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Labor of Love

n a world of dating apps, matchmaker Gabriella Aratow offers personalized help for making one of the most important decisions in your life

Gabriella Aratow has always had a knack for matchmaking. “I was always putting people together long before I knew it could be a career,” “I’ve always liked making introductions. Even in high school and college, I was always thinking about who would be a cute couple.” 

But in a world of online dating apps, is there still a place for a real-life matchmaker? You bet there is. Gabriella is a professional matchmaker and owner of Aspen-based KIS—Keeper Introduction Services.

“A lot of people come to me because they've tried the apps and they find them miserable. Some people come to me because they don't want to be on the apps at all. My personal feeling about the apps is that they can work, but they rarely work. And they're a lot of work. A lot of work.” 

Gabriella also reminds us that these apps aren’t as interested in helping people find love and happiness as they are in growing their viewership and brand. “When you look at the business reports of these companies, they never mentioned the word marriage. They never mentioned the word happy relationship. They're not interested in that; they're interested in selling advertising to as many eyeballs as they can.

So, how did Gabriella turn pro? “It was all very spontaneous,” she says. “I decided I was going to hire a matchmaker. I was all prepared to do it.” But she was caring for an ill parent and watching her savings dwindle. It just wasn’t the right time to focus on something so important. “I thought to myself, what am I doing? The Dalai Lama says, ‘What you what you want for yourself, you should give to another.’ So that’s what I did.”

Gabriella wrote a letter to the matchmaking company she was going to hire for herself and asked them to hire her. “They called me the next day. I went to work for them and very quickly, I became the most successful matchmaker at their company.”

In 2020, Gabriella decided to strike out on her own. “I'm so much happier this way because I didn't like some of the rules and regulations I had to follow working for someone else. Now I make the rules. I'm happier, my clients are happier, and everything's just more fruitful. I get to have a closer relationship with my clients because there's no middle person creating the policy. The relationship is now really between me and my client.”

Gabriella may be based in Aspen, but her client roster spans across the country, and she even has some international clients—almost exclusively through word-of-mouth referrals. “And they sometimes come in the strangest ways,” she adds. “Someone will call me and say, oh, so and so told me about you, and I won't even know who it was who referred me. I'll find out later that they were a friend of someone I matched or something like that. So it’s got this organic growth—people hearing my name and hearing my excellent reputation, and then seeking me out.”

But Gabriella doesn’t just hang around waiting for the phone to ring. “I find clients—and candidates to match them with—anyway I can. I do everything from using social media and going on podcasts to asking friends and family and attending networking events. I also use other matchmakers a lot. We also refer candidates to each other in the matchmaking business, which is nice.” Gabriella is even on the reality show I am Shauna Rae, which is in its second season on The Learning Channel, helping a 22-year-old woman who looks like an 8-year-old child because of a cancer treatment that affected her pituitary gland. “Shauna is a mature woman. She wants to date, and she wants to find love. I was cast as her matchmaker on the show. 

“I think really core way, we all want for someone to come along and say, ‘Here, here's your person. I think what we all really crave is the right love match. It's such a treasure of the world.” And the true personal fulfillment Gabriella gets from her work is evident. “With every person, I get into a loving relationship, with every couple that gets married, I feel that I’m changing the world. If a butterfly wing halfway around the world alters the course of humanity, then certainly, people finding their beloved to be with for the rest of their life alters the course of humanity.”

Gabriella Aratow

Keeper Introduction Services