Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Wardman.
Leslie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Following a twenty-year career in ESPN production and advertising, I decided to put my passion into what I call the most important part of life – finding your significant other. I became the Matchmaker/Director for an international matchmaking company for busy, single professionals during the 1990s. Yet, I envisioned a more personal, hands-on matchmaking experience. This vision is what drove me to create Ambiance Matchmaking in 2002.
I rely on client referrals and word-of-mouth. I believe a job well done is better than any form of advertising. This adds an extra layer to the pre-screening process since I’ll already have a built-in reference.
Over the past fifteen years, I have worked with thousands of clients across the country and even internationally. I’m proud to have worked with such amazing singles in accomplishing their dating and relationship goals. I have been a guest on several TV and radio shows, written columns on love and dating for major publications, and am the author of the book Love, Dating & the Beatles. I’m currently writing a book on the phenomenon of divorce after seventeen years, titled The 17-Year Itch.
I would like to say that I aspired to be in this industry but it isn’t quite how it happened. I was at a time in my life when I was wanting to reinvent myself in the business world.
One day I saw a magazine article that had a bunch of bright colors and a crazy business name. That was enough to get me to pick up the phone and call to see what they had going on. I had a great time speaking with the girl that answered (we’re still great friends to this day) but she handed off the phone and at the time I didn’t know why. I was told that they introduced single business people all around the country. “What?!?” They invited me down to their office and long story short they hired me out of 250 people that had applied for their director position.
I didn’t even know I was in a job interview! I hit the ground running and was having a wonderful time working with such a diverse and interesting bunch of single professionals. About a year later I went into my bosses office and asked her why she hired me and she said that I kept bugging her and she really liked how I’d sent in some gimmick to get her attention. Again…”What?!?” You see…they had gotten me mixed up with someone else but there was no looking back. This company eventually had a corporate takeover and I knew then that it was time to go my own direction. Again, no looking back.
Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been a wild ride! I love being able to help people, however, it is a lot of work. If you love what you do and are driven by a passion then you wouldn’t have it any other way. I have to say that expanding to where we are today didn’t come without some growing pains. Creating our networks, strategizing, hiring good, caring and responsible staff are all a big part of it. There were times that I felt the need to catch my breath but just had to keep pushing forward.
Marathon mentality builds strong minds which are needed in running an organization involving thousands of people over the years. Surrounding yourself with key partners that strengthen your weaknesses is so important. Our company manager of fifteen years keeps everything on track and for that, I am very grateful.
A struggle for me has been to realize that you can’t make everyone happy no matter how hard you try. I am a chronic optimist/nurturer and that lesson came with some bumps, frustrations, and bruises. It can hurt when you have tried so hard and nothing is good enough no matter what business you are in. I’ve worked through it and now don’t take it quite as personally.
Yesterday I was driving up PCH with someone from Brentwood and when she asked me what I did and I answered she replied, “That must be hard!” Nothing worthwhile is ever easy and I am thankful for my passion.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ambiance Matchmaking story. Tell us more about the business.
Ambiance Matchmaking is a high-end agency that caters to single professionals that have everything going for them with the exception of that special someone. We typically work with entrepreneurs, founders, people that have bought and sold businesses or have risen to the top in their area of expertise. We’ve combined old-fashioned tradition with modern day technology.
All in all, I’d say it is working. One thing I am told we should be proud of is that all of the marriages we have gotten together over the years are still together with the exception of one. This is to the best of my knowledge. People that come to us are serious about finding someone and that is exactly what we intend to do if accepted as a client.
We have worked hard on having a strong customer service. I hear so many stories of people feeling like they get lost in the matchmaking shuffle. It is such an honor when someone places this area of their life with us. We want it to be a good experience. You will get regular updates of what is going on behind the scenes. We have also begun sending out customer service questionnaires to help us keep lines of communication going strong.
We have been in business longer than 99.9% of the matchmakers out there and have experienced a slow yet steady growth over the years with multiple offices. I think this has been key to becoming an industry leader.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Great question! I have a very positive outlook. We have been in an awkward phase evolutionary wise for a while now when it comes to the world of singles. I believe society will begin to understand why, embrace the reasons, and confusion will fade away leaving room for a more positive outlook. This will make finding your life partner an easier process.
We’ve been making some introductions via Skype, Facetime, Zoom, etc., for quite some time now if there is geography involved. This way you can sit back and get to know someone in the convenience of your home prior to making big travel plans to meet. I think this is a very healthy process. Back in the day, many people were hopping on planes and driving great distances to see if there is a spark. That is a lot of pressure!
We’re all becoming more sophisticated and savvy when making decisions. I don’t believe matchmaking is going anywhere. Western culture has been slow to embrace it and now it is here to stay in a big way. I believe the generations to come may consider it to be a natural part of life.
- Website: www.ambiancematchmaking.com
- Phone: 844.773.6515
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: lesliewardman (IG)
- Facebook: ambiancematchmaking@ambiancematch (Facebook)
- Twitter: ambiancematchmaking@lovematchmaking (Twitter)
Chicago Tribune, KTUL, Slice Magazine, Langdon Publishing Chas Photo (http://www.chasphoto.mx/)