AS A CHILD, Lisa Palmer was hounded by playground bullies who called her "dumb blonde" and said she'd amount to nothing.
Now she's an elite matchmaker whose clients include Hollywood actors, Towie stars and even royalty – and she's set to make her first million by the end of the year.
The glamorous 45-year-old, from Kent, spoke exclusively to Fabulous Digital for #BOSSINGIT, our series about ordinary women who have launched incredible businesses.
Lisa, who's mum to Bradley, 15, said: "At school, I was constantly bullied for being good looking and told I was a 'dumb blonde', who'd achieve nothing in life.
"It was a horrible experience, I left school at 16 with hardly any qualifications.
"I worked loads of dead end jobs, as an office cleaner, bingo caller, barmaid, cashier in a betting shop and a hairdressing assistant.
"I was thinking about giving it all up to go travelling."
But a dinner-time table with her dad aged 21 changed all of that, when she heard him moaning about his male employees.
Lisa revealed: "He said 'they keep complaining about their wives and girlfriends, and most of them can't even get a date because they're useless at chatting up women'."
That got Lisa thinking and she decided to call in sick the next day, telling her dad: "I'm coming to work with you, to sort out your men's problems.
"I need to interview each man for at least 15 minutes – and a spare office to work out of."
She found she loved counselling and giving dating advice – although she put this on the back burner after becoming a mum, managing family property instead.
In 2015, she decided to take a leap and launch her own company, Mogul Matchmakers, with Angie Best and Love Island's Craig Lawson in her expert team.
They charge upwards of £6,000 for their services – and are set to turnover £1 million this year.
But it's been far from plain sailing for the entrepreneur, who said: "I had a few cash flow problems in the early days, especially in the first six months, and some staffing problems too.
"I was devastated when an Angel Investor promised to invest £100,000 in Mogul Matchmakers when we launched, then pulled out at the last minute.
"He's probably kicking himself now."
Lisa remains tight-lipped about her clients, but teases that she's worked with a "busty brunette star of The Only Way Is Essex" – who's extremely picky about her dates.
Lisa told us: "Three years ago I had a well-known reality star from Towie join my books, with a 26-point list of requirements for the type of man she was looking for.
"I can’t remember the entire list but I can remember several of the points…"
- Must be taller than 5ft 6in but no taller than 6ft 1in
- Must not have horrible ginger curly hair
- A guy with a great smile and perfect white teeth
- No children, pets or relatives living with him or within a short distance – must be at least one hour's drive away
- Minimum bank balance of a quarter of a million pounds
- Property and car owner – the more the better!
- The guy must not be a reality star himself and especially not from Made In Chelsea
"That's all I remember," Lisa added. "Ironically about six weeks later of one the main guys from Made In Chelsea approached and asked if he could become a client.
"I arranged a meeting with him a few days later and he kept on moaning about the fee he had to pay.
"I told him, 'I’ve got one of main girl stars from Towie on my books and she paid the fee in the same day I met her and said she never complained.
"'Actually, she thought it was actually great value for money'.
"After I explained that, the guy star upped and left – I haven’t seen him since."
Lisa also worked with a hunky Dublin-born actor who's making a name for himself in Hollywood.
She said: "The first thing I said to him was 'what do you need a matchmaker for, you must women after you morning, noon and night?'
"He replied 'I do but I don’t know who’s genuine and who’s a gold digger – I just want to settle down and start a family..
"I found him three good matches but it didn’t work out long term and the woman he actually married was introduced to him by a good friend of his.
"I did teach him a few things, like learning to listen to what the woman says, to be more humble, kind, caring and generous, and to have a great sense of humour."
Why I support #BOSSINGIT
Sun on Sunday columnist Karren Brady says:
"I am a passionate supporter of encouraging women to learn new skills to help give them the confidence to reach out and achieve their ambitions.
"This brand new series will help share different stories which I hope will act as inspiration and show just what can be achieved with grit and determination."
Following the news attacks related to dating sites have doubled over the past year, Lisa has partnered up with elite security company Armforce International – who protect the British government, royals and A-list celebs.
The company security vet everyone on Lisa's books and GPS track them on their dates – with a special panic button in case they come into any trouble.
She said: "You could say I'm now running a James Bond type dating service, with ex-secret service guys protecting my super rich clients.
"I want all my Mogul Matchmaking clients to feel safe and secure every time they go on a date, that's why I introduced this truly unique security service – especially for all my female clients.
"As far as I know, no other dating site or matchmaking agency in the UK, across Europe or America provide this unique security service, not even Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger."
Last week, we spoke to a woman who quit her job at ASOS to launch a streetwear fashion brand Beyonce and Taylor Swift love – and it’s set to make her £3.5 million.
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