Interview with Sallyanne Louisa, Founder of Harper Stein
Read how mother of four Sallyanne Louisa turned her love of matchmaking into thriving business serving the world’s most eligible singles. Here’s a sneak peek behind the doors of Harper Stein.
What is your career background?
Well, there have been different avenues to my career all of which I’ve enjoyed immensely, but I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss.
For many years I worked within private sector neuropsychological support which was very rewarding indeed and also as a headhunter within the corporate sector. The experience and skills gained in each of these roles has definitely contributed to my success with Harper Stein.
How did your career change after having children?
Without a doubt, the biggest change was the vast reduction in the number of hours I could work! I also suffered with terrible nausea and SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) with each of my pregnancies, especially with the twins.
It was entirely debilitating and put a stop to attending events and meetings during those times. I love what I do, so I do not see ‘work’ as ‘work’ but I have had to stop the late nights at my desk and introduce some structure in a bid to create the perfect work life balance we all dream of.
Where did the idea for Harper Stein come from?
This is an interesting question because there was never that lightbulb moment. By chance, I grasped the opportunity to help a high-profile gentleman to find his ideal partner. It was a leap of faith really, many people thought I was crazy at the time, but I knew that I was great at networking and connecting so I made it my mission to find his perfect partner.
I truly loved every moment. He set the bar for the six-figure membership fees we would go on to charge and his recommendation to an associate led to my next member and so on. It has defined how we operate to this very day.
How do you spread the word about what you do?
Word of mouth. We do not advertise. Each new member is referred to us personally and invited to join. We grow in an entirely unique way based purely on referral, reputation and success.
What’s your USP?
My connections. My amazing team and I, along with our network of ambassadors, are exceptionally well connected both locally and internationally. We can introduce those individuals who are exceptionally well suited. No stone is left unturned in our journey to find perfect partners.
Who’s your target audience?
Membership is strictly by invitation only, so one must be invited before they can join. The gentleman pays for membership and we proactively make introductions to possible partners whom are as well suited to him as he is to her.
These gents are UHNW from all over the world, each looking to meet and settle down with a genuine partner. Ladies membership is honorary. From all walks of life, our ladies are genuine and exceptional for one reason or another within their own right.
If we feel that we have a gentleman member with whom she would love to meet, we can make the introduction. We know each and every member well so many say that they met through a friend.
What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest obstacle is most certainly juggling motherhood with business. I have a wonderful nanny whom the children adore and I am also privileged enough to have final say over my diary and working hours, so I am able to attend the children’s special events or help on school trips etc.
But no matter how flexible or organised I am, I never quite feel that I have mastered the work life balance when it comes to the children. There is always that sense of guilt, no matter how unfounded I know it is.
And your proudest moment so far?
Giving something to someone that money cannot buy – an introduction to that special person who will change their lives for the better. There are many moments like this and each one gives me the biggest sense of pride.
Why is work so important to you?
I love what I do so work doesn’t feel at all like work. But aside from that, I do feel that it is important to follow dreams and to maintain independence.
Who inspires you?
JK Rowling. Despite all of the odds, she strived and achieved something beyond spectacular.
What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?
My three top tips would be:
- Become a great networker.
- Develop your intuition.
- Learn how to gently unravel people.
Having the right connections and friends or acquaintances in the right places is imperative, so becoming a great networker with the ability to build strong and meaningful relationships with those your meet is a good place to start.
Intuition is also important, although it can’t be taught, if you’re looking to become a matchmaker the chances are you already have great natural intuition.
When you’re chatting to someone about themselves and their relationship ideals you’ll need to be able to help them to unravel their true traits, blocks and priorities.
You can find out more about Harper Stein on their website.