OTFPWA Woman of the Month: LaToyia Mays Keeping Life Simple

LaToyia Mays keeps life simple, even with a husband in the NFL.  Mays and her husband Joe, linebacker for the Denver Broncos, came from having very little in their hometown of Chicago.  Mr. and Mrs. Mays did not grow up in the best part of Chi-town and did not have the finest things. When Joe was blessed with the talent and opportunity to play in the NFL, this strong, Christian woman made sure to keep the Mays’  life simple.  She prides herself on her family enjoying moments together and spending time at home together.

The MAYS Family

Although life is simple in the May’s Denver home, LaToyia keeps her and her kid’s fashion fierce. In June of last year, LaToyia decided to turn her passion for styling clothes for her children in the coolest, trendiest digs into a business called D’Xign. She took this idea to start a kids clothing boutique online, www.StarletsandStripesBoutique.com. Here, Mays incorporates her own custom-made designer pieces and carries other colorful name brand pieces. With the strong foundation she has planted, people have already begun to see growth from her business. LaToyia has now begun branching out, only one year after launch, into adult fashions and is starting to work with other NFL players besides her husband, Joe. She is building her clientele under one clause…she will style players who are willing to take fashion risks.

Mrs. Mays is the worthy recipient of this honor because despite living a life in the NFL limelight, she is grateful for how far her family has come and the position she has been blessed with. LaToyia may keep her family life simple, but this motivated woman is determined to build her business by keeping those around her looking fresh with fashions by D’Xign.

Her authentic, bubbly, and humble personality, on top of her many talents, is exactly why Off the Field Players’ Wives Association (OTFPWA) and Pro Player Insiders nominated Mrs. Mays as June’s NFL Woman of the Month.

Denver Bronco, Joe & LaToyia Mays

Pro Player Insiders was able to catch up with this OTFPWA’s NFL Woman of the Month, LaToyia Mays from Bronco Nation.

Pro Player Insiders: Where are you from? What was your upbringing like?

Latoyia Mays: Joe and myself were born and raised in Chicago, in the rough part of town. It was a tough upbringing but Joe and I made it. We made it out of there.

PPI:  So your family members are Chicago Bears fans?

LaToyia is Rooting on her Cousin, Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade for the NBA Playoffs

LM:  Yeah!! Most of my family are Bears fans, even my cousin.  We go back and forth. My cousin is Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat guard, currently in the NBA Playoffs). He is a HUGE  Bears fan.  So when we got Peyton Manning, I was like… BOOM in your face. He is really, really mad, because I think we could really win in the playoffs because we have Manning. But yeah, my family loves the Bears. We kind of have to keep them in check when we are playing the Bears, they have to root for the Broncos.

PPI:  Lets talk Peyton Manning. With Tebow gone what has Denver been like with Manning there at OTAs?

LM:  The offseason is really just starting, but I am sure training camp will be a zoo. We will get to find out exactly what he is made of. But I haven’t seen a change really yet.

PPI:  Where did you attend college? How has college impacted you today?

LM: I went to Chicago State University. I don’t know if it really has impacted me. Some of the skills that I do have come from the classes that I took at Chicago State in fashion merchandising.

PPI: How did you and your husband meet? And how did you end up in Denver with the Broncos?

LM: We met way back in high school and I actually graduated a couple years before he did, but we went to the same school. Joe was friends with my younger brother in high school and he came with my brother to help me move. [chuckles] That’s how we met! We started dating his senior year of high school and then he left for North Dakota State. We had a long distance relationship for 2 and a half years before I moved out there with him. Then we had our daughter and we moved to Philly when he got drafted by the Eagles. We spent two seasons in Philadelphia and we came to Denver in 2010. I love Denver…the mountains, the weather, and the people.  The people here are what I call “bright.”  Denver has sunny people and sunny weather.

PPI: Do you have children? What are their names and a couple words to describe each of them.

LM:   I have a daughter named Joi; she is 7, and the first thing that comes to mind about her is the word “princess.”  I also have a son named Jai; he is 3, and a word to describe him is “rough.”

PPI:  Sounds like you may have another linebacker on your hands!

Rough & Tough, Jai (3) and Princess Joi (7)
Rough & Tough, Jai (3) and Princess Joi (7)

PPI:  What do you do off the field career-wise, and how did you get started?

LM:  Right now I have an online children’s boutique making kids clothes. In the past I created special occasion dresses in Chicago like prom dresses. From there I started doing made- to-order clothing. But since last June I have been running my online children’s boutique. When we moved to Denver, my kids started being gone more of the time so I got tired of sitting around doing nothing. That started a 2 month process with my cousin to begin the children’s boutique called Starlets and Stripes.

PPI:  What are some of your signature D’Xign trends on StarletsandStripsBoutique.com?

Joi (7 yrs. old), Modeling Starlets & Stripes

LM:  I love color and love to play off of what’s trendy for adults. I just like being unique. We offering high end garments with D’Xigner flair. We have clothing with pops of colors, wacky prints, and unexpected accents. We try to dress your little darlings so they will be a conversation piece all their own.

PPI: What do you do “off the field” in the Denver and surrounding communities?

