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To D.C. matchmaker Ann Woods, who has been in the matchmaking business for 21 years, the recent emphasis on telling clients how to act or what to wear is not for her and her clients in the Washington area.

“The big difference here is people want information,” she said. “They don’t want to be told what to do.”

Mrs. Woods charges $1,000 for a year of her services. While many matchmakers maintain huge databases of potential “matches” for their clients, she only pairs clients with other clients.

“What I try to do is basically what family and friends used to do for people, tell each other all about each other and let them get in touch with each other,” she said.

Mrs. Woods said she had noticed an increase in national attention to the industry. But while there were a handful of matchmakers in the D.C. area when she started, she said in the past few years she has been the only one.

Leandra Ollie hopes to change that.

Miss Ollie, a lawyer and D.C. resident, hopes to moonlight as a matchmaker with her new company, the Talented Tenth Connection. Miss Ollie’s own frustration in finding a partner motivated her to help others in a similar situation — specifically, black singles.

Matchmakers say while niche-focused matchmaking companies like Miss Ollie’s exist, such as those geared toward Jewish clients, the focus is still mainly on elite professionals of any race or denomination.

In January, Miss Ollie, who is in her mid-30s, attended a weekend matchmaker training and certification program at the Matchmaking Institute in New York.

The institute aims to train matchmakers by instructing them in various topics such as psychology and the chemistry of love, said Mrs. Clampitt, who runs the institute. The class also helps would-be matchmakers create a business plan.

While it is a female-dominated profession, Mrs. Clampitt said that every class of about 10 people usually has at least one and usually two or three men. The institute has trained and certified more than 200 matchmakers since it started four years ago.

Mrs. Clampitt predicted a growing number of matchmakers in the future.

“The sweeping knowledge of matchmaking is intriguing enough that people are like, ‘Wow, this is an actual career option,’ ” she said. “We’re actually thinking matchmaking will become year after year an interesting career on par with life coaches.”