It was when Karen Mooney broke her shoulder way back in 1988 and her friends visited her as she was pretty incapacitated at the time, and whilst chatting over cups of tea, many of them told her they really couldn’t meet the right people to strike a friendship or relationship with. It was then that the seed of an idea of opening a matchmaking agency came to Karen and the rest is history…
“After I broke my shoulder and decided to take the plunge and start the agency. I resigned from my job and everyone thought I was completely mad!”
It was 32 years ago that sara-eden.co.uk was launched by a young Karen who was only in her twenties then. It has certainly proved the test of time and this highly successful agency has literally brought together many people for love and friendship and as Karen said, “There have been thousands of weddings too, which is amazing and proves that what I first set out to do has really worked.” She explains, “After I broke my shoulder and decided to take the plunge and start the agency. I resigned from my job and everyone thought I was completely mad! In those days there were many professional women who had careers and were very busy but they just didn’t meet anyone. Men really saw these ladies as unapproachable and it became quite a problem. I only had enough money to last me for about two to three months and I asked friends to go to wine bars, which were very popular in those days, and hand out my cards introducing the agency. I knew that if it didn’t work out I could always go back to my career, but I was determined to give it a go. Apart from Dateline, there was no other agency around in those days, so with lots of hard work it began to take off and here I am all those years later with a very successful business and I just love what we do as it’s so rewarding.”
Karen has offices in Windsor and Westminster and under normal circumstances before the lockdown situation, a person who wants to join the agency and become a member comes along and is interviewed and would need to bring along three forms of ID as well. Her experienced staff ask questions about themselves, their interests, their past, and what they imagine they would like to be doing in the future. “We get a very good idea from our chats with them that they are genuine otherwise we would never take them on as members.” They have to sign a confidentiality agreement too before Karen and her team selects the people they feel would be the perfect match and the new client can choose up to five people they would like to be introduced to. “It works extremely well and we have so many happy-ever-after stories, it’s very heartwarming. Of course, through lockdown, these interviews have had to be done virtually but they work just as well and it’s been business as usual”.
There are, of course, many interesting stories to tell and Karen recalls, “We had a lovely 73-year old recently who said they always picked the wrong people and were so glad that we were going to pick somebody for them as it would probably work out far better. We also had a chap who is 76 years old who had met what turned out to be his wife with us in 1991. Sadly she had died and he was lonely and just wanted to meet someone as friends. So we introduced him to three lovely ladies and they are great friends and go round and cook together – it’s lovely to hear stories like that.
“I chose the name Sara which means princess and Eden meaning paradise and love.
“I chose the name Sara which means princess and Eden meaning paradise and love. We have around 1500 members and have been responsible for literally thousands of marriages and countless long-term relationships, making Sara Eden undoubtedly the UK’s leading introduction agency. Looking back to 1988 I wouldn’t have believed it was possible but it’s the best work in the world and I wouldn’t change a moment of it. Somehow I think that breaking my shoulder which was so traumatic at the time was somehow meant to be – it changed my life and the lives of many others.”