As I drove to the mall, my ears tuned into a commercial about Camillion’s, Inc. and services offered. What caught my attention the most was the speed dating events. I thought to myself that speed dating is something I’d seen on television and thought it would be an interesting and new experience. Nervous about actually participating, I decided that just examining the experience for my Little Rock Single’s Guide Examiner audience would do for now.
With my plan in mind, I decided to put it into motion by researching the company online. I contacted the company via the website to set up my idea of sitting in on one of the events. I somewhat knew what to expect but didn’t know what twist would exist to set Camillion’s, Inc. apart from what I’d witnessed on television. After contact, I was invited to an event at Mediums Art Lounge in Little Rock, AR on February 16, 2011.
The speed-dating event on February 16th involved about 10-12 men and women, an equal amount of men for women. The women were sitting around the room with enough space in-between for a man to sit next to them and chat. Each man was placed next to a woman, and the rules of the event were announced. No one could ask for personal information and if someone did, he/she would be escorted out of the event. No one was to be put into an uncomfortable situation. The pairs had five minutes to talk before having to rotate at the sound of a bell. Each participant was given a card with numbers on it. If someone wanted to see or talk to the other person again, he/she was to circle “thumbs up” by the person’s number and “thumbs down” if not. As I looked around the room, everyone seemed to really enjoy the experience, and no one wanted to move whenever the bell rang.
For the participants’ enjoyment, the bar was open, and free wine was available on the reception table. Camillion’s, Inc. provided free food, and live music filled the air. In addition to the free food, wine, and good entertainment, the CEO of Camillion’s, Inc. offered door prizes from her store, located in Conway, AR for those whose numbers were drawn. The store contains products to help keep people together to accommodate Vanessa’s (CEO) goal of getting people together through speed dating and match-making services. The products are romantic products, ranging from games to spark romance, relationship/inspirational books, gift baskets, etc. (items not involving sex but sparking romance).
Camillion’s, Inc.’s events are for ages 30 and up and professional clientele. For clients who want more of an exclusive dating experience, Vanessa offers match-making services via an exclusive dater’s club. Four packages are available: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. They perform background checks and personality assessments on each individual, ensuring a completely safe experience. For example, the silver package for $199, guarantees four matches based on criteria provided by the client, a background check on all possible matches, employment verification on all possible matches, and two speed dating events. Some packages include bankruptcy and credit checks.
After asking Vanessa what inspired her to start Camillion’s, Inc., she informed me that she came up with the idea when she was 21 (2008) from psychology and sociology courses in college and bartending. She noticed an abundance of single people over the age of 30 during those experiences. The people she encountered felt uncomfortable going to clubs or didn’t trust online dating. She started a business plan, went into her savings, and rented a space on Capital Ave in Little Rock. Business went well, but certain life changes caused her to move from Little Rock to Conway. After a 6-month break, she opened back up in downtown Conway under Camillion’s, Inc. As soon as word got out that there was a face-to-face dating service, business took off. She began advertising with different radio stations, newspapers, and even had people handing out flyers. Every event she could be at, she attended, from business functions to fun parties; she was there representing her company. Her goal is for her services to be one of the safest ways to date and make new friends. You can learn more about the company and services through Camillion’s, Inc.’s website, http://camillionsinc.com/.