The Philly Happening Women Series is a reoccurring feature that highlights inspirational female personalities, entrepreneurs, and women making a difference in the City of Brotherly Love!
Amber Wanner had a knack for finding people jobs, so why not find them love, too?
Amber Wanner worked at a tech recruiting company while earning her B.S. from Villanova University. Her candidates would confide in her about what they wanted in a job, and sometimes, what they were looking for in love. “I found that my single candidates would often semi-jokingly say, “You found me this awesome job and now that I’m in a great place in my life, can you help me find a wife?” It would happen so often that I started going to tech events and taking surveys of people that would utilize a service like this, and 90% said they would, and the other 10% said no, (because they were already married). Thus, I quit my job, and started CandiDate,” Wanner said.
In August 2014, Wanner founded CandiDate a company that finds techies jobs and/or dates. CandiDate’s office is located at 230 S. Broad Street.
“I founded the company on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs so our candidates could ultimately reach self-actualization in life,” Wanner said. “A job may bring someone to a city, and love keeps them there. We use the same process and technique of finding someone a job, in finding them love.”
Philly Happening caught up with Wanner to discuss what it’s like being a CEO of her own company, what advice she has for entrepreneurs, and how she finds her balance.
Hometown: East Stroudsburg
What neighborhood do you live in in the city?: Between Fitler Square and Rittenhouse. I recently moved there from Wayne.
Pets: I just adopted a 19-lb. 4-year-old cat named Luther Vandross II.
What is it like working for yourself?
Even though you may be working for yourself, there’s still that level of accountability and responsibility to your team, investors, clients, candidates and of course, yourself. I always relate starting a company to having a child–I don’t have a child, but the responsibility and care that you need to provide to your business is like that of taking care of a child (minus the diapers!). Last year we were in the “terrible twos” phase, and this year even though we are only a month in to 2017, I can already see the difference in maturity and growth of the business.
What is your best advice for entrepreneurs?
The best advice I would say is to understand and truly comprehend that you cannot control things that are out of your control. That was one of the hardest things for me to grasp. I recently took a road trip to Maine and climbed Cadillac Mountain, the largest mountain in Maine. It was an experience that I will never forget and it gave me so much clarity about life, and this entrepreneurial journey I’m on. After climbing up the black ice, falling a couple times, getting whacked in the face with a tree branch, and making it up to the top just in time to see the most breathtaking sunset, I couldn’t help but relate that experience to that of running a business. You are going to fall, and really want to give up, but the end result will be well worth the scrapes and bruises on the way up. The only way to go is up!
How do you keep your balance?
If I’m being completely honest, I found it difficult to find balance the first two years. When you start a company you dive in head first, you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing (because you’ve never done it before), but you do it, because there’s no turning back.
I’ve found that the most important thing is taking care of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally, because you are the driving force of this business and if you’re not taking care of yourself, how can you take care of your business?
I know it’s incredibly hard to do, but find time to do the things you love outside of work and for me it’s painting.
What inspires you?
What inspires me is the impact we have had on the tech/startup community here in Philadelphia and being able to go places and people know who CandiDate is. Finding people jobs and love is incredibly rewarding. My family also inspires me; they’ve supported me throughout this entire journey, and continue to do so. It’s important to have a support system, whether it’s friends or family.
What’s new with your business this year?
We have a lot of interesting things planned for 2017. We are going to be hiring internally, and building out a software platform to automate the way we do things. This year is going to be a big year for us!
What are your personal goals for 2017?
My personal goals are to travel outside of the U.S. (I recently got my passport–crazy that I only JUST got it, I know!) Also, to continue climbing more mountains, and doing things that challenge me and make me stronger.
What songs are on your playlist right now?
I have a pretty eclectic taste in music. You will always find me listening to Shania Twain! I also enjoy Coldplay, The Lumineers, Florence and the Machine, and I’m currently listening to Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’.
What are you currently reading?
While on my road trip, we stopped in Portland Maine and I found an adorable little boutique and picked up a book called “YOU are a BADASS” by Jen Sincero. I immediately purchased it, because whoever wrote a book about being a badass is pretty awesome in my book! So far it’s ironically accurate. Definitely recommend!
What are your favorite places to go/things to do in Philly?
I just discovered Harp and Crown in Philadelphia, which is a high scale restaurant/lounge that opened up in October. I also enjoy a good hole in the wall bar, like Locust Rendezvous or Good Dog. All great places to meet people and network!
For more information on CandiDate, visit: http://www.candidatephilly.com/