Sarbatori Fericite!

Sarbatorile de iarna au un farmec aparte.

De fiecare data, le reamintesc oamenilor de toti cei dragi, de familie, de prieteni, de alti oameni care au insemnat sau inseamna ceva pentru ei. Si atunci devenim cu totii mai generosi, ne reamintim ce inseamna a oferi si daruim cu placere : o felicitare, o vizita, un telefon, un mic cadou, orice.

Va daruim si noi gandurile noastre bune si va dorim tuturor Craciun Fericit alaturi de cei dragi voua si toate cele bune in Noul An !

Cu drag,

Echipa UmbrellaforTwo

Vreau pe cineva ca mine. Se poate?

 

Articol scris de Antonia Mares, revista Confort Magazin.

Pe vremuri se numeau peţitori, acum sunt matchmakeri. Sunt oameni care pot sa îţi recomande să te întâlneşti cu persoane potrivite în vederea unei relaţii serioase, de lungă durată. În România, cei de la Umbrella for Two sunt primii care se ocupă de acest lucru.

Într-o zi cu soare care te face să îţi doreşti să fii pe o terasă cu un capuccino în faţă, Oana Totora ne întâmpina în pragul unei mansarde cochete din Bucureşti. Toată un zâmbet, ne invită înăuntru şi ne roagă să luăm loc, până când aduce ceaiuri şi cafele. Fotoliile din piele sunt comode, iar pereţii acoperiţi cu lemn te fac să te simţi ca în sediul unei firme pe care ai văzut-o într-un film al lui Woody Allen. Pe masă sunt două pietricele în formă de inimă, lângă care e un teanc de cărţi de vizită. Pe ele scrie Oana Totora, Personal Matchmaker.

Oana se întoarce cu o tavă cu cafele şi zahăr şi ne invită pe terasa inundată de soare. “Aici e locul preferat al tuturor”, ne spune ea şi se referă probabil la clienţii care trec pragul firmei zilnic.

Umbrella for Two s-a lansat oficial de Dragobete, în acest an. Ocazia, diferită de Valentine’s Day, marchează şi faptul că este un concept original, adresat pieţei din România. Scopul: a face recomandări de persoane interesate de o relaţie pe termen lung printre oameni maturi din punct de vedere spiritual şi material.

“Ideea afacerii ne-a venit pe vremea când lucram intr-o multinaţională”, ne spune Oana Totora, în numele celorlalte două asociate. “Este un mediu foarte competitiv şi dacă vrei să ţii pasul şi să ajungi sus, e posibil să ignori anumite aspecte, precum viaţa personală sau timpul liber. Erau oameni în jurul nostru care isi doreau o relatie sentimentala de durata, insa nu stiau unde si cand s-o gaseasca. Cercul lor de prieteni nu răspundea de cele mai multe ori cu o propunere în acest sens, aşa că, de ce să nu suni pe cineva mai bine conectat ?”

În trecut, exista tradiţia peţitorilor, îndeplinită de cele mai multe ori de bătrânii satului. Ei ştiau bine cine este disponibil, ce avere are şi cu cine s-ar potrivi. În anumite comunităţi etnice, unde este important să găseşti pe cineva similar, există de asemenea responsabili cu potrivirile. Se pare totuşi că în zilele noastre, capitala matchmakingului este Londra. Acolo există suficiente companii încât să se justifice existenţa unui institut care reglementează practicile în domeniu.

Ne mutăm înapoi pe canapeaua comodă. Vrem să intrăm mai mult în detalii, să vedem care e traseul pe care îl parcurge un client care vine în căutarea jumătăţii sale.

“Avem întâi o discuţie de cunoastere. Discutam despre conceptul nostru si serviciile pe care le oferim si pe de alta parte incarcam sa cunoastem cat mai bine persoana din fata noastra si sa aflam ce isi doreste ca partener de viata. ”, povesteşte Oana cu o voce calmă şi plăcută. Este îmbrăcată elegant, la jumătatea distanţei dintre office şi romantic, ceea ce te conduce la ideea că are idee despre ambele lumi. Are în braţe un clipboard cu un formular, pe care ni-l arată şi nouă. “Este o fişă de personalitate absolut necesară pe care am încercat să o facem cât mai plăcut de parcurs.”

