The Scoop: Lori Zaslow and Jennifer Zucher founded Project Soulmate in 2007 to help daters skip the stress and drama of finding a significant other. These esteemed matchmakers and childhood friends now have a database of thousands of singles and a long list of success stories to their name. Project Soulmate has adapted to the modern-day landscape by adding online dating assistance to its repertoire and personalizing the matchmaking service to reflect individual needs.
The dating world was a very different place in 2007 when Project Soulmate Co-Founders Lori Zaslow and Jenn Zucher started their matchmaking business. For one thing, dating sites had yet to become a global sensation.
In fact, many singles at the time viewed online dating with skepticism. A Pew survey found 66% of internet users said they agreed that online dating was dangerous, and 52% said they believed online daters lie about their marital statuses.
“When we started our business, dating apps were not an option for people,” Lori told us. “It was hard to even get people to admit that they were using online dating sites.”
Nowadays, of course, all that has changed. A 2016 survey found 80% of Americans who used dating sites said it was a good way to meet people, and only 45% of online daters said they thought it was a dangerous way to meet people. As attitudes about online dating changed, so did the matchmaking industry. Suddenly singles had more options if they were serious about finding a date and could use technology to help them make sense of the dating scene.
While some dating professionals could see this technology development as threatening, Lori and Jenn saw it as an opportunity to grow and better serve their clientele. They don’t compete with online dating — they use it to their advantage.
“Believe it or not, dating apps are a really helpful resource for us,” said Lori. The Project Soulmate team has embraced online dating as a fundamental part of the modern dating experience, and they encourage their clients to use those tools to get a feel for what they want in a partner and a relationship.
The matchmakers have become adept at guiding singles through the online dating process. The Online Division boasts that its insights can increase a client’s response rate online by at least 25% and lead to more in-person dates.
“No matter how many dating apps or sites are out there, we truly believe that nothing can beat the human touch,” Lori said. “By meeting, vetting, and screening each person, we can guarantee that each client and database member is unfiltered and authentic.”
The Team Turned a Passion Into a Career
Lori told us that she has been matchmaking for as long as she can remember. She was the kind of kid who’d pair up her friends on the playground. It’s been a lifelong passion that she eventually managed to turn into a full-time career. She and Jennifer have spent their careers trying to define and capture that “it” factor that makes a relationship work.
Over the years, these two childhood friends have honed their matching skills and developed an instinct for handpicking incredibly compatible couples. Now based in New York City, the Project Soulmate matchmakers have perfected a matching system that focuses on the client’s needs.
“Each person on our team has a unique personality, which makes for a really fun work dynamic,” said Samantha Cohen, Business Executive Director for Project Soulmate. “Lori and Jenn have a yin and yang relationship; Lori is very intuitive while Jenn is very business savvy.”
Both Lori and Jenn share a common passion and drive to help people fall in love and stay in love. They founded their company in pursuit of this project. They head up a tight-knit team of profile editors, dating assistants, social media experts, and all-around knowledgeable women. This empathetic team is always there to support singles on the journey to love. They work with hectic schedules,
Meeting Every Client & Date Candidate in Person
Matchmaking has a lot in common with online dating, but it has one defining difference, and that’s personalization. The Project Soulmate team emphasizes the human aspect of the dating process and takes the time to get to know their clients as people, and as friends, while hunting for compatible dates for them.
The Project Soulmate matchmakers typically offer a flat fee for an unlimited number of dates during the client’s membership. Or singles can stay in the database for free. The service varies depending on the needs of the individual. Maybe someone needs more coaching than matchmaking, or maybe someone only has time for a certain number of dates. Lori and Jenn do not take a one-size-fits-all approach to matchmaking, and they personalize every detail along the way.
As part of Project Soulmate’s curated process, the matchmakers meet in person with every client and every date candidate. They will not arrange a date with or for someone they have not seen and talked to in their offices. A phone interview will not suffice.
Lori told us the team feels the task of finding love for someone is too important to leave it to a phone call, a questionnaire, or an email. They make the effort to have those personal conversations, look someone in the eye, and get a full understanding of who that person is. The goal is to match clients to the best of their abilities, and they don’t cut corners.
“Our program offers to do the heavy lifting for our clients,” Lori said. “We respect their busy schedules and only send them on dates that we believe have potential.”
11 Years of Success Stories & Testimonials
Project Soulmate has been around for over a decade, and in that time it has established itself as one of the leading matchmaking companies in the U.S. The team’s caring attitude and attentiveness set it apart from other dating services. “We take in pride in the relationships and marriages that we have set up,” Samantha said.
When asked about her favorite success stories, Lori didn’t hesitate. She actually set her brother up with his current wife. And Jenn did the same for her brother a couple years ago. Talk about sisters of the year! These experienced matchmakers have used their skills to better their own families, and they feel confident in their ability to help singles seeking that happily ever after.
“I hired Jenn and Lori when I was at the end of my dating rope,” said Mike B. in a testimonial. “I am now in a relationship with an incredible woman… you can’t put a price on the value of someone finding true love for you. I couldn’t give them a stronger stamp of approval.”
Meredith hired Lori and Jenn in 2011, and she had met and married her perfect match by October 2012. They have now started a family and have the Project Soulmate matchmakers to thank. “I would say, without a doubt, that I owe my current happiness and family to the efforts of Project Soulmate,” Meredith said.
“All of the relationships with our clients have significance to us because we only take clients that we believe we can help,” Samantha explained. “We become invested with each and every one.”
Project Soulmate Builds Toward a Bright Future
The dating scene has changed a lot just in the last decade. Technology has connected singles in a global network, but all those options may not help them if they’re looking for one particular person. That’s where matchmakers come in to help whittle down thousands of date prospects to a curated list of compatible dates.
Project Soulmate has learned from the successes of online dating and incorporated those lessons into how the team manages a nationwide database of singles. This boutique firm has combined all the matching know-how and networking power of a dating site with the more personalized and selective system of a traditional matchmaker.
By keeping an eye on the future, the matchmakers have positioned themselves to grow in a positive direction and continue offering relationship-minded clients a shortcut to love and romance.
“Our database is constantly changing, growing, and improving,” Samantha told us. “Matchmaking may be an old institution and enduring profession, but we make sure to stay current and modernized.”