Locked down and out of love? KC duo revives blind date concept live and in quarantine | #tinder | #pof


Editor’s note: The following is part of Startland News’ ongoing coverage of the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Kansas City’s entrepreneur community, as well as how innovation is helping to drive a new normal in the ecosystem. Click here to follow related stories as they develop.

Pause those Tinder accounts and uninstall Bumble, a Kansas City duo developed a new way to find love in quarantine — and it hinges on a little Instagram intuition. 

KC Blind Love: Quarantined Edition

Launched by friends Ashley Sivils and Blake Thomazin, “KC Blind Love: Quarantined Edition” takes the popular Netflix reality series “Love is Blind” from the small screen to social media feeds — testing the compatibility of singles on a date that’s streamed live to the world every Friday night via Instagram. 

“You can’t go to bars or restaurants or anything. So I was like, ‘How are people going to go on dates?’” Sivils said, concerned about the social wellbeing of her fellow Kansas Citians locked down and out of love. 

Click here to follow KC Blind Love on Instagram.

Social distance be damned, Sivils knew there was a market for blind dating and a heavy following behind shows that gamify matchmaking. 

Armed with such knowledge, she went to Thomazin — her perfect match for getting the social experiment off the ground, she noted. 

“We’ve had a lot of people apply,” Thomazin said, detailing the simple application process each bachelor and bachelorette follows.

“We are here to bring you the opportunity to maybe find your ‘quarantine boo,’” Sivils joked as she and Thomazin introduced the concept to viewers between sips of wine in the series launch. 

More than 30 singles have thrown their hearts into the ring since the social series debuted in March, with three in the hot seat so far — donning blindfolds for conversations that bring surprising results and send fans running to the comments section to spectate in real time. 

Looking for love? Click here to apply for KC Blind Love.

KC Blind Love: Quarantined Edition

KC Blind Love: Quarantined Edition

“Our second dater, we had three [dates] llined up and two of them ended up going through and then one fell through. … Someone just joined [the chat] at the very last minute, we didn’t have any application, he was just watching the show,” Thomazin recalled, noting the smitten guest made use of the “request to join” feature built into all Instagram live streams and a favorite outlet for fans who want to talk about each episode. 

“They actually ended up really hitting it off which is awesome,” added Sivils. 

More than spontaneous connections, the series has also revealed surprising, pre-existing connections, the matchmakers said, noting a pair who discovered they’d gone to the same high school and graduated one year apart. 

“There are some random similarities that people find throughout their date that are really cool,” Thomazin said. 

“It’s a fun thing to do. I’ve always loved editing videos and [Sivils] and I have always wanted to do something together, we’re both fun individuals — I feel like — and this is the perfect opportunity to do something,” she said.

As “KC Blind Love” catches the eyes of more fans, the reality of quarantine potentially ending could be on the horizon, the duo noted, adding they’re exploring ways to keep the show going when the physical ability to date returns. 

“Obviously the thing that makes this kind of unique is the quarantine. … When the quarantine isn’t necessary anymore, blind dating is still kind of a cool outlet,” Thomazin said of the series’ future. 

“If we are able to continue this it would [feature] people getting to actually go on a blind date and finding out the results,” she said. “That’s kind of further down the road, right now we’re just focused on people connecting during COVID.”

KC Blind Love: Quarantine Edition airs live 8 p.m. Fridays. 

Click here to follow KC Blind Love on Instagram.

This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.

For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn


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