Charlotte joined us at the October 2015 bootcamp and just a few short months later she launched Bespoke Introductions! I had a catchup with Charlotte to see how she’s getting on in her new role as professional matchmaker and business owner…..
Charlotte when did you first start thinking about becoming a matchmaker and why?
Over the last few years I had felt increasingly demotivated by the corporate world.
I had longed to run my own business for a while, but it’s all about having that ‘aha’ moment when the right idea lands. I had worked in Human Resources for a number of years and one option I thought about was setting up a HR consultancy. However, I really wanted to do something outside of HR, but that still used all the skills I had developed in my HR roles, namely relationship building, interviewing, coaching and giving feedback.
I wanted to do something positive and uplifting and do a job I knew I would enjoy. I came across the idea of matchmaking after watching Millionaire Matchmaker (!). I discussed the idea with a number of people and it just felt right – right for me, right for my background, right for where I live and right for the balance I wanted in life.
What made you bite the bullet and sign up to the academy bootcamp?
When I was researching matchmaking, I came across Caroline’s book and I bought this in November 2014. Almost a year later to the day, I was sat with Caroline in the bootcamp! Reading the book I found a number of things I could relate to, and Caroline came across in the book as a very grounded person. I knew that when signing up the Academy I was going to learn from someone who had been in exactly my position only a few years ago – invaluable!
It’s hugely daunting starting your own business. Particularly one where you are doing it by yourself. I looked at a number of training and support routes, but felt that the Academy was the right choice for me. I had been following Caroline for a number of months through her newsletters, and was really inspired by how quickly she had become such a leader in the dating field. When Caroline launched the Academy, I knew that this would give me the support I needed to leave corporate and start my own business.
What did you enjoy the most about the bootcamp?
I really enjoyed hearing first hand the experiences and stories Caroline and Lydia had to share. It was really reassuring to hear the lessons that were learnt, alongside the things that went well. Again, it gives you that confidence to think, even if it is 80/20, it’s better to give it a try and learn then not do it at all.
I also really enjoyed the session with the other dating experts. I took away some really valuable advice, particularly around branding and marketing that I have put into good use as soon as I got back from the bootcamp.
As you are in the early stages of matchmaking, what has been the biggest challenge so far?
My main challenge at the moment is getting word out there and my network established. You sit there on day one and think….so, where am I going to find all these single people to match?!? Caroline and the MMA graduates have shared some great tips and advice and 2 weeks on I am already making appointments and have a number of people on my list to contact.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Although not really matchmaking already, I can’t wait to get that email or call from someone telling me they have totally clicked with someone I have matched them with. Job satisfaction can’t get better than having such a positive impact on someone’s life.
What does the future look like for Bespoke Introductions?
I have just launched Bespoke Introductions, so am at the very beginning of my business journey. We offer matchmaking for Professionals in and around Milton Keynes. So my main activity over the coming weeks and months is to really grow my network – get out there, meet people, host events and make a name for Bespoke Introductions in my area. At the end of the year I would love to look back and be really pleased with how the business has developed and how many happy clients I have!
Got a question for Charlotte? She would love to hear from you, drop her a line @bespoke_intro