Analizarea profilului, a pasiunilor, a preferinţelor este o etapa esenţială. Dar cel mai important este ca cel care vine să fie serios în legatură cu ceea ce vrea. Deşi sună de departe ca un serviciu care îţi ia o grijă de pe cap, e vorba şi de muncă individuală. Trebuie să cauţi în tine, să vezi ce vrei şi în acelaşi timp să fii deschis şi curios. Lucrurile astea sunt spuse cu maximă seriozitate, aşa că nu ne îndoim de adevărul lor.

“Şi pot să găsesc pe cineva ca mine?” Întrebarea asta mă roade de când am venit. Oana îmi explică pe îndelete că în general spre asta ţinteşte Umbrella for Two, găsirea unor oameni care se potrivesc între ei ca pasiuni, dorinţe, ocupaţie şi stil de viaţă, dar asta nu înseamnă că trebuie să fii identic. Oana ne asigură că de multe ori contează mai mult chimia, felul în care doi oameni se completează, chiar dacă vin din zone profesionale diferite. “Este sarcina noastră să ne gândim, să interpretăm, să cercetăm şi în final să propunem profilele unor oameni care se potrivesc cu clientul care a venit la noi”.

„Cum îi ajutaţi pe clienţi?” ar fi altă curiozitate a noastră. Ca să faci o cucerire, trebuie sa arunci în joc tot arsenalul de care ai nevoie, aşa ştiam. Aflăm că pe lângă recomandări, clienţii Umbrella for Two primesc coaching relaţional. Nu li se dau sfaturi în mod direct, ci cu ajutorul întrebărilor, ei extrag anumite răspunsuri care îi ajută. Pe lângă asta, Umbrella aranjează întâlnirile, adică le recomandă locaţiile, iar unii clienţi pot intra într-un program special în care colaborează cu un stilist pentru a pune la punct şi aspectul de înfăţişare.

Oana Totora pare foarte pasionată de ceea ce face. “Am întâlniri cu oameni pe tot parcursul zilei, serile sunt insa pline . Oamenii vin aici, în mansardă, sau dacă sunt prea ocupaţi ne dăm o întâlnire într-o cafenea pe lângă locul lor de muncă. La început discutăm despre ce fel de oameni îşi doresc să cunoască. Apoi, în decurs de câteva luni ne uităm împreună la profile pe care le recomand. Ei aleg cu cine vor să se întâlnească. După ce au loc întâlnirile, ne auzim pentru a povesti cum s-au desfăşurat şi decidem cum continuăm.” Sună a multe, multe ore de întâlniri şi discuţii. “Cum rezişti?”, o întreb pe Oana. Ea zâmbeşte şi răspunde de parcă era vorba de un adevăr foarte evident “îmi place foarte mult ce fac! Îmi place să vorbesc cu oamenii, să aflu ce gândesc, să încerc să îi deschid astfel încât să ajungem la rădăcina adevărului. Cred că cel mai mult îmi place când primesc un telefon despre o întâlnire care a decurs bine şi care arată speranţa unei viitoare relaţii. Orele care se scurg nu contează.”

Bucharest Expat, looking for the right person

Sursa: Bucharest Expat

Romania: home of beautiful people all looking for the right person. Could that be you?

What if you’re an expat seeking a gentleman / lady to spend the rest of your life with, how do you do this? Do you frequent clubs, bars and coffee shops? What if that’s ‘not your style,’ what if it’s not working?? What if you just cannot find the ‘right’ person?

There are now many thousands of men and women around the world turning to online dating, and matchmaking, and it’s happening here in Romania. We decided here at Bucharest Expat to find more about this rapidly growing market, and decided to write the first of a series of articles until we get to the bottom of this!

Let’s make the distinctions first.

Online dating – load your profile online and hit the search option and up comes hundreds of profiles, its not personal, it’s a wild shot in the dark, for casual dating, it works, and will get you dates but it is by nature going to throw up some random results.

