Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaydi Samuels.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jaydi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been setting people up since college, for the last fifteen years or so. I had matched so many friends and acquaintances successfully that people would often come up and ask me, “Hey, who do you have for me?” I dreamed of starting a matchmaking company back then, but I was also heavily focused on pursuing my screenwriting career at the time. It wasn’t until I was working on my first TV show that I realized how much overlap there was between the entertainment industry and people frustrated in love. Of course many shows later, I better understand the challenges of working in film/TV, and how someone’s dating life can sometimes take a back-burner to his or her career. Because I sit down with every client of ours (and potential matches) for forty-five minutes to an hour to better assess what he or she is looking for, and because our company is a referral-and-invitation only, we ensure that everyone we work with is both grounded, ready, and looking for the real deal. LJMatchmaking has been fully operational for the last four years, and I’m very fortunate that I’ve since taken on the most amazing business partner ever, Lauren Rosenberg, who is an unscripted development producer at Lionsgate. Although we primarily specialize in working with single men and women in entertainment, about a third of our database is comprised of people in other fields (since many of our clients find it more refreshing to date someone outside). To date, we have set up twenty-four couples and counting, and during the course of running the company, both Lauren and I have gotten engaged to our incredible partners. I guess you can call it good karma!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Building a company from scratch is not always smooth sailing (unless your company makes boats!), and our company was no exception. When I first started, I knew absolutely nothing about the logistics of running a business, from the paperwork one needs to file to find the right business model where we could put our clients first without losing money in the process. I was also very headstrong and believed I could do everything by myself. Taking on a business partner helped tremendously, as we are able to share responsibilities and bounce ideas off each other.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about LJMatchmaking – what should we know?
Four principles really set us apart from other matchmaking companies:
1) We charge the women and not the men. At first this might sound anti-feminist, but in reality, it is the complete opposite. Many traditional matchmaking companies charge exorbitant fees, and they charge them to the men. Women are typically placed in a complementary database, waiting to be plucked out for a paying male client who asks for someone fitting their description. This is a crude way to put it, but this model often inadvertently causes a matchmaker to weight a man’s preferences above a woman’s because he is the one paying. That’s not to say this model doesn’t work: it simply isn’t the approach we believe is the most effective, or puts the women’s preferences on an equal playing field.
2) We are a referral-and-invitation-based only company. By not accepting clients off the street, we are able to ensure that only grounded people who are looking for something serious exist in our database. This also means we don’t run around town, handing out business cards to attractive singles. Most matchmakers don’t go into business hoping they will do this: instead, it is a necessity that often arises from charging a man thousands of dollars and then realizing you don’t have more than two women to introduce him to. We knew from the outset we never wanted the pressure of setting someone up simply so he or she would feel like they were “getting their money’s worth.”
3) We keep our membership fees nominal ($250/year), as we believe love should be affordable to everyone!
3) We specialize in singles working in entertainment. Because Lauren and I produce and write respectively full time, we understand the unique challenges that come with dating someone in film/TV and wants to use our expertise to help people in that field.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The people who deserve the most credit are the fantastic men and women we’ve come across (before and after starting this company) who make us wonder, “How is this person still single?! I have to do something about that!” My mom has also always encouraged me to follow my passions and my dad is an entrepreneur who made me believe it was possible to follow in his footsteps!
- Email: MatchmakingLJ@gmail.com