The "Pajama Couple" Onesie

LM:  There are so many  foundations out there already, so we always like to aid our cousins’ and friends’ charities. In Denver, Joe and I have helped out at the Salvation Army and Vietnam Veterans of America. We have also donated necessities, toys, food, and clothes to women’s and children’s shelters during the Christmas season. Around Christmas we adopt families who don’t have much and buy things that they put down on their wish lists. Last Christmas the whole family dressed up in onesies (footed one piece) pajamas and dropped off presents to the shelters and families. To this day we are known as the “pajama couple” at the Denver Costco because that’s where we bought many of our gifts in our “onesies.” [laugh]

PPI:  Priceless. We will have to see a picture of that…the Mays family in footed pjs at Costco. Has there been a woman you have looked to in your success journey?

LM: I don’t think there has been anyone who has inspired the fashion part of my life. But I take after my dad with personality and intelligence.  But he is deceased. I try to take after my mom, being patient like her.

PPI:  Tell us about your favorite events that you get to attend with your husband.

LM:  We are very simple but we don’t go to a lot of events, although we do get a lot of invites for things. We mainly enjoy just helping out at our friends [charity] sports camps whenever we can.

#51 Mays Defending Ram's Steven Jackson

PPI: Tell me about a day in the life in your NFL household. Living, working, your children?

LM:  We are so boring [laugh]. We get up, take the kids to school and then pick them up. Then we bring them home and take a nap [laugh]. Then I will get up and start preparing dinner and then wait for Joe to come home. When he does, we all play around and eat dinner. Then it’s time for bed [laugh].

PPI:  How has having a husband in NFL helped you? What have been are some down falls?

LM:  I get to meet new people and travel which has helped me expand my business. The downfalls are the long hours away from home for Joe. He sometimes misses stuff with the kids. But during the offseason it sometimes feels he is around too much (chuckle).

PPI:  What does your husband do in his free time?

"Dakota" Mays

LM:  Joe loves to play video games like the PGA games and NBA 2k12 game. He loves going out with the kids and going out to eat. Also he likes to play with our new Great Dane puppy named Dakota. We named her after Joe’s alma mater, North Dakota State University.

PPI:  What was your favorite moment watching your husband play? Where were you guys? What thoughts were going through your head as his wife?

LM:  My favorite moment was college at North Dakota State University – NDSU, as a Bison. It was more intense because all the families and friends of the players were there. He (Joe) caught an interception against South Dakota State (their biggest rival) and he returned it for a touchdown. That was his only career (college and pro) interception. Those moments during football defined how he would be as a professional player in the future. We even named our dog “Dakota” because of all the memories we had in North Dakota.

PPIAre there or have there been any exciting travels you and your family have taken?

LM:  We went to London 2 years ago when Joe had a game there. Also we went to Disney World in February. It was so cool because growing up we never had a chance to go, so this trip  was everyone’s first time going.

PPI: What is your husbands favorite food you cook?

Chef Latoyia Mays Special

LM:  He eats just about everything. Joe loves eating everything I make so there is no favorite for him. I cook a lot of different things like Mexican food, which is something fast and easy. If I really want to cook I will cook lobster and macaroni or mustard catfish.

PPI:  Who has been your husbands mentor or friend in the NFL?

Brian Dawkins, 16 NFL Seasons, 9x Pro Bowler

LM:  Brian Dawkins. Brian and Joe have always been good friends ever since Joe’s playing days with Philadelphia. They always got along whether it was in the locker room or at team bible studies, he has really been someone Joe looks to as a mentor. Brian recently retired from football in April.  (Dawkins played for Eagles and Broncos for 16 seasons. He is a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, and eligible for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.)

PPI:  The NFL players and families truly support each other, especially the wives. They form a sort of sisterhood. Who are your closest NFL wife friends?

LM:  We do form a sisterhood. Stacey Avant  (wife of Jason Avant #81,six year veteran WR for the Eagles and one of Starlets& Stripes best customers!) and Christel Demps (wife of Quintin Demps safety for the Texans) are my closest NFL friends. Everyone tends to move away from each other so we try to get together when ever we can. That can be really hard. Also Connie Dawkins has been there for me. She was one of my first friends when Joe and her husband, Brian, were with the Eagles in Philly.  Connie helped me out when I was pregnant with Jai. Funny thing is the Dawkins got picked up in Denver so we have been able to stay close.

Starlets Jai & Joi Mays

PPI:  If you could give advice to others on balancing life with a professional athlete what would it be?                              

LM:  Stay prayed up. Pray everyday and to look at the NFL as just a job. Remember not to see it as a big glamorous position just because your husband plays in the NFL. If you pray and keep it simple everything will fall into place.

To find LaToyia Mays fashions for kids by D’Xign go to www.starletsandstripes.com

Find Mrs. Mays on twitter @StarletsStripes

Stay tuned because each month Off The Field Players Wives Association, Erika Lassiter (OTFPWA President) and Pro Player Insiders nominates an amazingly talented, ambitious, and giving NFL wife. We recognize the supportive NFL women for their entrepreneurial accomplishments and contributions to their communities off the field.

 By Theresa Villano, Reporter

Follow Theresa on Twitter at @Theresa_PPI

 

For 4th of July Gear Check out — StarletsandStripesBoutique.com

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