Sitting down to talk with Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham Luyendyk takes a few tries to coordinate a time—we’d caught them in the midst of moving from Arcadia to Scottsdale, juggling multiple careers each, and all while also caring for their 1-year-old daughter, Alessi (no, they don’t have many babysitters!). We set a time around her nap, and settled in to chat.
You’ve probably heard the story of how the couple first met—this perfectly made match actually happened on reality TV… 2018’s The Bachelor, to be exact.
After a brief split and a bit of a rocky start, the couple reunited. Lauren then moved to Scottsdale to be with Arie, and the couple married in January 2019.
Fast-forward to today, and the Luyendyks are busy spending time with Alessi, settling into their new home, launching and running businesses, and just generally enjoying each other’s company.
“The other day we were having coffee and sitting out in our backyard and thinking about how we got here and it almost feels like we didn’t meet on a TV show. That feels so far in the past. But we’re so grateful that we’ve had this whirlwind couple of years,” says Arie.
“And I think for me, I came into [the show] just a normal person working in the corporate world, living by myself, and then all of a sudden I’m married, I have a baby, I live in Arizona, and I have a totally different business,” Lauren shares. “So for me, I could have never expected my life to look this way back then. I’m still just absorbing it all and taking it in.”
Moving to Scottsdale
Originally from The Netherlands, Arie moved to the United States at age 3, settling in Scottsdale when he was 10.
“Racing is what brought us to the Valley,” he explains, referencing his father, Arie Luyendyk’s, car racing career. “It brought us to the Valley in the winters. We moved here in 1990, shortly after he won the Indy 500, and we haven’t left since.”
While he and Lauren first settled in Arcadia, they now look to the new Scottsdale home as a place to raise their family.
“We love it,” Lauren says. “It’s beautiful and quiet over here. It’s also bigger, and we’re looking to expand our family.”
“It’s an older home that’s been recently remodeled, but Lauren has a really great vision for what it’s going to look like, so we’re really excited to make those changes too. We’re going to renovate in stages, and I think that will keep us here for a long time. ” Arie adds.
Bringing Up Alessi
While they both would love “more babies!” they are also busy with Alessi. She turned 1 in May, and recently began walking.
She also loves to dance.
“Every day we have constant dance parties,” Lauren shares. “She wakes up dancing and goes to sleep dancing. She likes hip hop and rap! She loves a good beat for sure.”
The family enjoys morning walks, where they watch the birds and rabbits nearby, which Alessi loves.
“I think we’ve transitioned well into being parents,” Arie says. “It’s hard at first because they just hand you your baby and they’re like, ‘Good luck,’ but I feel like we’ve really got it down now. It took a year, but we’re doing good! It’s the most fun chapter of my life.”
Lauren agrees that it is difficult, but also that it’s the most fun thing she’s done.
“I always loved kids, but I wasn’t one of those people who was like, ‘I was born to be a mom,’” she says. “But now that she’s here, I look back and feel like this is what I was meant to do—to be her mom.”
Work, Work, Work
The Luyendyks also stay busy with multiple ventures.
Arie has been a realtor in the Valley since 2004, and is currently the associate broker at ReMax Excalibur (RealtyByArie.com), while Lauren has a clothing line called Shades of Rose (TheShadesOfRose.com), which is launching this month.
“I’ve been working on it for two years,” she shares. “Since middle school it’s always been a passion of mine, always been on my radar, and something I’ve dreamed about doing.”
The line is “designed for the busy girl who has multiple roles in her life,” and the pieces are meant to easily transition from work to play.
“It’s really about versatility and being able to dress it up and dress it down. It’s inspired by travel,” she explains.
Together, the couple also owns Shut the Front Door, where they flip, remodel, and build custom spec homes. They also have several rentals. Arie handles the real estate side, while Lauren handles the design.
And, they have a social media business.
Of course, there’s also Arie’s racing background.
After growing up in the racing world, he had followed in his father’s footsteps and also began racing.
“I looked up to my dad,” he explains. “I felt like it was my destiny.”
Arie has competed in the Indy Lights Series, was a test-driver in A1 Grand Prix, and competed in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Daytona, amongst other achievements.
“Competing in the Indy 500, that was a huge moment in my career. For me, the rise of my career happened during the economic depression during 2006-2007, and then I had to completely shift my whole life, and that’s how I ended up on reality TV, randomly. So, because of that whole housing crash and the lack of sponsorship, I went on The Bachelorette, and then eventually The Bachelor and met Lauren. So when I look at my racing career, there’s a lot of what ifs, but it led me to this point, so I’m really actually grateful that it did. It’s just kind of a wild ride, and I’ve had so many opportunities come my way, and I’m just very lucky.”
Although Arie still plans to race occasionally, he has stepped back from that part of his life to focus on his real estate career—still, he admits to still being extremely passionate about cars and buying the Scottsdale property because, with the extra land it has, he can build a toy barn for his them.
In addition to all that, the Luyendyks also make it a point to give back. Arie has worked closely with Phoenix Children’s Hospital for years, helping raise money whenever he can—even raising $100,000 for the organization on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. Another time, he raised money for a child’s surgery, and then went to the hospital to meet that child.
Lauren also does promotion for Sky High For Kids, which donates to research for children’s cancer.
“I think the biggest thing for both of us is that we realize that we’re so fortunate and that there are people who are not in the position we’re in, and we just like to do what we can to help,” says Lauren.