Patti Stanger: The Millionaire Matchmaker
THE POWER OF LOVE
By Kate Siegel
The stunning Patti Stanger’s no nonsense approach to love and relationships has made her a household name while skyrocketing her show, ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’, to the top of the ratings for Bravo TV— making it one of the most successful series in the network’s history. However, Patti is far more than a pretty face and a bold personality — behind the scenes she is a strong, competent businesswoman running an empire of her own creation.
While being the star of a thriving reality show has helped Patti to brand her, her matchmaking business, around which the show is focused, stands successfully on its own.
“I always remember this can go away, and that it is a privilege.” she recounts, “The 15 minutes could be up, and this could all be over.” If that happens, Patti wants to make sure she can return to a business that is squeaky-clean: “Our company is untarnished and we are still the gold standard in the business.”
Patti attributes the pristine reputation of The Millionaire’s Club to her commitment to quality and actually caring about the fate of her millionaires. She feels that a good deal of her competitors, including her prior employer, fall short in this aspect of the business.
“The problem was that they didn’t really act like they cared about the client after they took their money.” Patti laments. And that behavior like that sullies the industry’s reputation as a whole.
Ms. Stanger is a third generation matchmaker who, together with her mother and grandmother, has been helping single men and women for over 40 years, when it comes to the business of finding love. Her grandmother started out her matchmaking career by setting up Patti’s mother and father. When the synagogue they belonged to recognized her skill as a matchmaker, she was asked to help match up the congregation, sometimes receiving gifts of livestock.
Given this backdrop you would think that Patti’s career choice was pre-ordained—not so! In fact, Patti decided that she wanted to be a screenwriter at a young age, and with a cousin who was chairman of the board at Warner Bros., she had a solid connection. He had said to her, “If you go to film school, I’ll give you a job.” So Patti did just that, but it never came to fruition, “Unfortunately he died from a cocaine overdose, and I had no one to turn to, to get a movie career going,” Patti recalls, as it is extremely difficult to break into the business unless you know someone.
At that point, knowing that she wanted to make a decent living and liked nice clothing, Patti made up her mind to get in to the ‘schmatta’ business: “I worked for Union Bay and Jou Jou selling jeans and had the time of my life.’ Patti recounts. “Unfortunately, in 1999 the market crashed, and all the buying offices went out of business.”
So, Patti moved down to Florida to work at her parents’ restaurant, but she desperately wanted to do something else. One day her mom ripped out an ad in the newspaper for a matchmaking company called Great Expectations, and, according to Patti, “That’s where it all started.”
Drawn back to her roots, she eventually became its Director of Marketing and learned from the company’s mistakes: “My bosses were mean.” Patti recalled, “They would work on the fear-based system; threatening to fire everyone if they didn’t do what they wanted.” Patti decided to take a different approach; “I give my employees bonuses, take them on vacations and buy them clothes and presents.”
Eventually, she decided to start her very own matchmaking service for the elite: The Millionaire’s Club, founded in 2000 with a dedication to customer service. Patti’s business quickly became one of the most reliable places for Millionaires to find love.
With the success of her reality TV show, Patti has also had the opportunity to endorse and create dynamic products with her namesake, such as her new sparkling rosé wine—coming out this December, and a clothing and jewelry line launching next year, both of which will be featured this season on ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’. Plus, Patti is the spokesperson for the Sensa Diet, and a co-owner of Tyku Sake. In addition to all this, she is extremely enthusiastic about her upcoming speaking engagements and revamping her website PattiKnows.com with all sorts of exciting new content, like blogs and horoscopes. This site is not just for those looking for love—there’s great advice for people in relationships as well!
Patti is also producing new shows under the umbrella of her production company Millionaire Productions, the first of which is called House of Joy on NUVOtv. The show focuses on the family life of legendary music producer, Rodney “Darkchild” Jenkins and his wife Joy—airing Thursday nights; check your local listings.
Plus, she is pursuing her original dream of writing for a scripted project that is in the works for WME and Electus Entertainment! If that’s not enough, Patti is also looking into the idea of creating a physical Millionaire’s club with a bar and restaurant and possibly even a hotel—she wants to create a special place for her Millionaires to take their dates for a spectacular evening.
With all this in the works, she somehow still manages to make time for her serious boyfriend, David Krausse, a dashing former baseball player turned mortgage broker. When asked about how she does it, Patti advises, “The most valuable lessons I’ve learned is to have patience and the second thing is to find good people, which is the hardest thing to do.”
