We’ve all been there- it starts with what seems like the perfect match when it comes to relationships, which we all seek. Then the slow demise- you end up changing your FB status to ‘it’s complicated’. According to best selling author Hellen Chen, 85% of relationships end in a break up. This figure made us think of the importance of handling a relationship right from the start, so we searched and found a perfect start up in Chicago that can help you aim for (and possibly achieve) success, without having to read books, long articles and how-tos. Meet one of the founders of Luv Talk, Gwen Washington, who launched a modern day app that connects lovers with relationship coaches. We caught up with them to find out more about what they’re up to and how they’re contributing to positive change in the dating world.
I am grateful to my parents who gave me the gift of travel. I was born on northside of Chicago and raised in northern burbs. My parent’s careers both allowed for extensive travel during my childhood. I was able to live in London and Puerto Rico for a year. I have B.A. in psychology from Kendall College and Masters in Counseling from Capella University.
With 12 years of ballet under my belt, my role model was ballerina Paloma Herrera. But two other inspirational women in my life were mother and my mentor, the late Dr. Jane Roiter.
I actually aspired to be like my mom growing up she worked in finance was in charge of 80 million dollars and a entire team in Los Angeles. She retired at age of 38. She was the definition of a super woman she looked amazing and was always joyful and kind. She had a stroke 3 years ago and still most amazing woman I’ve ever known.
What is Luv Talk?
We saw that women wanted someone to tell help them navigate relationships. The current dating apps do a wonderful job of matching people but nothing for advice. Women don’t want just a date they want a companion a relationship in order to get that they need a coach. We surveyed countless women from Facebook, our events, and even current dating apps – 88% wanted an advisor!
Are people comfortable using an app to discuss their love life?
People are most comfortable using an app because it’s easier than getting an uber going to see a coach. It’s a matter of convenience. To have a coach that easily accessible to you any time is a lifesaver rather than sifting through the internet on countless sites. Our app allows the chat to be between the user and the coach it is a private conversation. It is similar to Facebook messenger so it’s easy and private.
How do you people find out about your app and who’s your typical customer?
Our events are the biggest marketing draw since we are able to meet customers one and one and have them sign up for our products. We are also working with our companies and developing partnerships with women organizations. Our typical customer is in their 20’s and 30’s who are obviously more comfortable with using technology than any other group also they are the most optimistic about actively dating.
What’s your biggest challenge both Luv Talks and entrepreneurially?
Our goal is cater to both the expert and the user. It’s like having two target markets since both individuals have different needs and technology skills. The marriage of design and functionality are always a challenge. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy- it’s hard! Realize some days are going to be amazing and then you will have difficult days. It’s riding that wave out and realizing you can make it with peservance.
Chicago is a wonderful city. My family has been here since 1850 and have all been entrepreneurs since before the great fire. Chicago has the largest amount of hardworking female entrepreneurs. The city has a big city/ small town vibe. It allows for great business relationships and partnerships to succeed.
What are future plans for Luv Talk?
We are currently working on adding a click to call feature for the site and the app. We want to focus on partnering with other women founded companies in San Francisco and Chicago. Eventually, I would like to expand to London as the dating statistics are wonderfully in line for our product.
Ambitions towards change?
Yes I am all for female empowerment. I was lucky enough in my life to be in family of strong educated women. I have met some amazing female entrepreneurs for all over the country. I would love to do a campaign inspired by female leaders and who inspires them.