Matchmaking – a personal, private, face-to-face profile assessment after which selected matches are then invited (even headhunted) to meet you. This is the more expensive route but more intimate and arguably accurate way of finding your partner for life.

With these distinctions in mind we decided to embark upon the following for you, our Expat Bucharest readers. We took one of our American friends, Dave, and asked him to be the Guinea pig for a matchmaking experience. The deal was that he must follow the process, with full commitment, be honest and open and write about the experience for us over the coming months for Bucharest Expat. When he innocently agreed, little did he (or we) know what he was in for!!

So who is Dave? Well, Dave has been here in Bucharest for over 4 years, works as an EU Consultant and has had some ‘social fun’ during this time in Romania, but now in his 40’s he feels that its time he settled down. Dave has actually been looking for Mrs. Right for a year or two, but because of his job and being an expat he has just not really been able to meet her. He knows that she exists and he wants to find her but feels time is slipping by.He is committed to staying in Romania for the foreseeable future and has no plans to return to America as he sold his house in Ohio when he left to come here. More about Dave later!!

Enter our friends at Umbrella For Two Bucharest, Romania and in particular Oana Totora, the (married) co-owner of this small, intimate Matchmaking company, established one year ago here in Bucharest after a discussion between friends on how to find the right man! The result was: www.Umbrellafortwo.ro Three like minded women, committed themselves to a private, very personal and extremely dedicated company, determined to find life partners for their clients.

Having identified the company to work with, we dragged Dave out, showered, shaved and dressed him reasonably well and packed him off for what we thought would be a fun experience. Well, we thought it would be fun, but nobody said that life was easy.

What we had not anticipated is that our friends at Umbrella for Two take this process extremely seriously and having listened to Dave’s story of his first meeting with Umbrella for Two we realized there is more to this matchmaking than a quick chat and a photo! The process entails a series of interviews and tests to truly ascertain your attitudes, dreams and desires, and if at the end you impress Umbrella for two, they will set their hearts on finding you a match!!

Umbrella for Two, very kindly signed the innocent Dave for the Platinum package, the top package, including head hunting, great we thought, what we did not realize was the process that would now follow. To give you the insider view, we will let Dave take it from here…

“I met the lovely Oana on the stairs of the Umbrella for Two offices in Bucharest, one pleasant evening for our informal interview. Over a cigarette on the terrace, Oana explained that the process we were about to embark upon had a failure rate of four from five. This is where I started to get anxious. She explained that for many people they just had to be honest and tell them they would struggle to find their match.

“I felt my heart quicken and involuntarily began to suck in my stomach and started to try and remember why I had not been to the gym much recently. I became super conscious that I should (maybe) have made a better effort on dressing and maybe the ‘rugged’ stubble was not the best idea either….

“On to our ‘little chat’. What can I say? I felt like I was grilled for two hours on my life, my past, future, attitudes, feelings, reasons for friends, needs, my divorce, hobbies, future, dreams. The Romanian Secret Service missed out on a really good agent here! It was deep, personal, and eventually, after dodging round the tricky questions for an hour, I caved and started to be a little more open on my answers. Boy, this lady is good!

“I have to say though, I have never been so thankful for a smile as the one that I received at the end! There’s no messing with Oana!”

When she said “see you next week” I almost cheered. I had passed! My immediate response was enthusiastic “Great, when do we look at pictures and profiles of beautiful women?” Not so fast! The cold smile from Oana returned and she reminded me “This is a long and serious project. We do want you to waste anybody’s time and we will try to find you your ideal life partner.”

“You know what, I started to believe her and then it clicked, I will take it seriously. Okay, you’re on!

“However, that was before the 72 personality assessment questions and the three page profile that I have to write before the next meeting. Arghh!

Lots of homework for this weekend also. I have to supply some profile pictures if possible, (not too bad I smiled, I was on the beach in the summer, just need to dig the right pictures out).

“I sat calmly on the Saturday night and put my heart into my profile, accurate and honest, then onto the 72 personality questions, designed to find out if you’re a nice guy or some serial killer masking as a nice guy. They are difficult questions but you can tell where it’s leading to, and I was as honest as I could be. Being a man, taking a test with straight yes and no answers is difficult when most of the time you want to answer ‘a little bit,’ ‘maybe’ or ‘does not apply to me!’