However having some employee mishaps is part of the game as some of the girls come to work for her just to snag a millionaire for themselves.
“One time an employee fell in love with a millionaire and he broke her heart, but she still had to fix him up.” Patti said. “They learn their lesson that way and then they don’t do it again.”
In addition to all her other business ventures and the writing that Patti is working on, it seems that she is most excited about the branding company she is starting called Brandmasters. In this new venture Patti consults with businesses about their products or services and helps them through the stages of getting off the ground. She introduces them to agents, managers, gets them advertising, and sometimes even helps them develop a reality program around the business.
“My friends always ask me for help with this so I said, ok why don’t I just start doing it as a business?” Patti recalls, “I love to find new products that nobody knows about and say, ‘Oh my God, I found this amazing product!’ I love to help other people blow up!”
Turns out, this business venture is being built with love as David, her boyfriend, is an important part of the operations; creating the websites and doing the photography for the clients, “who have been very impressed with his work,” Patti is pleased to report.
Even before she established herself as the sassy love guru to the rich and powerful on her reality show, Patti understood the importance of her brand. In the year 2000, between the dating websites starting to take over and other matchmaking services on the market, Patti was entering a very competitive landscape with her budding matchmaking company. In a brilliant move, she branded her company as an exclusive club, reserved for only the wealthy and elite. Even more impressive is that when she started the club she had no formal advertising budget, relying solely on word of mouth for new clientele. Using this strategy her business flourished, but with the reality show her popularity exploded and she has had to become more careful with the vetting process for new clients.
“You want people who seriously want to find love, not just people who are using me to get on the show or to be famous.” Patti states, “There have been plenty of people who I have rejected.” With her success she has been forced to become cautious and has learned how to weed out the millionaires just looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
The fact that she is able to turn down bachelors and bachelorettes at $25,000-$50,000 a pop is impressive in itself, but it is also brilliant from a branding perspective, as it makes her service even more elite and sought after.
“I like to take less clients and more money; is my philosophy,” upping the exclusivity factor with every Millionaire she turns away. Patti also achieves this on her show when she kicks millionaires out of the club for violating her rules and often for simply being difficult to deal with, “I only go off on someone when they actually deserve it.” Patti affirms.
With the runaway success of her show, Patti has also expanded her brand to the Internet with an extremely active social media presence. In addition to launching her new site: PattiKnows.com she will be launching another called: attractingasoulmate.com. She has over 300,000 twitter followers, and she tweets a few times every day about her life or links to interesting articles on her website about love.
Although Patti has had setbacks in finding love herself, she has always remained optimistic and it looks like there is happy ending on the horizon. It is clear that she and David are very serious from the way she talks about their future.
When asked about the possibility of kids Patti says, “I have two teenagers with my boyfriend now! I wanted children for a really long time and it was a big regret of mine that a guy didn’t show up at the right time,” she said. “But what can I do? Life dealt me that hand.”
Patti still thinks about adopting a baby but realizes it might work better with an older child. So if all works out, one day she hopes to leave her business empire to her boyfriend’s daughter or if not, a close relative.
When asked about online dating, for those of us who can’t afford to spend $50,000 in our search for love, Patti says that her website www.attractingasoulmate.com is a great resource, as it uses subliminal messages and affirmations embedded in music to help draw love to you.
“It fixes the unconscious mind by reprogramming it—attracting your soul mate in 90 days.” Patti attests. It’s a program she developed with Steve Jones, a clinical hypnotherapist and Joe Vitale, a self-help motivator and one of the stars on the movie ‘The Secret’. However, more generally Patti thinks online dating is wonderful!
“I met David on ‘Plenty of Fish’, because my best friend found her husband on it.” Patti said. “I said, ‘What the hell?’ I’ve never tried this site, so let me give it a try!”
Patti feels that online dating allows a person to interact with new people who you might otherwise never meet, which adds a whole new world of potential suitors to the search.
As for the future, Patti hopes to be writing and producing movies, in addition to working on spin offs of her reality show, and maybe even hosting her own talk show!
In Patti Stanger’s world the future certainly looks bright! In the end, Patti’s keen business sense and skill with branding has served her well. According to celebritynetworth.com, Patti’s assets are estimated at $4 million plus. Not bad for a Jersey girl who’s grandmother accepted chickens as payment for her matchmaking services.