If you’re single in New York City, Amy Van Doran is basically your new best friend. Known as the coolest matchmaker for extraordinary people, Amy’s built her career around connecting people and finding love for others. She’s been featured in Elle, Glamour and New York Magazine for her top-notch love advice and unique approaching to finding connections, and has matched more than 100 individuals with her Rolodex of more than 5,000 eligible bachelors and bachelorettes looking for love. Find out how she found her perfect match career-wise below.
Name: Amy Van Doran
Twitter and Instagram: @AmyVanDoran
Location: New York, New York
Occupation: Professional Matchmaker and Founder of the Modern Love Club
University: Pace University
Secretly Obsessed with: Personality tests
On my nightstand: Why Him, Why Her by Helen Fisher
Last thing you read: Shocking Life: The Autobiography of Elsa Schiaparelli
How did you get started?
I’ve always had a passion for connecting people. I studied acting in college, and after college I worked in fashion. I would help guys with image consulting, they were single and they wanted to meet people. So they actually would offer to let me set them up, and in that way matchmaking was a job that found me.When people started asking me to do it professionally I thought, yes! What could be better than helping people find love? I quit my day job with no back-up plan or savings, and all these years later I am still pinching myself that it worked!
What key elements played into your success?
There was a market for it, and the timing was right. People were getting burnt out from online dating and wanted a more curated approach. There weren’t really any matchmakers that were catering to the cool, creative crowd in New York. So basically, I was successful because I picked the most uncompetitive job. Things have changed since then though, but I found a way to set myself apart.
What’s the best piece of advice you received?
Enjoy your work, nobody is going to enjoy your life for you. Getting paid to do something I love every day is the best feeling.
What struggles did you face getting to this point?
Running a business and staying organized has never been my strong suit. Being friendly and helping people has been. You don’t have to be good at everything — outsource! outsource! outsource!
Who was the biggest influence in your professional life?
I really look up to Helen Fisher. She is a love anthropologist who has written some books and done some TED Talks that have helped shape some of my ideas about why people are attracted to the people that they are. She creates all the algorithms for Match.com, eHarmony and Sparkology. She’s the only expert on this in the scientific world, as far as I know, and she’s amazing.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I love when a client tells me about an amazing first date I set them up on. Dating in NYC can be rough, so when two people have a great date, that’s definitely an accomplishment.
What advice would you give to girls looking to enter your industry/space?
You don’t need anything to start your own business, and you don’t need to wait. You don’t need a special degree. You just need to know people, have a good work ethic, follow your instincts, and don’t be afraid.