“Sunday morning saw my email primed, just a quick few minutes on photo shop (What? Come on. Everyone does!) and I’ll be ready. Four sweaty, frustrating hours of Photoshop (delete, are you sure you want to do that? etc.) later and a bronzed, buffed, sexy me was being emailed to Oana.

“I must admit the next week started with me looking forwards to the next step, in this now intriguing new turn in my life!

“Tuesday night came slowly round and saw me excitedly taking the steps up to the Umbrella for Two offices two at a time to meet Oana and the next episode in my dream path to a partner. Great! Pleasantries were swapped and I relaxed in the chair for our next step. Oana asked me to relax and be as comfortable as possible as were “about to prepare for the video interview”. WTF?

“I think I might have screamed, just a little bit… I know my digestive system did.”

Want to know how the video went? Want to know more on Dave? Did Dave get past this trial? Did he ever get to see a profile? Should we auction the video, at the end? Could we be that that cruel?

Here at Bucharest Expat we will post the next stage of Dave’s not so easy dream journey to find Mrs. Right in a week or two. We know what happened next and it’s fascinating. Keep checking back and please post your comments and thoughts (and price bids for Dave’s video!!) on the first step of Match Making Romania….

Thanks for reading,

BucharestExpat

Matching up Romania’s lonely hearts

 

Sursa: Business Review

In an era of speed, when time is a luxury that few can afford, finding a soul-mate seems like the challenge of the century. Romantics may disapprove, arguing for a more spontaneous kind of love, but facts and figures show that there is increasing demand for matchmaking and dating services in an ever more modern Romania.

Corina Dumitrescu

Although the traditional way of finding love now means eyes meeting across a crowded room and butterflies in one’s stomach, with fate acting as Cupid, things have not always been like this. It was not so long ago when families married off their young or members of the clergy intervened between members of their flock. Matchmakers, too, have existed since times immemorial in almost every corner of the world. But in today’s time-pressed society they are back in demand, and Romania is no exception, quickly aligning to global trends.

In Romania, dating services currently consist of traditional matrimonial agencies, online dating firms (socializing sites), matchmaking agencies, as well speed dating and events companies, according to research undertaken by matchmaking agency Umbrella for Two. The local dating sites have reached a total annual turnover of around EUR 2 million, found the same source, and represent 50 percent of the dating market, supplying free access to those interested in socializing, while 32 percent of the market is made up of online dating sites and 15 percent traditional matchmaking agencies.

Matchmaking agency Umbrella for Two, which pitches itself as the only matchmaking and headhunting agency on the market, emerged in a context in which so-called premium clients, meaning the middle-upper and upper class, were being neglected by local dating services. According to the research done by the company, it appears that there are almost 630,000 single people aged between 18 and 65 in this premium category, 180,000 of whom are in Bucharest. This group basically consists of entrepreneurs, freelancers, top and middle managers, technocrats and clerks in the services area, among others, with incomes between EUR 800 and 1000. From this perspective, matchmaking is done more in terms of recruitment, abiding by the same rules of rigorousness that corporations use to find new employees.

“We will surely see a growing trend of people willing to ask for professional support in the outsourcing of the search for the right partner for a long-term relationship – just as when we look for a job, we head towards recruitment agencies. What’s more, the selection of profiles in accordance with the client’s requirements are a time and effort benefit on his or her behalf,” says Umbrella for Two managing partner and matchmaker Oana Totora, who has solid experience in human resources and recruitment services in Romania.

Starting January 2011, the fees for the matchmaking service provided by the agency that Totora manages will range between EUR 220 and EUR 800, VAT not included. As a first stage, the service basically consists of a so-called emotional interview, in which the matchmaker gets to know the client, his or her interests, expectations and lifestyle, creating his or her “emotional CV”. Then, a selection process is started and other users’ profiles are recommended, from whom a shortlist is drawn up and if the choices coincide on both sides, a first date is arranged. If the two decide that they want to continue their relationship after meeting a few times, they enter a standby period of six months, during which they may seek consultation services from the agency to help with the next steps of their relationship. An interesting aspect concerning Umbrella for Two is that the headhunting – or perhaps hearthunting – process has an emotional level, recruiting top singles in Bucharest from various social events in the city.

