Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Levich.
Stephanie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ll start by taking it really far back to before I was even born. I promise, it’s relevant! My mom was about 13 years old when she suffered from a severe infection which ultimately resulted in a hysterectomy. When she met my dad and they wanted to start a family, adoption was the only option available at the time. While the process was not easy, they did go on to adopt me, and later my two younger siblings.
Fast forwarding a lot now… I was a theater major in college and put in a good year of trying to break into the business which meant that I waited a lot of tables. I knew I didn’t have it in me to do that forever so when I saw an ad for a part time admin position at a local egg donation and surrogacy agency, I was intrigued. The thought of my incredible mom and dad being denied the experience of having a family broke my heart and I became infatuated with the idea of getting to help people just like them become parents. I got the job and within a couple of years and several promotions, I was promoted to the client services manager of the company. One of my main roles was to help clients match with their egg donor and/or surrogate and I couldn’t believe that I had finally found something that brought me the same joy, if not more, of being on stage. I knew I had found my calling.
I was about 23 at the time and shared a small office with a colleague turned best friend, who was also in her early twenties. Together, we’d dream about what it would be like to run our own agency. What started as a “wouldn’t it be cool if” lunch break fantasy, became pages of scribbled notes, which became a business plan, which became a pitch to investors, and ultimately became a real company. We threw ourselves into our new business and the work paid off. Within a few short years we experienced significant growth, outgrew multiple offices and helped hundreds of clients, just like my parents, achieve their dream of a family.
Then it came time for my husband and I to start our family and I knew all too well the struggles that so many people faced so I crossed my fingers tightly and hoped our journey would be easy. Easy, it definitely was not. After countless fertility tests and treatments, IVF is what ultimately led us to our two little miracles, our son now 4 and daughter 3.
After over a decade of working in the agency setting, my personal fertility journey made me understand on an even deeper level how fortunate we are that these family building options are available and I felt luckier than ever to work in such a rewarding field. I wanted to take my newfound passion and experience and focus my attention on client care while marrying that with my love of matching clients with their egg donors and surrogates. So I left the agency world and in early 2015, started Family Match Consulting.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’m not sure that any entrepreneur can say their road to success was entirely smooth or easy. There are always setbacks and hurdles to overcome. In my early twenties I’d let these things keep me up at night but now in my mid-thirties, I’ve learned that things will always work themselves out the way they are supposed to. In both my business and personal life, my greatest growth has come from my greatest struggles so I now try to view any setbacks as merely opportunities in disguise.
Please tell us about Family Match Consulting.
Working in the egg donor and surrogate agency setting, I saw how clients struggled to find the right egg donor or surrogate match. Every client is looking for their own set of unique characteristics and not every agency is going to have a match for every client so it can become an overwhelming, emotional, and time consuming endeavor to locate the right candidates. This proves especially challenging for clients that are searching for harder-to-find ethnicities such as Asian or Middle Eastern egg donors or other hard-to-find candidates such as Jewish donors, donors with strong academic achievements, or unique physical characteristics. I knew I could make the process easier, and that’s exactly what Family Match Consulting does. We have developed a network, and have relationships with over 100 of the most reputable egg donor and surrogate agencies throughout the country. After getting a clear idea of the traits our clients hope to find, we cast the largest net possible and bring their best matches right to them. We offer personal individualized care to each client at a fraction of the cost of our competitors – in fact our all-inclusive search fee is by far the lowest in the country. Our unique process allows us to work extremely fast and most of our clients match with their egg donor or surrogate within 1-2 weeks.
In addition to our standard search service, our Fertility Vault program was created to assist those clients who require an extra level of discretion. Clients of our Vault program are typically high profile CEO’s, celebrities, and other clients in the public eye who endure the same challenges of finding an egg donor or surrogate that all clients face, but have the added challenge of trying to navigate the process while maintaining complete confidentially and anonymity. Through our Vault program, we are able to recruit egg donors and/or surrogates independently to avoid working with agencies altogether, or work directly with the agencies on behalf of our clients so they are not required to connect with the agency directly, and their identity does not need to be revealed.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
This might sound cliché, but probably nothing. Even things I used to view as mistakes have led me to where I am today and where I am today is exactly where I want to be.
- Website: www.familymatchconsulting.com
- Phone: 818-495-0203
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Headshot was taken by Karen Staitman