An Edinburgh entrepreneur is taking the tech out of soulmate searching by offering a near-forgotten service used by singletons for centuries.
Laura Smyth, dubbed the Cilla Black of the north, launched Match Made in Scotland after helping single friends who were frustrated with the online dating scene.
Laura said: “My friends were plain fed up with swiping left and right on their phones wasting hours having the same banal conversations with people they were never going to meet.”
Then inspiration struck former recruitment consultant Laura. “It occurred to me while we were having a good old moan that for the past 10 years I’d been working as a matchmaker by finding the right jobs for people and the right candidates for companies.”
Gregarious Laura started helping to pair up couples from her wide circle of friends and from there became the only matchmaker in Scotland.
“Things took off really quickly,” said the 33-year-old, “As soon as I started putting feelers out enquiries were coming from across the country for consultations.”
Unlike dating platforms Laura meets every one of her potential clients and even vets them and verifies identification to weed out any charlatans.
Laura carries out face-to-face consultations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Stirling, Perth, Aberdeen, and Inverness.
Laura said: “I don’t use any fancy algorithms or artificial intelligence, only good old-fashioned matchmaking skills – putting people together who have the same values, ambitions, and have complementary personalities.
“I am with the clients every step of the way and can be as hands on or hands off as they want.”
Laura puts her success down to a romantic heart backed up by down-to-earth common sense and business skills.
“As a youngster I’d watch romantic films like Dirty Dancing and Sleepless in Seattle over and over and I firmly believe there’s a soulmate out there for everybody. But the recruiter side of me knows making a real match is all about asking the right questions.”