Lori Cheek is a Digital Dating Disruptor, Founder & CEO of Cheek’d.
“Prior to launching Cheek’d, I worked in architecture, furniture and design for 15 years for companies such as Christian Dior, Vitra & Karkula. Trained as an architect, I began my career with multiple project management roles in New York City focusing on architectural interiors. A few years ago, I came up with an idea that led me into the NYC World of Tech and I’m loving life more than ever.” (From TEDx Fulton Street )
Plenty of beauty, brains and grit were delivered by former Shark Tank contestant Lori Cheek at a fireside chat with Unstoppable.life founder Zenaida Lorenzo. Lori talked about the truth that must go into the plight of a successful entrepreneur as she shared with the audience her latest startup “Cheekd,” a dating app that makes missed connections obsolete. This event was made possible by the collaboration of Ali Curi, Founder of Hispanic Professionals Networking Group (HPNG) and Paul Snatchki of Joynture, an innovative workspace in the heart of Wall Street.
As your dating coach, I was lucky enough to snag an invite to this amazing soiree and get the low down on the latest dating app. But I got so much more than that and I am sharing it all with you.
Yes the app is amazing and FREE to download! If you have an Apple device, you want to download it right away! It helps make REAL TIME connections. (Android version coming up soon.)
How many times are you at the gym or coffee shop and you run in and out and don’t even look around because you are on your phone or super distracted? Well now your phone alerts you in real time when there are people you may be interested in right around the corner!
Cheek’d ensures you’ll “Never Miss A Connection.” It works on a train, plane, pretty much anywhere; you get notifications in real time if someone within 30 feet of your location meets your dating criteria.
But here is the kicker: it has to be mutual!
I love this app’s idea because the truth is we are missing out on what’s around us, on what’s present. Lori’s moment of inspiration came when she witnessed a handsome architect leave his card with a woman he didn’t even know in hopes she’d give him a call. This sparked something in her, this connection between strangers that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
She realized this interaction is missed hundreds and hundreds of times a day due to fear, time and just plain “life”. She shared, “I feel it’s so hard to meet people, especially at online dating sites! There is a personal touch that is lost,” she said, and joking she added that it took her up to 17 hours once to set up one dating site for herself. She said, “Pay attention to what’s around you and you could find that your love is right here!”
As for the grit I mentioned earlier, Lori has plenty of it. When she decided to take the entrepreneur’s leap, she never looked back. She sold her lovely designer wardrobe to stay afloat, then rented out her gorgeous apartment and lived with friends to keep her dream alive.
When she was voted off Shark Tank on National TV, well, she KEPT GOING. When asked if she ever thought about quitting she said, “As an entrepreneur you have to be a little crazy; I never wanted to quit, there’s no turning back, even if this version doesn’t work I will pivot because I KNOW this is what’s missing.”
She goes on to say something I am sure we can all relate to, “I felt like I never really fit in with my hair, clothes, or personality.” In her previous life, she felt she needed to fit into a box. At the beginning she didn’t even know how to run a business but now she is getting paid to live her own dream.
She can be who she wants to be and would do ANYTHING she needs to do to figure things out and make it work. “Every day I come up with new ideas to figure things out. They may not all work; yes, you will hit road blocks but you have to continue figuring things out. If you want things bad enough you have to keep moving,” she shared with the audience.
Dedication, perseverance and of course the willingness to take risks are important factors in building a business. Her final advice is to have by your side a great team of people who believe in you and your dream. “I would say the same about your partner and other relationships in your life. A boyfriend or husband that doesn’t believe in your dreams can really weigh you down,” she concluded.
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