CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Next time you head to a Charlotte Hornets game, you might find yourself on the Smile Cam and you’ll see the name “Smile Savvy” right next to your photo.
Smile Savvy is making history as owners Drew and Joya Lyons become the only Black-owned dental group and one of the only Black businesses as NBA partners.
Joya and Drew are more than just business partners, they’re married. They’ve been together for 10 years and in business partnership for 7. They say as they grow and expand as one of the only Black-owned partners in the NBA, their focus is still on serving the community and building confidence.
The couple says they originally met in undergrad, but their love story started in dental school.
“We became friends. We became study partners. We became dental partners and the rest was just history,” said Joya Lyons.
Ten years, a business and a baby later, they’re still no stranger to making history.
“We were the first couple ever to grace Dental Time so we were honored for that reason,” Lyons said.
They’re making history again as the only Black-owned business partner with the Charlotte Hornets.
“We have a smile watch, we’re representing whoever’s at the game and their birthday,” said Drew Lyons.
The Lyonses say while some people don’t mix business and family, mixing business and marriage is the key to their chemistry.
“I’m the one that has the big ideas, jump off the bridge, she packs the parachute,” Drew Lyons said.
“Having somebody who you completely trust and knowing they have your best interest at heart. You can’t ask for anything better,” Joya Lyons said.
As they step into their new role as partners with the Hornets, they’ll continue walking in their purpose.
“We’re not mavericks or rebels, but we’re really intentional about living our lives for the God-given gifts. Ultimately, this is about giving to others,” Lyons said.
The couple say fans should look out for a special contest and giveaways