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|Hayley Matthews • 11/29/16|
The Short Version: For busy singles seeking relationship expertise, Lisa Clampitt Matchmaking (formerly known as VIP Life) consists of a team of New York matchmakers who work one-on-one with clients to understand their dating preferences and then arrange dates to help them meet the person of their dreams. Founded in 2001, the company boasts a client satisfaction rate of 95%, with over 80% of clients ending up in long-term relationships after working with Lisa Clampitt and her team. With empathy and passion, Lisa helps her clients reach fulfillment in their personal lives by vetting dates and uncovering the inner beauty within people.
Growing up, Lisa Clampitt didn’t have a high opinion of her own abilities. She struggled through school due to dyslexia, and it damaged her self-esteem to see her peers outperforming her.
She kept working at it, though, and came into her own when she earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. “I got all As,” she said, “and I found myself. I realized my value.”
In 1991, she began her career as a social worker, but she empathized with her cases so much that the stories followed her even after she clocked out. After nearly 10 years, she felt she needed a more positive work environment, so she decided to try matchmaking.
“It’s my calling,” she said. “I’m a natural-born matchmaker, and I love making an impact on people’s lives.”
Today, Lisa enjoys working in her dream career as President of Lisa Clampitt Matchmaking (also known as VIP Life). As a matchmaker, she takes a personal interest in her clients. She knows what it’s like to doubt yourself and to feel powerless to change, but she also knows what it’s like to overcome personal obstacles. Her emotional intelligence gives her the insight to connect with male and female clients as she encourages them to join the New York dating scene.
A huge proponent for collaboration between matchmakers, Lisa also founded The Matchmaking Institute, the only state-licensed school in the world for certified matchmaking. Since 2003, the Institute has hosted worldwide conferences, live training programs, and continued education to foster the most in-demand love connectors with a focus on empowerment and connection.
In her own business in New York City, Lisa’s premium service makes it easy to find exceptional singles, and she offers matches for free for women. Additionally, her customized screening tools ensure her male clients go on a date with women who meet their specific criteria.
“I really get involved in my clients’ lives and their story so I can figure out what they’re looking for and who makes sense for them,” she said. “Part of my gift is the ability to impact the lives of people by truly seeing them for who they are.”
A majority of Lisa’s clientele are driven and successful singles who range in age from 27 to 72. She said, on average, she sees men who are in their 40s and ready to settle down. Her matchmaking service is intended for relationship-oriented people, so they put great care into matching people based on long-term compatibility.
“New York is a really particular and somewhat overwhelming place when you’re looking at who makes sense as a partner,” she said, “so my niche is really the super successful New York guy who wants to date someone generally more cosmopolitan and sophisticated.”
She takes on no more than 30 clients at a time to give each individual the attention he or she deserves. “In my dream world, I would have fewer than 20,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to get lost in the shuffle.”
Lisa offers more than simply introductions — she offers a new outlook on life. Her clients often come to her with high expectations, and she consistently surpasses them.
“I’m very down-to-earth,” she said, “and I understand how lonely and frustrating it can be at the top when success in business doesn’t translate to success in your personal life, so I created the company to advocate for them.”
A truly unique and helpful feature of Lisa’s matchmaking service is her customized use of a questionnaire. Her profiles have the usual questions about background, interests, and goals, but she also gives her clients the chance to add up to four questions of their own to the form Lisa gives their matches.
Some clients get creative about what they ask, putting in a favorite poem or asking about favorite comedians. The questions tend to reveal the person’s sense of humor or priorities, maybe revealing a personality quirk not readily apparent.
By letting the client’s personality shine through, Lisa’s team can narrow down the potential dates that much faster.
Lisa’s tailored approach dismisses generic forms and lets her clients lead the way in determining the type of person they’re looking for. “We implemented the custom questions fairly recently,” she said, “and it’s been so successful at getting to the heart of their personality.”
Lisa collects success stories from clients happy to find quality dates and lifelong love through her service. She works hard to ensure a time-saving and worry-free process, and she gets loads of positive feedback as a result.
“I’m sure you’ve heard it before,” wrote Mitch in a testimonial, “but you guys are a step above everyone else. The comfortable office, the conversation, and the fact that you already had taken the time to have a stack of potentials for me (complete with nice photos!) left no doubt in my mind that I will definitely be using your services.”
“She is the woman of my dreams! You are so invited to the wedding,” wrote James, an Orthopedic Surgeon thrilled by the date arranged by Lisa.
He’s not alone, either. Overall Lisa Clampitt Matchmaking touts a 95% satisfaction rate for all their clients and an 80% success rate in finding a long-term relationship.
She told us one touching story about a 60-year-old man who’d never been in a long-term relationship. He was a doctor, self-taught in violin and tennis, successful in his career, and yet he had all but given up on finding fulfillment in his personal life when he came to see Lisa.
“He was a bit of a black sheep,” she recalled. “I literally put in a year of my life into reprogramming him into believing how fabulous he was — because he was!” She saw all the amazing gifts he had to offer and began searching for his perfect woman. It took some time, but her determination and his commitment to change his patterns paid off.
“When he told me, I started crying I was so happy,” she said. “He really is a diamond in the rough, and the two of them have been together five years now, and they look like movie stars. It’s tremendous.”
Lisa runs her business from “the quintessential New York loft” as she called it, with a bar and swanky atmosphere inviting conversation. Always attuned to everyone’s emotional well-being, she makes sure to foster an informal and collaborative vibe for her staff.
“Every Thursday, we have a happy hour,” she told us. “We drop what we’re doing and have drinks together, usually talking about our day and our clients.”
She likes to give her staff personality tests (which she takes as well) to better understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. This helps them work together and divide tasks more effectively. Lisa used herself as an example: “I was off the charts on the scale of altruism, so clearly money isn’t a drive for me,” she said with a laugh. “I’m always giving money away, so I brought Christine on specifically to make sure we’re a profitable business.”
The team bonds together in a bi-monthly workout with a boxer brought in on the company’s dime.
With a fridge full of food and a CEO full of generosity, Lisa Clampitt Matchmaking is a pretty great place for employees. “I believe everyone will be happy if their specific life goals and needs are met in the job,” Lisa said, “and they’ll be motivated because they’re being understood and appreciated, so we’re very much about making our employees happy at work.”
By offering valuable insights and constant support, Lisa Clampitt Matchmaking brings exceptional singles together on quality first dates. Lisa’s inner drive to help people has led her from advocacy work to matchmaking, and — even after decades in the dating industry — she’s still excited by the chance to uncover the diamond within people.
“I find the work so growth-oriented for us,” she said. “There’s not a day that we don’t learn and grow alongside our clients. It’s just so engaging.”
Her life experiences have taught her to look past rough exteriors and see the fears or past pains holding people back. Through her matchmaking firm, she feels gratified to join clients on their journey to love and puts her heart and soul into matching singles in New York.
“To me, there’s nothing more important than love, family, and relationships,” Lisa said. “I want people to feel like they’re not alone. I want them to know that they’re connected and understood as human beings — that’s what motivates me as a matchmaker.”