Even though Umbrella for Two has been active since early 2010, it has already had success stories, with some clients engaged to be married. In the near future, Totora hopes to expand the agency (which currently consists of three employees) to other major cities in Romania, such as Timisoara and Cluj. More about the agency can be found on www. umbrellafortwo.ro.

A growing trend on the Romanian dating market is speed dating, a time-efficient means of meeting a potential “the one”. Singlebell provides such a service in Bucharest, promoting dynamic offline romance since January 2010. The service consists of a meeting between seven women and seven men who talk to each other through rotation for seven minutes during each session. Participation costs RON 40, which also includes a drink at the location.

“What we are currently focusing on is making the concept popular and gaining Romanians’ trust, as they are currently skeptical of the seriousness and efficiency presented by these meetings,” says Valeria Simona Ion, founder of Singlebell. “What sets us apart from other similar firms is that we do not omit the matchmaking stage of our service. We select the evening’s participants, depending on their level of education, profession, age, hobbies, as well as aspirations.” After the meetings, she adds, feedback is offered, as well as consultancy on dating and relationships.

Singlebell’s clients have an active social life, lack the time to look for a partner, are aged between 21 and 45 and have gone through higher education. In just a few months of existence, the agency has had success stories with couples who met for the first time in the speed dating sessions.

Manager de succes, caut pereche

Sursa: Cariere-online.ro

Probabil ca stiti cel putin un exemplu de manager de succes, motivat profesional, dar care nu are timp sa caute in lumea larga o partenera de viata. Pentru el a aparut „personal matchmaker”-ul, specialistul care il ajuta sa-si dezvolte si viata personala. 

Targetul unui personal matchmaker sunt persoanele cu viata profesionala activa, cu educatie si venituri peste medie. Potentialul unei astfel de afaceri este mare, in Bucuresti existand peste 185.000 de persoane necasatorite, iar procedura se aseamana cu recrutarea pentru un job.

Oana Totora, Personal Matchmaker si Managing Partner la Umbrella for Two, este una dintre persoanele care au vazut oportunitatea unui astfel de business.

Cariere: Cum ati inceput aceasta afacere?

Oana Totora: Suntem trei asociate, iar ideea ne-a venit extrem de natural, din mediul corporate in care activam. Ne-am uitat in jur si am observat ca sunt destul de multe persoane disponibile care aveau dificultati sa-si gaseasca perechea, desi nu le „lipsea” nimic. In plus fiecare dintre noi avea prieteni sau cunoaste persoane cu o viata profesionala activa, avand o multime de calitati, care aveau ce oferi si spune despre ei, dar care erau inca in cautarea acelei persoane speciale. Ceea ce am considerat noi ca este necesar a fost crearea unui concept si a unui sistem care sa faca legatura intre aceste persoane, sa-i aduca impreuna si sa-i ghideze pe drumul gasirii persoanei potrivite. Ne-a ajutat si experienta anterioara in recrutare si head-hunting, principii pe care le-am transferat in acest domeniu extrem de personal.

Care este portretul robot al celui care opteaza pentru aceste servicii?

Clientii nostri sunt persoane mature profesional, am putea spune chiar realizate. Sunt persoane interesante, cu o viata activa si plina, cu studii superioare si cu un nivel educational, material si intelectual peste medie. Sunt persoane pretentioase, care stiu ce isi doresc in viata si de la partenerul lor si care adesea ne spun „vreau pe cineva ca mine”. In general sunt acele persoane incadrate din punct de vedere social in clasa mijlocie superioara si clasa superioara.

Ati avut multe solicitari?

