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This is the stuff of Old Portland, I know, but I find it interesting that Radafshar’s career objective is to embrace the burgeoning persona of the city we both inhabit: Portland as tech haven, Portland as millennial mecca, Portland as modern metropolis full of modern people.

Radafshar is the founder of Fern Date, a local branding service geared toward those looking for love online.

The demand for the kind of service that Fern offers, however, is indicative of a larger online trend.

Otherwise ordinary individuals have propelled themselves into the role of “influencers” while social media seems to take up more and more of our emotional, intellectual, and economic space.

We are now in an era when a person’s app blurb and the quality of their photographs dictate social currency.

Using a background in Nike’s marketing department and a degree in psychology, Radafshar makes a living curating clients’ pictures and profiles while helping them navigate apps and sites like Tinder, Bumble, Ok Cupid, and

Finding the term “matchmaking” outdated, Radafshar prefers “personal branding for online dating sites.” It’s clear why Radafshar finds her role both advisory and creative.

And before the advent of the internet, companies like It’s Just Lunch and Master Matchmakers began popping up as a way for singles to meet potential partners after being scrutinized by a team of professionals. In 1995, became the first online dating site, attracting millions of members in the span of a few years.

Radafshar became one such member in 2006—mostly out of curiosity—when the concept of online dating was still novel.

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