How April Davis Became the Premier Leader in the Luxury Matchmaking Business
It all began when April Davis, Founder of LUMA – Luxury Matchmaking, realized she needed to take her skill of intuition and understanding people to the next level. If there was one thing she knew more than anything – it was how to help people find love. April founded LUMA – Luxury Matchmaking in 2010 and takes her background as a Certified Life Coach to help singles in over 17 states find the one they can spend the rest of their lives with.
April Davis – Matchmaker & Dating Coach
Growing up in a small town in northern MN with a population of 600 people was not always the most inspiring of places, but it did help me to recognize an issue. I always would joke I had to “import” my boyfriends since I was related to over half of the people in the town. I’ve come to really appreciate one of the benefits of living in a big city now in my life, is that you get to pick and chose your friends. In a small town, you had to be friends with whoever was there, otherwise, you didn’t have any. Dating was even worse!
There once hung a sign in the local bar that read, “Eat, drink, and remarry”. This was sadly true. Usually, if one couple got divorced, so would another and then maybe another. Then they’d all swap partners and start the whole relationship process over. And you thought dating was tough for you.
One benefit that came from these small town roots is that I was instilled with a very hard work ethic. I always had 2 jobs since I was 11 (washing dishes and picking up golf balls on the driving range before they replaced me with a machine). Once I was 14, I hit the money because I was finally able to start earning tips as a Waitress. I always joked that the skills I learned in that little cafe set me up for life. I learned how to build rapport and connect with anyone from the grumpy old Logger getting his coffee to the rich folks from the city visiting their cabins, which we affectionately referred to as “Cidiots”;) This little cafe also taught me how to hustle. Most of the time I was the only Waitress they had because everyone else had quit after the Owner had one of his infamous tantrums.
I was in a hurry to get college done and started Post Secondary at 16. I waitressed at night and weekends and went to school during the day. It was tough and I knew I wanted to get through college quickly so I could quit waitressing and use my brain. I knew I didn’t want there to be anything in my control that could hold me back from being successful so I kept going to school taking evening and summer courses while working full time in order to get my Masters in business by the time I was 20. With this degree, I was now qualified to go from a Bookkeeping role in a smaller $20M company to working in four different Fortune 500 companies in various industries including retail, manufacturing, and Financial Services. At these companies, I held various positions in Finance and Process Improvement, which included Lean, Six Sigma, and Green Belt Training.
The Dream to Own Your Own Business
I always knew I wanted to be an Entrepreneur and build something, but it wasn’t until 2010 when I realized I needed to take the skill of intuition and my ability of understanding people to the next level. That is where Luma – Luxury Matchmaking was born from. My background in Process Improvement was now being applied to the Dating Industry. If there was one thing I knew more than anything – it was how to help people find love. And not just the butterflies and hearts type of love – the real, long-lasting, take home to Momma, marriage material type of love.
After all, I am married to a Divorce Attorney. Yes, we have couples coming and going. We just need a Therapist in between us for referrals and we could be a one stop shop. Fortunately, I haven’t had to refer him any clients yet. Although, I have received a few from him. More importantly, though, his perspective gives a unique insight to know what relationships are going to last and which ones won’t. There are a lot of patterns in human behavior and we see the same issues in relationships during a divorce which could have been avoided up front.
Being True to my Gift of MatchMaking
I was a Matchmaker for years within my own circle of friends and acquaintances; but just didn’t know at the time. Whenever I met someone who was single, I’d naturally start thinking of who might be a good match for that person. It wasn’t only singles who would get introductions. It was anyone who I knew should meet someone else I knew. I introduced a lot of people for professional and job-related connections, but also some for friends who had similar hobbies or other commonalities.
I often wondered why so many of my girlfriends were single – they were all high-caliber women who were beautiful on the inside and out. Many were just unable able to meet a man they truly connected with, but that didn’t mean there were no good men out there! The challenges involved in singles meeting quality matches became increasingly apparent, and it was then when I realized I needed to take matchmaking from a hobby to a full-time career.
As an analytical person, I Initially did some competitive analysis and determined there was definitely a niche and need for something better than the current so called matchmaking options out there. I wanted the business to focus on helping busy professionals who didn’t want to meet someone at a bar and didn’t have the time or energy to dedicate to online dating. They also don’t want to go on a bunch of dates, but on quality dates.
Researching Your Competition is Smart Business
Of course, I had to check out the competition so I scheduled appointments with several. There were several big corporate players in the game who seemed to be ruining the industry by promising people a bunch of dates but sacrificing quality. When I went to learn more about the company model, I was told they had over 10 guys who would be a match for me. Well, I’m a pretty selective lady and knew there was no way they had 10 men who I’d be interested in. In my mind, their negative reputation found ubiquitously across the web was confirmed at that moment. That was when I knew we were going to be a white glove service that focuses on quality, not the quantity of matches.
Also, anyone could attest to the fact that many of the single people out there need more than just to be set up on a date. Some are single for a reason. They need coaching and advice to help guide them in how to attract, connect, and keep a match. All of Luma’s Matchmakers became Certified Life Coaches as well so we could our clients put their best foot forward.
Continuous Improvements Drive Success
Another improvement we adopted to our model is what people actually do on the dates. The idea of going to lunch or dinner seemed so outdated and formal. We wanted to set the stage so people could have a fun experience with each other without feeling like they were on an interview. Couples would go on activity based dates where they actually did something instead of sitting across the table from one another awaiting that awkward silence moment. They could go bowling, paddle boarding, dancing, or maybe go for a walk. The goal is to get them next to each other versus facing each other, which is much more comfortable.
Having a background in business, the next thing on the “To Do” list was to put together a Business, Finance, and Marketing plan. I had a ton of ideas and just needed to write them down. After that, it was just pulling all the pieces together and getting the infrastructure and marketing in place. Working full time at my Corporate position and building up the Matchmaking company simultaneously proved to be challenging. It was about 2 years later when my extremely well-respected boss was let go from the company he served for over 30 years and at the age of 52. He was a very humble and extremely hard working guy who had tracked his hours throughout his career out of habit since his first job was as an Auditor. He had figured he put in the equivalent of about nine years of overtime. He could have spent that time with the four kids he raised, but his work ethic and dedication took precedence. For me, it was devastating to see someone like that disrespected and mistreated so badly. It was on this day the fuel was put on the fire and I knew I had to be done with corporate America. Within 2 months, the website was finally finished as well as marketing materials created and business started coming in.
Hard Work With Planning – An Unbeatable Combination
It grew over time and it was definitely not easy. I remember one of the hardest times was when I was working from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm between both jobs for over a year. It was extremely exhausting and I wasn’t reaping the rewards yet. I had a client who was very difficult to match. The woman had a crazy 80’s hairstyle – white/blonde perm and spiked upwards, was 50 years old, about 250lbs, and not very nice. I had taken her on as a client early on in my Matchmaking career before I knew better and she seemed pleasant enough at first. I soon learned that some people are delusional about who they are and who they can attract.
Growing the business was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Today I am very grateful that I did, but for a while there I don’t think I would have if I knew how hard it was. It definitely takes resilience, perseverance, and a ton of coffee. Those lessons I learned back when I worked at the little cafe have been applied on a regular basis. In the end though, it really made it all worth it every time a couple would get married or have a baby. Afterall, not everyone can say they help make babies for a living.
Let April Davis, find your perfect match at LUMA – Luxury Matchmaking