
Snagging dinner reservations at hotspots is another common ask. “We were talking to the maître d’ at Carbone in Miami, and people are spending literally $10,000 to $50,000 on wine. It’s out of control,” says India, who has planned trips for former presidents and counts Mariah Carey as a client.
She’s also noticed that clients have become more likely to buy homes in vacation spots like Aspen and St. Barts than rent them. And, given low inventory of phenomenal vacation homes, the company has helped identify and procure them in the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Telluride, Aspen and internationally for clients, along with art and second passports. “Everyone’s, like, freaking about Armageddon and how they’re going to get out of here again,” says India. “We’ve become so much more valuable to people because the world shifted so dramatically so quickly.”
Not just anyone can pony up $150,000. Prospective members, limited to 100, must be worth $100 million or more and meet personally with India. “I can’t have anybody disrespectful to the team,” she says. “Everybody has to be a nice person.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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Taraji P. Henson