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VOL. 129 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 03, 2014

Memphian Finds Success With Matchmaking Agency

ERINN FIGG | Special to The Daily News

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Memphian Kim Hill has always loved planning events as a hobby. She also has a knack for introducing single people who subsequently hit it off.

“For the longest time I would be doing these events and mingling around and introducing people, and then suddenly I thought, ‘Wait a minute. I could be getting paid for this.’”

So in 2012, she started her matchmaking agency, The Kim Hill Agency Premium Matchmaking Service (kimhillagency.com). It took a small investment on her part – about $2,500 to rent a Downtown office space and hire a website design firm – and now the business is doing well.

“Right now it pays the bills,” said Hill, who has a second career in real estate. “I’m only putting about 80 percent into it because of my other job, but it could potentially become huge if I put 120 percent in it.”

Aside from the desire to take something she loved and transform it into a business, Hill’s company also was partly inspired by her own search for a special someone.

Although Hill grew up in Memphis, in 2009 she decided to move to Los Angeles. Once there, she joined a professional singles group in an attempt to meet men. She didn’t have much luck, but the experience did spark an idea to start a similar group when she moved back to Memphis in 2011.

So in July 2011, Hill started the Memphis Professional Singles Meetup Group. Currently, the group has 757 eligible singles, most of them ages 30 to 45, who attend at least one event a month.

“When you’re a professional, there aren’t a lot of places to go around town that are classy where you can meet someone nice and likeminded,” Hill said. “I try to provide that experience in this group.”

Singles who join Hill’s Professional Singles Meetup Group (dues are $2 a month) fill out an application that, among other questions, asks if they’re looking for a serious relationship. If so, Hill will provide them with information about her matchmaking services. She has a variety of packages available, all of which include date set-ups.

Depending on the package, Hill also partners with other experts to offer an image assessment and makeover, professional styling advice, relationship coaching and more. She also can plan mixers, cocktail and dinner parties – the sky’s the limit, actually. And if one of her clients is looking for a particular type that’s not in her database of singles, she’ll even hit the streets and hunt for that person.

“I’m always out and about looking at ring fingers,” she said with a laugh.

Ludora Cooper is one of Hill’s success stories. The 26-year-old Realtor decided to give Hill’s services a try because she was looking for a serious relationship.

For Cooper’s first activity, Hill had planned a martini tasting for a small group of men and women.

“I was running really late, but I was convinced I should go,” Cooper said. “When I got there, there was only one available seat left and it was next to Ron. That initial meeting had us laughing and talking and finally exchanging phone numbers.”

Now, 10 months later, Cooper and Ron Taylor – another one of Hill’s former clients – are an item. A serious item, in fact.

“Yes, yes, yes, we’re in love!” Cooper said. “It’s very serious. I feel like it’s destiny. I could not have written a more perfect love story.”

True love aside, Cooper said she was impressed by the variety of events, the creative ideas and the caliber of singles Hill has in her database. She also believes Hill has a firm grasp on the psychology of relationships, particularly what works and what doesn’t.

On that note and with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, Hill has some relationship advice for both men and women.

“Men, I find they’re mostly afraid of rejection,” she said. “If they see a pretty lady, they often will be hesitant to approach her. Men need to step out of their comfort zones and make that introduction, make that first move.

“As for women, they tend to bring baggage into relationships, even on first dates. Don’t ever talk about relationships on dates. Leave all your luggage at home.”

And for both genders:

“I wish I could tell the whole world to be open-minded. Don’t judge a book by its cover. And do different, fun things on your dates – go horseback riding, do volunteer work together, anything that doesn’t feel like you’re both sitting there on an interview.”

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