Around here, we’re endlessly fascinated by the wide world of online shopping, and it seems that every week brings with it a brand-new site to be obsessed with. Since keeping track of ‘em all can be a feat of epic proportion, we’ve decided to feature “A Site To See” each week, highlighting a cool retail website you’ll definitely want to bookmark. This week: a site called Lumelle that utilizes the online dating profile system to help women find new friends.
Why You Should Bookmark It: If you’ve ever moved to a new city or had to make new friends after graduating from college or entering any new stage of life, then you know how hard it can be to meet new people. And while the Internet has more than a plethora of options for finding love—OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Match.com, How About We, Tinder, and many more—the market for helping women find other women to platonically hang out with is pretty bleak. Lumelle founder Nermin Jasani knows how it feels to want more friends and have difficulty finding them.
“I moved to New York about three years ago from law school, and the only person I knew was my roommate, who I met on Craigslist,” Jasani told us. “When I moved here, I thought it was going to be so easy to find friends, because people are always doing stuff. Unfortunately, it was a little bit harder than I thought it would be; sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
I only really had two close female friends: people who I could call and say let’s get a drink tonight or let’s get brunch this weekend. I got so frustrated with my situation.”
In pondering her experiences trying to meet other women to form female bonds, Nermin realized there was no online outlet for her struggles. That’s when the idea for Lumelle was born.
How It Works: Firstly, it’s worth noting that Lumelle is a totally free service. It’s open to women only, and limited to ladies who are 18 years of age or older. Once you sign up for an account with your e-mail address, you’re prompted to set up a profile (not unlike an online dating service).
“You’ll be prompted to answer certain questions about yourself: whether or not you have children, or want to hang out with women who have children,” Nermin explains. “We sometimes encounter single women who are saying I don’t want to hang out with any more girls who are in relationships, and vise versa. We’ve tried to make it as flexible as possible, because we’re trying to match women based on core fundamental things that they’re looking for when they’re trying to find friends. Once you answer all the questions about yourself, you’re matched to other members who are very similar to yourself. Based on those match readings, you can check out their profile, send them a message if you want, and so on.”
Unlike some dating sites, there’s no set protocol on when and how you can message other members. Once your profile is complete, it’s totally up to you how you use the site. The only rule: there are no boys allowed. “Women only. I didn’t want to create another dating website; I feel like there are enough of those as is. I wanted to make something women could feel comfortable on looking for friends, and not be bombarded by guys wanting dates,” Jasani says.
Where the Name Came From: “I started thinking of alternative names I could come up with, any time I heard a word I liked,” Nermin explains. “So it was just me sitting there and coming up with variations of names. The prefix ‘lum’ means ‘bring light to,’ and ‘elle’ is French for female. Bringing light to females! I thought, this is wonderful.”
Fun Bonus: In an effort to spread the word about the site, Jasani worked with a team of creatives to come up with a video series of quirky, funny vignettes to tell the story of women trying to find other women. Watch our favorite one below.
Signup Perk: StyleCaster readers get a special perk for signing up! Once you register, fill out a full profile, and complete your questionnaire, you’ll be registered to win a free blowout from Dry Bar.
Check It Out: Lumelle.com