Yesterday, we told you that former video vixen Melyssa Ford shared why she turned to matchmaking services to find a potential mate. As previously reported, Ford and several other celebrities will be taking their search for love to reality television in the new season of Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” In addition shaking things up by adding Patti Stanger’s celebrity clientele to the mix, new faces have also been added to The Millionaire’s Club team. One of which is Candace Smith, who won the Miss Ohio crown back in 2003. We were able to catch up with the brainy beauty, who gave us the scoop on what we can expect from season eight of the series and also, answered some of our burning dating questions.
MN: How did you transition from law to matchmaking?
I graduated from undergrad with a psychology degree and I was originally going to pursue being a psychiatrist and then a doctor. My mom always said, ‘You have to be a doctor or a lawyer’ and when I didn’t like organic chemistry, I switched over to pre law at the last minute. I’m a true Aquarian. I’m kind of all over the place. Being a first in my family to go to college, I kind of had a bit of pressure on me. I wasn’t going to go on with medical school, so I chose law school—kind of randomly, actually. I was blessed to get into one of the best ones, Northwestern. I went ahead and graduated but I was never passionate about it. I was just sort of going through the motions. It was something I started and I felt like I needed to finish. I graduated and moved back to Ohio. I passed the bar and started doing commercial real estate, which I found to be pretty humdrum.
It just didn’t fit well with me and my personality and what I felt like I could bring to the table. But I’ve always enjoyed working with other people. I started mentoring at a young age. As Miss Ohio 2003—I actually won that while I was practicing law—I got the opportunity to try to begin doing a little bit of life coaching and consulting different people in different areas and lifestyles. After I won Miss Ohio, I just decided to make a big change in my life. I moved to LA and when I got to LA, I started working for a consulting company. I would consult in different areas as a project manager. I began consulting with clients internationally in the areas of business, marketing, lifestyle and I started to expand on my life coaching. That led to me coaching people in their love lives. I would coach people in areas of dating all the way to matchmaking. I had such an extensive network that I gathered over the years, so it was kind of a natural fit for me to start matching people. I kind of had a knack for it, but I never thought that it would be something that I would do for a living. When the opportunity became available at The Millionaire’s Club, I submitted my resume and here I am.
MN: What do you believe is the difference between a matchmaker and a relationship coach?
I think they are very similar. As a matchmaker, it’s important for you to have a good understanding of people; to be able to read people well. You kind of rely on your intuition. Everything from a person’s cultural background to their astrology sign to whether they were the first child or middle child—all of these things come into consideration when you’re matchmaking. When you’re coaching someone, these are the same factors that come into consideration with relationships. It’s like understanding both people and how they mesh and how they don’t mesh and finally, how they can overcome that.
MN: What do you feel is the biggest misconception about matchmaking services?
I can’t speak on all services. I feel like before I started with The Millionaire’s Club I had spoken with people who just felt like it wasn’t real. They felt like the people who were matching couples were not invested in it, like they didn’t genuinely care about the success of the relationship and that it was all about monetary gain. I think that this is a true misconception. I know that working with Patti [Stanger], like if it doesn’t work, don’t force it. Our goal is for you to have a successful, happy, healthy relationship. I think some people think matchmakers just want to match as many people as possible to add to their resume and make as much money as possible. I think that that’s a misconception. With Patti, if she sees that it’s not headed the right way as we gain more information about an individual and we see that they’re not a good match for someone, we put a stop to it.