Name: Marni Galison
Location: New York, NY
Education: Georgetown University, Emory University School of Law
Job title: President and Founder of Sunday at Noon Matchmaking and Events
What she does: Marni Galison isn’t your mother’s matchmaker – and she isn’t like Bravo TV’s Patti Stanger, either. As President and Founder of Sunday at Noon Matchmaking and Events, Marni has put together a team that’s progressive, young and in the know. “We never want to be just about putting two people together because they are simply both single and looking to get married as a well-intentioned aunt or mother might do!” says Marni. “We understand that single men and women today are looking for so much in a partner and in a relationship and we strive to ensure that when we put two people together their core values and interests are aligned.” Marni doesn’t just meet with clients – she actually listens to them to understand what they are looking for in a partner and then find qualify people who meet that criteria and who are ready for a serious relationship. She screens each setup to ensure that it is a great introduction and to weed out people who are not serious. “My job is also to coach my clients so that they can see how some of their criteria may be counterproductive and, in fact, keeping them from meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right. The introductions and coaching really go hand in hand,” says Marni.
How she got her gig: Marni kicked off her career as a prominent attorney in New York. But even though she had found a successful career in law, she felt that something was missing. So she left law with the goal of starting her own boutique matchmaking firm. “I have always been able to connect with people of all backgrounds, I love to network and am someone who instinctively cares about and wants to help others,” says Marni. “I had a strong conviction that I could provide a very appealing alternative to the often exceedingly frustrating and disheartening online dating and bar scene.” While leaving law for the world of matchmaking was clearly a significant career change, attorneys actually have a tremendous advantage with their background and training. “I have come to see that the skills I honed as a trial attorney such as being able to read people well and elicit relevant background information come in very handy in my field,” says Marni.
Positive Reinforcement: When Marni told her friends and family she was leaving a stable and flourishing law career to start her own business as a match maker, many people were skeptical. However, she stuck it out, maintaining a positive attitude the whole way and never looking back. “When I hit my one year business anniversary I celebrated with a treat to myself. Each year that goes by I mark my business anniversary by doing something special. I don’t feel like I have achieved all my goals – there are so many more to come – but with each anniversary I feel more and more successful as I look back on all that I accomplished the year before,” says Marni.
Love Doctor: “I am always reading articles on dating and relationships that come out in all of the major publications. I am constantly reading books by scientists, doctors, anthropologists and marriage counselors on the science and psychology of attraction, how we can best understand the opposite sex and so on,” says Marni. “Learning about how our brains react when we are in love is fascinating.”
Day in the Life: Don’t let the glamorous façade of matchmaking fool you – helping people create meaningful and lasting relationships is a tough full time job. While Marni does attend and host her fair share of events, she is always on the clock, constantly meeting new people to add to her database. She also devotes time to writing her blog. “Once a week I get to be part-time radio host of my program ‘Love in the Afternoon’ where I have had the good fortune to interview guests such as Mars/Venus author John Gray, author Lori Gottlieb (of Marry Him), and sex expert Ian Kerner,” says Marni. She also spends her time coaching clients and setting up matches. “Once a great match has taken place that’s when my job as coach really starts,” says Marni
Veg Out: “On days when I have felt a great deal of stress I have sometimes turned on a really good movie to draw me in for a few hours (I recall one Saturday evening watching the full Rocky marathon and being completely motivated by the time it was over!). Other times, I just go for a walk around the block to get a change of environment and get some fresh air,” says Marni.
Put a Ring on It: What’s the most satisfying part of her gig? “When people I introduced get engaged,” says Marni.
Chemical Reaction: Dating is all about trial and error – right? Marni knows that the world of dating isn’t always all flowers and butterflies. “When one person after a date is very excited about the other person and the other party is not romantically interested – that part is never fun,” says Marni.
This jobs for you if: you constantly ask yourself how you can do things better. Marni challenges herself by always re-evaluating how she runs her business. But she also depends on the people close to her to help guide her way: “Always turn to people whose advice you value,” says Marni, “and who you know will give you a straight answer.”