Single folks have likely swiped left and right countless times on apps like Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble, but the app-centric dating scene is decidedly not for everyone. That’s where Greta Tufvesson and Nikki Lewis come in—they’re the co-founders of The Bevy, a personal matchmaking service with offices in NYC, LA, and San Francisco that are making them some of the most successful matchmakers in the business. The partners break down their process:
What sparked the idea to launch The Bevy?
The New York dating market had a major disconnect. Dating sites, apps, and technology in general had suddenly become so pervasive, and we wanted to reconnect people with the face-to-face introduction.
How did you two meet?
We met in 2010 through mutual friends in the fashion PR industry.
What are your backgrounds?
Tufvesson: I had a career in luxury marketing and knew that I could use my brand building experience to recreate the dating space for the New York market. The space lacked edge, sophistication, and strategy—putting a team behind connecting people rather than an algorithm was the foundation that led us to The Bevy.
Lewis: I’d also cultivated many relationships throughout years of interning in fashion and celebrity PR in LA and NY throughout college at NYU, where I received a BFA in drama. I realized that my theatrical experience gave me the people skills and emotional intelligence necessary to cope empathetically with different types of people and their interpersonal relationships. All of these factors ultimately led me to Greta. The rest is history!
How does your platform differ from other matchmaking services?
Our business is unique mainly because of the quality of our membership. We have a three-step vetting process that requires a referral, ID and photo authentication, as well as an in-person interview. We use a photo management system called TRUEPIC which captures verified original, untouched, and unaltered images so we know what we are facing when we meet for our face-to-face interview. We are also one of the only companies that does not charge a membership fee for women.
Why do people go to a service vs. an app today?
If you wouldn’t use Craigslist to search for your next C-level exec, why would you use Tinder to find your life partner? We live in a world where seeing is no longer believing. There is rampant fraud in app and online dating. According to the FBI, over $230 million in reported fraud last year alone. We are essentially an executive search with a rigorous vetting process, pre-screening candidates and only introducing our clients to extraordinary opportunities. An app is really just a dating playground in which anyone can join.
Do you find that you have to compete with the apps?
We don’t. There is really no comparison because we did not start this business to compete with dating apps. This is our passion project which has become our full-time career. We are, and will always be, a boutique firm. Bespoke, selective, and high-touch.
What’s the number one struggle you hear from clients in the dating world?
Time and access to a quality person who is likeminded and serious about being in a committed relationship. Apps may give you access to outer social circles, which is great. But just because someone is great, it doesn’t mean they’re looking to commit or they’re necessarily right for you.
Who is typically your client?
Our typical male client and female members are educated, professional, educated, successful, fit, attractive, and serious about commitment.
How many clients do you have?
We do not work with more than 30 active male clients nationwide at one time. Our clients are ever changing and frequently getting into relationships, so we are typically able to help everyone we select to work with.
Are the demands from your male clients as intense as we’d might expect?
Yes, and more yes. Most of our male clients are very successful and type-A in their careers, so this transcends into who they select to spend time with. Since their time is so limited, they want to be sure that any time not delegated to family, friends, or work is completely worth it. Their criteria is extremely high, and it should be. These men have accomplished extraordinary things, and they are seeking extraordinary partners.
How far do you get into it with your clients? Planning the date, helping advise what to wear…
We are a full-service concierge. While most of our clients don’t require [help], we like to be involved in all aspects if need be. We typically enjoy planning the date, so there isn’t so much back and forth. We coordinate schedules so you don’t have to. We are on the cusp of all things cool: new restaurants and bars, fashion, design, and tips. We have a stylist, life coach, and nutritionist on staff.
Why did you decide to open your third office in San Francisco?
Because we are so tapped into LA and NYC, we would receive so many inquiries about San Francisco. Ultimately, we had to feed into demand there, and are very lucky to know incredible people in the Bay area.
Any other expansion plans?
Definitely. That said, we can’t give away all our secrets. We are laser-focused on New York, LA, and San Francisco at the moment. Since we know so many fantastic individuals in Miami and London, we tend to do work in those locales, as well.