Sourcing: The Art of Matchmaking

Inspired by My Mother's Legendary Matchmaking Success

Summary: Inspired by my mom’s matchmaking success, I compared the art of sourcing to matchmaking. Explore how both endeavors shape successful relationships and business ventures alike.

Sourcing: The Art of Matchmaking

If you’re single, you may have heard of or signed up for Bumble or Tinder, the famous dating apps. In my hometown, we do have similar apps, but local parents prefer matchmakers like my mom to ensure a lifetime of happiness for their sons and daughters. (My mom is a teacher, but she takes this as a hobby to build a wide circle of friends and social status.) She enjoys a reputation as the Golden Matchmaker, having successfully matched 158 couples into marriage.

While my mother’s matchmaking business boasts an impressive success rate, with only 8 out of 158 couples ending in divorce, translating to a divorce/marriage ratio of 5.06% over the 43 years since she made her first successful match in 1981, this achievement appears less rosy when viewed in the broader context of marital dynamics in China. For instance, in 2019, China witnessed a significant increase in divorces, with the divorce/marriage ratio reaching 50.7%, indicating that over half of marriages ended in divorce that year. Despite these broader demographic trends, my mother’s knack for successful matchmaking underscores the importance of personalized connections and compatibility in fostering lasting relationships.

A poem by a local celebrity in praise of my mother's matchmaking achievements
A poem by a local celebrity in praise of my mother's matchmaking achievements

But what I want to mention today is not matchmaking, but the sourcing business I have been involved in since last year. Sourcing is similar to matchmaking in its aim to ensure a successful project.

Background Investigation

Unlike dating apps, where subscribers only need to upload a picture and a self-introduction to start, posing numerous risks, my mom conducts thorough investigations. She carefully examines candidates’ education and job backgrounds, always visiting the man’s family to gain a better understanding of their characteristics and to assess whether the girl would feel comfortable joining that family. Additionally, she utilizes an age-personality-family-secret harmony approach, based on superstition, to match him with the ideal girl.

Sourcing shares similar principles. While navigating websites like Alibaba or Made in China to find your OEM manufacturing is easy, a sourcing agent provides a personalized experience. Agents like Supplier Linkup are experienced in identifying who is behind the screen—whether a factory or a trading company. We connect directly with decision-makers to ensure negotiations are effective and efficient. If we believe it is necessary, we will take a business trip to the factory to conduct on-site investigations and discuss face-to-face with the technical and managerial staff.

Resources Management

My mom has a unique habit of collecting information during daily conversations. Whether it’s learning about a friend’s daughter who’s nearing marriage age or understanding a family’s preferences and expectations, she stores all these details in her phone. Each entry follows a format of the person’s name along with the birth year, enabling her to easily match individuals based on zodiac signs. For example, if she wants to pair a person born in the year of the zodiac dog with someone born in the year of the zodiac rabbit, she simply types in the corresponding birth years, like 1994 and 1999. This meticulous approach ensures that she can make what is believed to be a perfect match.

The machinery factory is bending metal to shape the plate forms
The machinery factory is bending metal to shape the plate forms

Similarly, in sourcing, our approach goes beyond merely collecting information for customers. We invest significant time in building connections with suppliers, allowing us to gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry landscape. For instance, during a visit to a machine processing factory, we interviewed the owner to understand their partnerships with other factories. While they specialize in producing stainless steel structures as semi-finished products, their customers require a variety of finished products. As a result, we further explored factories specializing in ozone equipment, smart vending machines, and various other sectors that rely on their manufacturing processes.

Trial-and-error with Patience

Even with all the information gathered, it ultimately comes down to the boy and girl agreeing upon a relationship. When I asked my mom how many matches she has to arrange for one to be successful, she told me that one success out of every six meetings is considered a very good result. Given the conservative nature of Chinese culture, where feelings are not always expressed directly after a meeting, my mom acts as a project executor to follow up and ensure both parties are satisfied. If not, she adjusts her approach for the next match to better suit their preferences.

Similarly, in our sourcing efforts, we often need to match several suppliers with the genuine intentions of the customer in mind. In March, for example, we had a customer seeking a branded electric bicycle. After extensive research, we found the OEM factory for that brand. However, upon relaying this information to the customer, we discovered that what they truly wanted was an equivalent electric bicycle at a lower price with the same brand. Additionally, they wanted to test the market first to check if they should purchase a large quantity. We meticulously studied all the technical data to make a better match and provided five samples for the customer to assess the quality. The goods will be received in May as our shipment boat will arrive at the port by May 5th. As the customer was quite happy about the entire sourcing process, they immediately purchased another product from us before even receiving these goods.


In both matchmaking and sourcing, success hinges on the delicate balance of understanding, patience, and adaptability. While my mother’s matchmaking efforts emphasize the importance of personalized connections and compatibility in cultivating lasting relationships, our sourcing efforts mirror these principles in the business realm. By meticulously gathering information, building relationships, and navigating the complexities of customer preferences, we strive to ensure successful matches between suppliers and clients. Just as my mother’s knack for matchmaking has yielded lasting marriages, our commitment to sourcing excellence continues to foster fruitful partnerships and drive business success.

In the end, whether in matters of the heart or matters of commerce, the art of matchmaking remains a timeless pursuit, guided by patience, diligence, and the pursuit of perfect matches.

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