When I went to meet Vitoria Setta and Adrianna Andaluz, owners of Velour Rouge, for lunch on a beautiful NYC afternoon– I was immediately introduced to what makes them great matchmakers. I walked into the restaurant, and at the bar they were quizzing 2 cute guys from London and finding out their relationship statuses. These ladies are far from shy and are moved to find matches for their clients everywhere!
Veralyn Media: What does Velour Rouge stand for?
Adriana Andaluz: Literally, “Velour Rouge” stands for Red Velvet in French. It was a process deciding on a name!
Vitoria Setta: We wanted a name that would be unique enough in the large and competitive market of matchmaking.
Adriana: It came about when we were looking at different euphemisms for genitals (something we like to do in our spare time, we’re very grown-up!) and one of them was “velvet curtains.” We ran with that idea– our train of thought was velvet curtains = red velvet = Velour Rouge.
VM: What was the moment you both knew this was something you wanted to start?
Vitoria: I’ve always loved the idea of throwing a speed dating event of my own… we’ve crashed a few events (we call it research), and noticed so many odd matches… cute young guys with much older women who could be their mothers, or really pretty and put-together women with men who, walking down the sidewalk they would never get notice.
Adriana: We’ve always partied and thrown parties ourselves, as well as hooked our friends up. It felt natural to take our business in that direction. Also, I feel like we have both reached a point in our lives in which we wanted to be the ones in charge.
VM: How will Velour Rouge (VR) solve the issues you saw at the match-making events you’ve attended in the past?
Vitoria: Pre-screening participants! We require that all potential VR friends fill out our “1st Time Form” and accept us as a friend on Facebook. Our goal is to keep VR events exclusive to only people who are either friends of friends, or whom, after much snooping, makes the cut.
Adriana: We go through people’s applications together, and decide who would be a good fit for a particular that event. However, we do keep everyone’s application on file so if we feel someone might be a good fit for a later event, we already have their contact info. We want to make sure people will have common interests, we’re not interested in throwing 20 random people in a room together.
VM: I checked out your “1st Time Form” myself and I noticed you ask people to identify their “type”. Why is that important for you to know? Do you think people answer this question honestly?
Vitoria: No! No one answers this honestly! Unfortunately, people are really scared to answer that “type” question. They think that somehow revealing their type makes them seem politically incorrect. I personally have a very specific type. I know what I like and am not afraid of what people have to say.
Adriana: It’s important for us to know someone’s “type” because we want to match them up with someone that compliments their personality, interests, & goals. I hope and feel confident that people will ultimately be honest with us, because it will determine which people we match them with.
VM: What has been the most challenging part of starting Velour Rouge?
Vitoria: The Website!!! Adriana and I are really creative- but really not tech-savvy. So we’ve finally- hired someone to do the job- instead of trying to do it on our own. Another issue has been learning about our market, and how to reach out to different networks. It’s been a learning process, and we are slowing finding our groove and getting the hang of it.
VM: What’s it like going into business with a friend?
Adriana: There is already a level of comfort and trust with Vitoria, so it’s a lot easier to speak my mind. We already have a solid foundation. We know that if something is said within a professional context, not to let that carry over into your personal relationship. We set boundaries and schedule time to just be friends.
VM: What advice would you give to others trying to figure out how to do what they love and get paid for it?
Vitoria: I think it’s all about doing what you really love. We become so much more motivated when we are working towards our own personal goals and dreams (rather than our bosses!). But you need to be certain that there is a demand for the type of service that you can offer.
Adriana: Do your homework, even if it means countless hours of research. Also, don’t be shy about asking for help. It’s also important to be realistic. Chances are you won’t be making money right away. Don’t let that discourage you; focus on building your brand because in time, that will pay off.