Not afraid to take a risk: Michael Bloomberg
The business of proposals
Perhaps you dream of a moonlit night on the shore of a private island. Or maybe your ideal moment to pop the question takes place in an exclusive Parisian restaurant.
Whatever scenario you can imagine, Michael Bloomberg (not the New York mayor) will work to make it happen. Bloomberg, a bachelor who has yet to design his own perfect proposal, offers a variety of services, from simply planning the event to making all the behind-the-scenes arrangements. He can order flowers, hire musicians, charter airplanes.
"I tell people that if they’re doing it themselves, keep it simple. You’re already so nervous, and all the extra details just complicate things."
A lifelong Fort Worth resident who graduated from UT Arlington in 1992, Bloomberg worked several years as an organizational consultant. Then six years ago, he helped a friend arrange a proposal.
"It was so incredible. I thought, ‘I’d love to do this for a living.’
"A marriage proposal is like a family heirloom. If you do it right, you can pass the story down from generation to generation."
Before launching his business, An Exclusive Engagement, Bloomberg shared the idea with friends, particularly a group of women he continues to consult and has deemed his chick tank.
"When I went to my women friends with the idea, they all said, ‘Ahhh.’ "
Former girlfriend Katie Haggerty said Bloomberg is perfect for this kind of work.
"Doing things to make others happy is his forte," she said. "He constantly goes out of his way at birthdays and holidays and every other occasion to find just the right thing for a particular person.
"I’ve never had a boyfriend pick out the perfect gift on every occasion and every one of them be something I didn’t even know I wanted! He’s exceptional at listening to others and soaking in their personalities."
Bloomberg knew he was on the right track when his male friends said they’d hire him. Still, 95 percent of his clients don’t want anyone to see the consultant in the shadows.
"Guys don’t want people to know they’ve hired me, but women wish they would."
One of Bloomberg’s current projects (for a client he won’t name) involves a horseback ride in the Colorado mountains, a secluded meadow and a rustic cabin.
Since starting the business in February, Bloomberg has seen it explode.
First there was the call from Sony Studios. It’s creating a matchmaking reality show and likes the chick tank idea. Concepts are in development, which, Bloomberg said, means maybe something will happen and maybe not.
Next, PremierSingles.com invited him to write a biweekly column, "The Men’s Room," in which he addresses dating issues as well as marriage proposals. Promotions director Andrea O’Brien said PremierSingles.com sought "a hip, male writer who wasn’t afraid to be pro-relationship. We are a dating site after all.
"We wanted masculine, but not a brute! Mike’s perfect for that—he’ll help you out with your first-date jitters—then go over the Final Four stats with you."
Soon Bloomberg’s already-married friends wanted in on the advice. So he expanded his Web site, www.anexclusiveengagement.com, to include not only proposal ideas, but suggestions for creative dating.
Mindy Bloomberg said her brother excels as a creative dating coach because he’s so intuitive about what women like. "He’s not going to tell someone to go to a movie and dinner with red roses on the first date. He’s going to ensure that the environment is going to be conducive to starting a great conversation, being relaxed, having fun."
Even Bloomberg himself is a little amazed at how the business has taken off.
"Somebody described the whole experience as ‘you put this idea out there and the universe ran with it.’ "
And the romance just keeps blooming.
— Sherry W. Neaves