By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane
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Videographer / director: Adam Gray, Jay Mallin
Producer: Shannon Lane, Ruby Coote
Editor: Marcus Cooper
Taylor Francois-Bodine runs a matchmaking service from her home in Washington, DC, and travels throughout the USA for her clients.
Taylor began her career through chance whilst working for a private senator on Capitol Hill.
She told Barcroft TV: “After hours doing matchmaking with various colleagues, I found that I was matching people so well, I decided I would leave that profession and start the matchmaking firm.
“I understand how much everyone wants to be in love and to find a partner. My success rate is 85-90% success. The caveat to that is that it’s within a two year time frame."
“I never take on more than eight to ten clients at a time, and I can honestly say that all the clients that I have ever taken on are people that I would want to be friends with after.
“The cost for clients really varies, everything is customised to meet the client’s needs, so there’s not an average cost.
"I would say when looking for a good matchmaker, if one is not ready to invest a minimum of $30,000 for a rather simple search, it would not be advantageous.
"The typical professions of my clients really vary, all of them are successful, I have doctors, lawyers, presidents of fortune 500 companies, varied levels of celebrity.
"They’re all very successful in their own right, which is why they can use a matchmaker. Their issue is not their level of success, it’s simply that they do not have the time to commit to putting in the work to finding the appropriate partner.”
Once Taylor has had a FaceTime or Skype call with one of her clients, she travels to meet them face to face.
She said: “When working with them I think it’s very important to have a personal touch and to get to meet them in person.”
One of Taylor’s current clients, Stephanie Schwab, an employee at a Silicone Valley high-tech company, is hoping the matchmaker can find her dream man.
She said: “I want to be in a relationship so badly and I have been doing all of the online dating, and things like that but I don’t feel like it’s resonating with me because I’m still single, and I feel like I have so much to offer the world.
“I think that in order to find that ideal person, you need to call in outside help.”
The initial step for the matchmaking process, is for Taylor to improve the client’s confidence by working on their appearance.
Taylor said: “So the process is that we would do some styling sessions, a hair and makeover session, and then it will end in a photoshoot.
“I think once we have everything pulled together, you’ll have such a sense of confidence when you go on these dates that it will change everything.”
After the makeover process, Taylor focuses on practise dates and learning about the client’s criteria for their ideal match.
She told Barcroft TV: “With each client I get better at this. You run into different personality types, different problems that you didn’t know before and it’s really interesting even the growth that I have, because you’re constantly learning something."
Stephanie added: “I do feel very hopeful that not only will Taylor find me a date but she will find me my future husband.
"I’m really excited about the future. I’m excited because, for the first time in my life, I feel like truly good things are happening for me, and that love is coming, and that the opportunities that I’ve always dreamed about for myself are real."