Serviciile noastre se adreseaza unei categorii foarte specifice de clienti, unei nise care pana in acest moment nu a fost acoperita. Multe persoane ne-au spus ca era momentul sa apara o alternativa viabila pe piata la serviciile de dating existente. Varianta noastra este dedicata exclusiv acestui segment de clienti. Printre primele persoane care s-au indreptat catre noi au fost acelea care au calatorit destul de mult sau care au trait in afara tarii si erau familiarizate cu ideea de matchmaking. Statistic vorbind, numai piata din Bucuresti are un potential fantastic de crestere, existand peste 185.000 de persoane necasatorite.

Cum se desfasoara concret acest „matchmaking”?

Procesul pe care il desfasuram este similar cu recrutarea pentru un job. Identificam si recomandam persoane apropiate ca profil de cerintele membrilor UmbrellaforTwo. Nu ne limitam la optiunile existente in baza de date, ci avem o abordare proactiva pentru a identifica si atrage posibili parteneri pentru clientii nostri.

Primul pas care trebuie facut de o persoana interesata de serviciile noastre, este acela de a veni la o discutie fata in fata, astfel incat sa putem afla cat mai multe despre ea. Dupa aceea incepem procesul de cautare si selectie si prezentam o lista scurta cu profile recomandate, din care clientii pot alege. In cazul in care exista acord reciproc, facilitam prima intalnire.

Care este rata de succes?

In acest moment sunt relatii stabile care s-au format si asteptam si noi cu interes sa vedem cum evolueaza, insa intr-adevar urmeaza sa avem o nunta anul viitor. Clientii nostri sunt in general persoane orientate catre construirea unei relatii solide de cuplu, ideea de casatorie fiind un subiect pe care il abordeaza intr-o etapa avansata a relatiei. Un rezultat cu care ne mandrim in acest moment este ca am reusit sa conectam intre ei majoritatea clienilor deja existenti.

Cat costa acest tip de serviciu?

Incepand cu ianuarie 2011, preturile pachetelor noastre de servicii vor varia intre 220 de euro si 800 de euro fara TVA pentru un demers de cautare si selectie pe perioada unui an de zile, existand garantia unui numar minim de profile recomandate , impreuna cu suportul si ghidarea oferite de Consultantii UmbrellaforTwo.

Dragostea si … chimia

Va propunem o noua tema de gandire si discutie: dragostea si „chimia”.

***

Exista specialisti in povesti de dragoste. Ei folosesc metode profesioniste, delicate si dedicate fiecarui client inimos in parte.

Este vorba despre agentia de matchmaking Umbrella for Two, specializata in gasirea de suflete pereche pentru noi, oamenii ocupati. Ca sa aflam ce e bine sa intreprindem si ce nu, atunci cand ne dorim o relatie, am facut o serie de video tips, cu subiecte la obiect.

Banuim ce este chimia si, daca ne intreaba cineva, sustinem ca este teribil de importanta. Dar aflam de la Oana Totora, Personal Matchmaker la Umbrella for Two, ca barbatii si femeile reactioneaza diferit la chimie. Si ni se confirma ideea ca putem influenta chimia, daca vrem cu adevarat.

***

Dar cine poate vorbi despre asta mai bine decat voi. Deci… va ascultam :)

Everybody needs somebody…

Viata e mai frumoasa cand ciocnesti cu cel drag un pahar de vin, cand admiri rasaritul in doi si cand probezi ochelari de soare si primesti un zambet ca da, ti se potrivesc… Asa a inceput in iulie 2010 proiectul UmbrellaforTwo – de a aduna 1000 de motive pentru care viata este mai frumoasa cu cineva sub umbrela.
Pagina creata de noi pe Facebook – Everybody needs somebody a atras mult peste 1000 de fani si am reusit sa colectam o multime de motive pentru care toata lumea isi doreste sa aiba pe cineva alaturi. In aceste luni, o parte dintre motivele propuse au fost ilustrate si tiparite sub forma unei mici enciclopedii – cadoul nostru pentru cei care au participat alaturi de noi la aceasta initiativa.
Va invitam sa „rasfoiti” si sa completati si voi mica noastra enciclopedie.
Si nu uitati – „no matter who you are and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there’re still some things that make us all the same. You, me, them, everybody… Everybody needs somebody, somebody to love!”  – The Blues Brothers