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a crowd of smartly dressed men and women crowded into 1919 Wine & Mixology, the tony Upper Kirby cocktail lounge, for a date with Jamie Rose, Houston’s self-described “millionaire matchmaker.” Lawyers in high heels and backless dresses mingled with oil and gas execs in three-piece suits and expensive haircuts at the French rococo–style bar, or sipped wine in Louis Quinze chairs.Many of them were already clients of Rose Matchmaking, which meant they were spending anywhere from $7,900 to over $15,900 a year to meet other similarly well-heeled Houstonians.
We sat down with three 40-something women sipping cocktails around a faux-marble, candlelit table.“I’m hoping that her service, if I participated, would put me together with a higher-caliber person than I’m used to dealing with,” said one of the women. The trio had all tried online dating, none with much success.One, a mathematician, told us that men were turned off by her intelligence.“They all say they want an independent, successful woman, but when they find out I have a nice house, two nice cars, and a Ph D, they freak out.” Finally, the star of the evening, Rose, arrived in a little black dress and 4-inch gold lamé stilettos.One of her clients, Lee, approached to ask for help.He’d been chatting at the bar with a woman in a skin-tight red dress when the woman’s friends showed up.
Intimidated by having to talk to so many women, he’d slunk off.“This guy’s an engineer, does MMA, and is a stand-up comic,” Rose later told us. ” Rose gave Lee a pep talk and told him to go buy the woman a drink.Rose was born Jamie Rose Villareal in Clear Lake on Valentine’s Day, 1982, and made her first match when she was 16.(Yes, the couple’s still married.) “I loved bringing people together—it was a good, rewarding feeling—but I never thought I’d be able to make money doing it,” she said.After studying business administration at the University of Houston, she took her first job as a management consultant, but the work bored her so she moved into the romance business.For a time, she worked for a national matchmaking service, but decided to hang out her own shingle in 2008.