"When I was single, all my friends were on Tinder and I found myself despairing that it was the only way to meet someone."
Kaila Perusco’s life as a matchmaker began several years ago, when she founded Craft Singles at Sydney’s Work-Shop. More recently, she added another matchmaker string to her bow – Conscious Dating – which will launch in Melbourne in October.
“It’s quite a young crowd that comes to Craft Singles, so I wanted to cater to people interested in meeting someone in the long term,” says the 28-year-old Sydneysider. “When we launched in Sydney, the word spread very quickly. I think the concept of Conscious Dating really resonates with people – especially singles who find the current dating scene disheartening. I quickly had people emailing us seeing when we were coming to Melbourne, and I was more than happy to oblige!”
One of the drawcards of Conscious Dating is its intimate setting paired with fun, relaxed activities. “We start the night with an activity to aims to shake off the nerves: meditation to live music, laughter yoga, creative drawing or making cocktails,” she says. “And when people meet each other one-on-one, we also have conversation challenges and cards that we encourage them to use that spark interesting discussion. The last thing we want is for someone to have the same boring small talk with each person they meet. Usually something from our conversation cards leads people down a path that they didn't see coming, like talking about how they both went to the same rollercoaster park in Japan, or something random like that.”
Aside from sparking interesting discussion, Perusco’s other main goal is to bring strangers together who normally wouldn’t cross paths. “Lots of my friends in Melbourne have found themselves dating within the same circles, so I'm hoping Conscious Dating can expand those circles! Many people have a 'checklist' for the person they are looking for- either consciously or unconsciously. The chance of finding someone who will tick every box in that checklist is pretty slim. So we aim to get people to throw their expectations out the door and instead just see who they connect with.”
Perusco is looking forward to watching singles connect in Melbourne. “I find that people are a bit more open in Melbourne, and it's not considered as weird to spark up a conversation with a stranger there (as it is in Sydney).” Events are open-aged, and there are also plans to launch gay and lesbian events in Melbourne, which have been popular in Sydney.
Conscious Kaila’s top dating tip is “Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be open to new people and different things. Sometimes you can get stuck dating a ‘type’ of person, which is why I love that at Conscious Dating you can’t ask certain questions about people.”
Upcoming events: Dates have not yet been announced for Conscious Dating in Melbourne. Check the website for updates.