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Wednesday, March 20 , 2019, 1:29 am | Overcast 51º


Business Blossoms at Discreet Santa Barbara Matchmaking Company

Client list has grown significantly since Lisa Darsonval-Amador founded the company four years ago

Santa Barbara Matchmaking founder Lisa Darsonval-Amador, right, and her trusted associate Tami Finseth are taking the local dating scene by storm, expanding the business after four years.
Santa Barbara Matchmaking founder Lisa Darsonval-Amador, right, and her trusted associate Tami Finseth are taking the local dating scene by storm, expanding the business after four years.        (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

They go to sleep at night dreaming of how a particular date went, whether the chemistry was right or intriguing enough to lead to date No. 2.

The waiting game is further complicated because the dates Lisa Darsonval-Amador and Tami Finseth dream of are not their own, but for clients at Santa Barbara Matchmaking, LLC.

When Darsonval-Amador founded the discreet upscale matchmaking company four years ago, she knew it would be a 24/7 type of job — finding someone’s soul mate simply isn’t that easy.

“A lot of people think this is not a serious business, but it is,” said Darsonval-Amador, an East Coast native.

“Word of mouth is pretty much how we get our clients. We know our community. They know us.”

Business is booming for Santa Barbara Matchmaking, which serves a list of successful clients from Santa Barbara to Southern California, mostly men, who are ready to settle down with a life partner but don’t have the time to devote to online dating.

Their dating pool comes from the more than 900 men and women who created free online profiles through the company — each of whom gets vetted via interviews and background checks before a first date.

This isn’t a dating service, Darsonval-Amador emphasizes, but an opportunity to find love.

“They have to be quality themselves,” she said of clients, who must be positive and open-minded.

It’s not a job so much as a life’s mission for Darsonval-Amador, a longtime accountant who moved to Santa Barbara four years ago as a recent divorcée with three kids and the idea of starting her own matchmaking business — courtesy of a college roommate already in the industry.

She went to New York City for professional training and then got to work. She even found a match for herself and got married in January.

Her matchmaking services start at $3,500 and vary depending on a client’s goals. Santa Barbara Matchmaking also offers a VIP option that involves hosting private events or searching for a match in a specific location like Las Vegas.

As the client list grows, so has Darsonval-Amador’s staff.

Earlier this year after writing a new business plan through a Women’s Economic Ventures program, she hired Finseth as an associate to help keep up with demand. They operate out of offices at SYNERGY Business & Technology Center.

Finseth is a Laguna Beach native who moved locally to attend UC Santa Barbara and never left.

She’s been in the matchmaking business for several years — working for out-of-area companies — and brings image and “date coaching” techniques that Darsonval-Amador never had time to offer before.

A new wardrobe or outfit “changes their whole mindset,” Finseth said. 

Santa Barbara Matchmaking will soon launch a social club to feature a calendar of special promotions or date night suggestions that singles and couples can partake in.

A “dating boot camp” for a group of 10 women is also in the works, and both Finseth and Darsonval-Amador are available for public speaking engagements.

The pair joke about the East-West Coast fusion they have going on, but they have the same passion — having a finger on the local single scene and figuring out how to turn those singles into lasting couples.

“We’re about finding your partner,” Finseth said. “Don’t be scared. Reach out and call us.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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