Project Fixup breathes new life into the Chicago dating scene — and Valentine’s Day
If you’ve ever tried the likes of Match.com or, heaven forbid, Craigslist, to find a date, you know what lies beyond. And what looks good on-screen may be completely different in person. [Or just 30 lbs. heavier.] Of course, if your friends are also failing you on finding that fabulous Other, you may wonder where to turn.
Enter Project Fixup.
This fresh, fun Chicago-based startup is trying things a little differently. Says Sarah Press, one of the co-founders, “We’re like a combination matchmaker and dating concierge that sets people up on fun dates and handles all the details for them. People fill out a short questionnaire so we know who they are, what they’re looking for, and what kind of dates they enjoy.”
These dates can range from dive bars to craft beer locales, or just a simple cafe, depending on your interests. Whatever their formula is, people are responding. “Over 200 people have paid to get fixed up, and over 80% of people surveyed during our post-date survey have said they definitely wanted to try Project Fixup again,” says Press.
So what is their formula? They’re not telling, but they “do the work” to find someone you’d want to meet and a fun date. Fill out a questionnaire and they’ll match you with people with similar interests. You each get pictures of one another with a brief description, and you can pass for any reason. Dates are all in public places, and PF collects feedback to make better matches. “We’re still better than what online dating or a random meeting at a bar can provide,” Press says.
If you like the details, you confirm and go on the date. There is no required subscription either; you pay $15 per date, or purchase a package for a discount [and we thrifty gals love our discounts!]. “Our goal is to make dating easier and more fun … people can focus on meeting someone new and seeing if there is a spark.”
The age range so far for PF is 22-64, and the majority of users fall into late 20s to early 40s.
Still not convinced? PF is having a Valentine’s Day party at Fatpour this Thursday. Entry is free, and you can purchase an all-you-can-drink package for $25 at the event.
After all, what do you have to lose? PF is only a few months old, so the marriages are still to come. “We’ve definitely had some of our fix-ups lead to second dates and relationships, as well as many friendships and good conversations. Even if it’s not a love connection, you’re still doing something you enjoy at a great bar with a person you have something in common with.”
And that is what it’s all about!