The Celebrity Matchmaker With Her American Bulldog, Athena
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
You may recognize her from the Real Housewives of Toronto episode where she was tasked with setting up fitness entrepreneur Jana Webb, or the always entertaining, Mom vs Matchmaker. Carmelia Ray is a go-to celebrity matchmaker, and we had the chance to sit down with her and get some expert advice for single pet owners. Carmelia believes dogs are exceptional judges of character, and has some tips for introducing your potential love interest to your furbaby. Read on as we get to know this busy mom, matchmaker, and dog mom!
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like:
I’m a (celebrity) Matchmaker, online dating expert (Match.com), relationship coach and the Host of an internationally distributed TV show, Mom vs Matchmaker.
I help singles discover their dating blocks and cause a breakthrough, so they can meet their perfect partner and find love. My work day starts with an early wake up time (6:00 AM), for meditation, exercise and walking the dogs at the park with my hubby and sometimes our baby girl Nilia.
My workday consists of coaching calls (Skype/Video chat) and in person client meetings. I personally meet with all potential clients and singles who have joined my matchmaking database looking to be matched. Part of my day includes speaking with other collaborating matchmakers to find suitable matches for my private clients. I speak with various members of my matchmaking team, stylists, image consultants, and recruiters including my personal assistant who reviews all my online dating concierge clients. I speak with members of my team on client progress, client feedback and client success stories. A larger part of my day is spent screening and qualifying potential matches. I’m also involved in date planning, which is one of my favorite activities. I really enjoy presenting potential matches to clients and launching new online dating profiles!
On certain work days, I book professional photoshoots and makeovers for clients who need help with personal branding and online dating photos.
If there’s an event to attend, my work day will extend into the evening for some networking, mingling and new client recruitment. On days like this, I do my best to plan family time in between activities with an afternoon dog walk included. When I’m travelling, I follow a similar schedule, just in another city.
Please tell us a bit about your dogs. Why American Bulldogs? How did they come into your life? Is there a story behind their names?
I adopted my dogs through my partner Nicholas. Athena came with him and I fell in love with her. She’s a gorgeous, strong, protective and loyal dog. I love Athena’s demeanor, she’s always super chill.
Nike (our other dog) is Athena’s daughter from her third litter. They both love to be outdoors, hike, fetch and are obsessed over chasing their ball. They make amazing family pets. Athena was named after Greek Goddess, Athena, The Goddess of wisdom and warfare. Her personality truly suits her name. Nike, is the Greek Goddess of Victory and often depicted beside Athena.
In your professional opinion, do you think dogs are a good judge of potential suitors or admirers?
I do believe dogs can be an exceptional judge of character. They have an intuitive sense and can quickly sense danger, far before we can. It seems they have a strong sixth sense. The only influence that can impact this of course, is how the owners treat their dog. If pet owners are also social beings and allow their dog to interact with others, the dog can take on that personality type. I’ve seen and heard when dogs get jealous. It may take some time for a new potential suitor to warm up to a protective dog. It’s important to slowly introduce your partner to your dog in those cases.
At what point in dating should you introduce your pets to your match?
I don’t see any reason to withhold introducing your pet to your date. If your pet is your true companion and faithful furry partner, then why not introduce them sooner than later? It’s also important to discuss this early on, in case there are any allergies or opposition to pets you might not know about. What’s important is to be mindful of your pet’s attitude and aggressiveness. Some pets may not welcome a new partner so easily. You can try to plan dates at a dog park, to introduce your pet to your partner in an outdoor and fun environment.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my personal style as versatile and totally dependent on my mood and what the occasion is. When I’m on set filming Mom vs Matchmaker I am styled by and exclusively wear Rachel Sin. She designs for the “modern woman.” Her clothing is for the creative professional to showcase her confidence and originality which I love! I can bounce between trendy, classic and sporty while I’m working. I often gravitate towards a Bohemian and sporty look when traveling and I love dressing with a hint of sass and sensuality for evening wear.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
Our home is a combination of modern contemporary, moving towards a modern minimalist look and feel. My theme for 2018 is to streamline and simplify. My partner favors a traditional, almost country style. He’s all for over-sized couches, La-Z-Boys and he most recently brought home a 7 ft., queen sized, bean bag for the basement! I’m not a fan of that style, except if I’m cottaging. I feel most inspired working in a modern, minimalist setting.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
My ideal weekend would be spent on an adventure of some sort, trying and seeing something new with my family, dogs included. I’m actually putting this into action for 2018. We are going to pull an activity from the family experience jar and do what’s suggested on the paper. I personally love to try new foods, travel, cook (meal prep) on Sundays and watch movies if we can on Friday nights. Sunday nights are actually online dating concierge nights for clients so an ideal Sunday night includes finding amazing matches for my clients and date planning.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by exceptional people, random acts of kindness, extreme generosity, brilliance, entrepreneurship, miracle workers, fairy tales, bravery, chivalry and facilitating true-love. I’m inspired by the people I encounter through my travels, my TV show and my life as a matchmaker. I’m inspired by my parents who taught me about sacrifice, hard-work, integrity and commitment. They will be celebrating almost 47 years of marriage together this upcoming May 2018.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to our single pet owning readers?
If I had to give one piece of advice to a single pet owning reader, it’s to carefully observe how this person treats their pet. This may be the strongest indicator of telling how they will treat you and your (future) kids. Secondly, if you’re a dog person, dog parks are an excellent way to meet a potential suitor! Single pet owners should absolutely consider pet groups, pet places and pet activities where other single pet owners might be. There are also dating sites for pet owners such as PetPeopleMeet.com
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about your dogs?
Athena absolutely LOVES the snow and loves catching and eating snow balls! Whenever we are shoveling the driveway, she is running around like the Tasmanian devil. Sometimes it makes it so difficult to shovel the driveway because she’s practically attacking the snow from the shovel. Athena is over 100 pounds! The other funny thing is that our 16 month old baby girl Nilia, will often bug the dogs. She’s completely annoying and aggressive towards the dogs when they’re just chilling. Nilia starts to pull on her, jumps on her back, bounces up and down, grabs at her ears and nose while she sits there calmly and unaffected. When Athena has had enough, she’ll literally get up and walk away. Even if the baby is on her back. This sometimes causes the baby to fall to the side which we find hysterical. It’s as if Athena just decides, “O.K. I’ve had enough of this nonsense. I’m done. See you later.”
Check our Carmelia’s matchmaking services on her website or see what she’s up to Facebook , Instagram @carmeliaray, and Twitter @carmeliaray