RACHEL MACLYNN, FOUNDER OF EXCLUSIVE MATCHMAKING AGENCY THE VIDA CONSULTANCY
The Vida Consultancy is a bespoke, exclusive matchmaking agency, designed for men and women looking to meet someone exceptional. Quintessentially Insider sits down with the Vida’s founder, Rachel MacLynn to discover more about her unique approach to matchmaking, which seeks to combine psychological principles with professional consultation.
Q: How did you get into the matchmaking industry?
RACHEL: I started out as a chartered business psychologist and then moved onto life coaching; in 2006 I started working for a matchmaking agency in London and then decided to set up my own company – Vida – in 2011.
Q: Who is a typical Vida client?
RACHEL: We have a range of men and women (though 60% are men), all of whom are cosmopolitan, attractive/desirable and successful in all areas of their lives. They really value their time and don’t have much opportunity to meet other likeminded single people; these people take the process seriously and have high expectations, they are mostly looking for a life match.
Q: Take us through the Vida process
RACHEL: We begin by doing a full profile each client, finding out information on their background, their upbringing, their main life decisions and core values. Using this information, we then come up with an ideal profile of a future partner; we concentrate on a client’s values mostly, for example if they’re a person who runs their own business but also makes time to focus on volunteering, we will search for someone with a similar life ethos. We carry out one on one consultations and then we are either in a position to introduce clients to clients or we begin searching the globe for successful people to introduce to our clients; this is a particularly useful for men who don’t necessarily want to meet rich women.
Q: How many matchmakers do you have worldwide?
RACHEL: We have a team of consultants working in London and around the world – 5 full time senior matchmakers and 12 international matchmakers all of whom are very well networked and connected. These people engage in a lot of networking in order to source potential matches, for example, if we have a client looking for an outdoorsy professional from Zurich, our consultants will reach out to networks in Zurich and see if they can find anyone suitable. We work by a policy where gentlemen always make the first move, it is better etiquette for them to take the lead. Once they’ve met, we will speak to them both and get feedback from each side. This enables us to offer constructive feedback to each party, for example ‘she loved your sense of humour’ or ‘he mentioned that you didn’t turn up on time’.
Q: What are the most common problems you encounter in the early stages?
RACHEL: The most frequent issues are borne from differing styles of communications – for example some people like frequent contact while others prefer contact to be intermittent. This can lead to hesitations and questions of ‘are they interested?’; this is where we step in and help move things along by giving the other party a nudge if they are keen on pursuing the relationship. Clients don’t need hand holding but it’s often a case of trying to avoid misinterpretation – texts can be ambiguous and if you don’t know someone very well people may take things the wrong way. Many relationships, which had the potential to work out, fall flat on their face as a result of this.
Q: What sets The Vida Consultancy apart from other exclusive matchmaking agencies?
RACHEL: The level of psychology involved, facilitated by my experience and expertise as a chartered psychologist. No other agencies have been founded by a psychologist. We find this is especially popular with men as they like to know that they’re being handled by a group of professionals. We also have a strong international reach; we are the only agency with matchmaking teams all over the world. Our quality of service is high and very personalised, we spend a lot of time forming relationships with clients and getting to know them on a personal level. You’d be surprised by how many agencies don’t do this.
Q: What do you think of the stigma that is often associated with matchmaking?
RACHEL: There’s always going to be a bit of a stigma; in the USA it’s cool to have a matchmaker, they’re celebrities with books and who appear on television. The UK is always a bit behind, it’s acceptable but is not currently socially desirable. I believe it will be soon, a bit like having a personal trainer.
Q: What does the rest of 2014 hold for The Vida Consultancy?
RACHEL: Our aim is to be the top international matchmaking service and the most reputable. Many of our clients come through personal referrals and we’re hoping this will continue.