Luxury Service Provider Profile
EARLS & PEARLS: ‘Social Life on Demand’
What is ‘Earls & Pearls’? Earls & Pearls delivers a ‘Social Life on Demand’ to a global network of busy high-flyers, ranging from actors to architects. Fusing private members club, concierge service and introduction agency, Members place a Request to attend anything from West End shows to Wimbledon, then choose from a hand-picked selection of Members who have expressed an interest in attending the same event. Experts at pairing members who click, Earls & Pearls acts as an intermediary matching members without the sharing of names or photos.
About the Founders: Its founders are Mary-Ann & EmmaJane Henningham; a mother & daughter team who first had the idea for the service during the 17 years spent as Directors of a financial services company. By dedicating themselves to the growth of their former company, their social lives suffered. Success became a double-edged sword when they found themselves with the means to go out, but neither the time to join clubs or classes and although single, joining a dating agency just didn’t appeal. Besides, they didn’t want to go out with only single men; they wanted a service that gave them the chance to socialise with exceptional men & women of all ages.
Built by Word of Mouth Although originally set-up in 2004, it wasn’t until 2015 that Earls & Pearls became a reality and through word of mouth, the exclusive network has grown into an eclectic mix of married & singles, young & vintage, beauties & beautiful souls, athletes, actors, well-educated professionals, retired captains of industry, affluent eccentrics, celebrities, and entrepreneurs.
Privacy is Paramount By fiercely protecting the privacy of their members, placing a cap on numbers and being selective about who is approved, the groundbreaking social life service is used by some very high-profile individuals serving a global network of busy high-flyers, ranging from actors to athletes to architects, Earls & Pearls is a social life service for the ‘lonely at the top’ elite who are too busy or famous to meet new people in the usual ways.
In an increasingly fragmented world, 40% of us will be affected by loneliness at some point in our lives according to US Psychologist Guy Winch; yet it remains a taboo subject. “Many of our Members are proud of their success, but uncomfortable about their lack of friends and acquaintances; especially when they’re married or surrounded by people every day” says Mary-Ann Henningham, co-founder and one half of the mother and daughter management team.
But attaining excellence in your field, especially in today’s face-paced world, requires dedication, focus and commitment; leaving little room for the time and energy required to build or maintain friendships and relationships. “The majority of our members use us because they have a diminished social circle after years of ‘all work/no play’; while others have a lack contacts following relocation or when travelling for work.” says Henningham.
In order to go out, all a member has to do is put in a ‘Request’. They simply say what they want to do or see and when. Some will also ask to be paired with a particular type of member, for example they may prefer to go to the ballet or theatre with someone older or younger, then ask to play tennis with someone their own age.
Private Members Club + Concierge Service Fusing private members club, concierge service and introduction agency not only helps members seamlessly integrate social into their busy lives, but the eclectic network also gives them greater variety. “Being able to socialise with people outside your profession or age bracket means they often feel less pressure” says Henningham “making it easier to relax and enjoy themselves”.
Focused on Privacy and Offers a Virtual BodyGuard The privacy-focused, service-based company does not use algorithms, and there’s no uploading of photos or downloading of apps; however, they do embrace technology when it comes to member safety. ID checks are carried out on all but their famous members; and even though the quote “Every good friend was once a stranger” is used on their website, female members in particular are encouraged to use their Virtual Bodyguard services; just until the stranger becomes a friend.
‘A social life on demand’ may just be the perfect cure to the loneliness epidemic; however, membership is selective and you must be prepared to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect their high-profile members.
Q & A with Earls & Pearls
We first had the idea in 2004 when we owned a financial services company. By dedicating ourselves to the growth of our former company, our social lives stalled. Success became a double-edged sword when we had the means to go out, but neither the time to join clubs or classes and although single, joining a dating agency just didn’t appeal. Besides, we didn’t want to go out with only single men; we wanted a service that gave us the chance to socialise with exceptional men & women of all ages.
Who is your ideal client?
We don’t have one. One of the most important and unique elements of the Earls & Pearls service is the variety. We are not just for singles and we don’t have any set parameters. Our network is made up of men, women, young, old, married, single, young entrepreneurs to retired captains of industry, athletes to actors. However, they do all have one thing in common…success. Our members are the elite.
Have there been any successful romantic matches made from meeting people this way?
Absolutely! Although, a lot of members use us because they don’t want a hugely active social life. They may be happily single or happily married to their careers and simple enjoy being able to go out to do or see whatever interests them with someone likeminded.
For our single members who are open to finding love, they’ll use us with the intention of increasing their social circle, rather than use a dating agency. Our service makes them feel less pressure when we do happen to pair them with another single member; and on several occasions our single members have met the love of their lives through the people we have paired them with. It’s a more organic approach to finding love.
For the members who are already married or in relationships, we’ve seen lots of friendships form, as well as some unexpected outcomes, such as mentoring between older and younger members.
How are people paired, if algorithms are not employed as a means to do so, tell us about your process used for matching members?
We don’t believe technology can ever replace gut-instinct. We spent 17 years as Directors of a credit investigation agency where we honed our skill for being able to read and appraise people. Also, rigorous profiling is essential. To be successful at knowing who will get on and who won’t, we have to really get to know our Members.
Privacy is an important factor in these high profile matches, so what do you do to ensure privacy?
When a ‘Request’ for an outing is made by a Member, we put together a list of people we think they’ll click with; then send out ‘Invitations’ to the Members on that list.
Names, photos and contact information are never shared with other Members. We act as an intermediary and arrange outings between Members based on brief descriptions of each other. This means they are able to go out and safely meet new people without ever having to share personal contact information.
In addition, all Members must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement when requested by another Member.
Tell us about the technology of the Virtual Bodyguard and how it works for protecting your clients?
Despite the calibre of our members, we believe that women should never relax when it comes to personal safety. To help protect them, ID checks are carried out on all but our famous members; and each time they go out, we give them the option to be tracked using GPS technology. For even greater peace of mind we have Intelligence Security. We keep the details of this service a secret, only sharing them with Members when requested; but in essence it makes sure they return home safely at the end of each outing.
Also, rigorous profiling is essential. To be successful at knowing who will get on and who won’t, we have to really get to know our Members.