The Scoop: Matchmaker Julie Ferman told us about her intertwined stories of becoming a matchmaker, meeting her husband, and all the twists of fate that come with finding love. Julie’s matchmaking approach is heavily influenced by her own unconventional experiences as a matchmaking client and hopeful single and expertly combined with the legacy of her extensive Southern California database.

When you work with a matchmaker, you aren’t hiring someone you completely outsource your love life to. Matchmakers are more like expert consultants who have an insider perspective and position that can make meeting and keeping connections easier.

A successful matchmaking process requires the hopeful single to be all in and ready for connection — however it presents itself. And just like in traditional dating, love comes in unexpected places during matchmaking. 

Nobody knows it better than Julie Ferman, a matchmaker based in Los Angeles with clientele across Southern California. Julie has personal experience working with a matchmaker and, after meeting her future husband in a comedic turn of matchmaking events, has worked with diverse singles to help them form lasting and meaningful connections.

Julie talked to us about her story of becoming a matchmaker, what inspires her approach, and why she’s remained passionate about matchmaking throughout her storied career. 

“I was once the consumer, I was once the single girl who was panicking,” Julie said. “Maybe it’s because I’m crazy, or maybe it’s because I have that unique position of having been the client, that we do it differently from any other matchmaking service, and the results show the difference.”

Julie’s Journey to Becoming LA’s Matchmaker

Julie’s journey to meeting her spouse and becoming a matchmaker is full of unexpected twists. Julie puts it simply: “I married the guy who sold me my dating service membership.” But the story begins before then.

“I was a single girl, almost 30, and I was not sure I was going to be able to settle down– I was freaking out,” Julie said. “And I tried everything back then. We had all the personal ads, and then I hired myself a dating coach, and he helped me deal with some of the errors in my ways.”

Julie and her dating coach built a dating plan, and soon Julie was crafting a personal profile all about herself. “This was before we had online dating of any kind, so I went and had a million copies made, and I sent them out. I went on 51 first dates in a year.”

julie ferman matchmaker
Julie focuses on client experience with her matchmaking service.

Julie continued, “Then I moved to my hometown, St. Louis. I was sitting at a restaurant one night, feeling like the World’s Greatest Loser, looking at the personal ads. I couldn’t do a personal ad because we were in my hometown– what if my old biology teacher sees it?”

Julie’s normal approach wouldn’t work in her hometown, and as she looked through the personals, she saw an ad for a dating service. “I thought, let’s ask them for help,” she said. “I ripped out the page, ran home, and called.” 

Julie chose one of the services and scheduled a meeting. She met with a man who sold her a video dating package, and the two had a three-hour conversation during which she couldn’t help but feel sparks fly. Julie was interested in this dating service employee but didn’t know if she could ask him out.

“I just gave him all my money, and he said he couldn’t ask out members,” Julie said. “I asked him what would happen if a member asked him out, and five weeks later, we were engaged. Now we’re still together and have two adult boys.”

Julie said she married into the dating industry—the same industry that, in a roundabout way, brought her to her husband. Since then, Julie has forged many of the standards that now define the scene.

A Fresh Approach to Modern Matchmaking

Julie’s matchmaking experience extends to before the internet was a central part of matchmaking. When she first became involved in her husband’s family’s matchmaking service, she said the scene was defined by high price tags and membership-driven services.

“They’re only going to introduce paying clients to other paying clients because it’s their business model,” Julie said. “But I’m a service-oriented person. I come from the service industry, where if you don’t serve people well, they aren’t coming back. So I’m thinking there has to be a better way to do this.”

choosing the right matchmaker
Choose a matchmaker who is prepared to be involved in the journey of dating.

Julie and her husband moved to Los Angeles, and Julie decided to introduce something new to the matchmaking scene. “I thought, let’s build something different. I worked with a web developer and we built a community where anybody can register. It’s free. It’s private. I was the first to do that for men and women.”

As the internet became widely accessible and her client base grew, Julie’s matchmaking service became something special. “For the first time, there was a curated matchmaking community pretty open to everybody,” she said. 

Julie’s service continues to be one of Los Angeles’ most respected matchmaking agencies, and she said she’s maintained that reputation by continuing to focus on clients. She offers free entry to her referral client base and event invitations list, plus offerings for consultations, boot camps, and personal matchmaking.

How to Give Attraction Time to Develop

The matchmaking process requires a client to trust both their matchmaker and the introductions process. Even with the guidance of a matchmaker, singles will still need to show up with open minds and honed dating skills. 

Julie said one of the best aspects of working with a matchmaker is that singles have a person who can encourage them to explore romantic avenues they otherwise wouldn’t. Since the inception of her matchmaking service, Julie has taken on women as clients, which isn’t always the status quo in matchmaking.

“One thing I see often with women is that we can develop attraction over time,” Julie said. “I’ve heard it called the Adam Sandler Effect. You know, maybe there’s a guy you’re not immediately attracted to physically, but then you get to know them and their personality and how they treat you, and they’re super attractive.”

matchmaking julie ferman
Julie encouraged singles to allow attraction and connection to develop over time.

Julie said many of her female clients report that they can cultivate attraction with someone over time. However, when it comes to actually dating, giving this attraction time to develop can be challenging. Julie encouraged daters, whether or not they work with a matchmaker, to keep an open mind while meeting new people.

Keeping an open mind is important, but Julie said it’s equally important for singles to work with a matchmaker who is there with good intentions and better business practices. Unfortunately, not all matchmaking services are created equal.

“Service comes first with me,” Julie said. “So much of the industry has never been the customer before, and there can be this really unsavory underbelly to the business. I have been there, I know what it’s like, and I’m thinking about my clients each and every step.”