By Marco Derhy
“Rome wasn’t created in one day and neither was any business. Start doing your research and find yourself a role model who can share her/his experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family and colleagues for advice. Knowledge is power and we can never have enough of it.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Simona Fusco of the award-winning matchmaking and personal search firm Perfect 12 headquartered in Beverly Hills. Simona is an internationally renowned award-winning entrepreneur and sought after Media Expert. She is often featured on national TV panels and talk shows, including CNN, CBS, TLC, KCAL9, ABC, FOX News, E! and German TV Pro Sieben. You may also have seen her on billboards across the country from Times Square to Sunset Plaza as well as in national publications such as Robb Report, Golf Digest, DuPont Registry, Angeleno Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, LA Confidential, Esquire, GQ, US Weekly, New York Post, Huffington Post, Beverly Hills Magazine, Jetset Magazine and many more. In 2018, BH Magazine recognized her as an “Icon of Beverly Hills”, LA Confidential featured her as a “Woman of Influence”, Angeleno Magazine named her a “Power Player”, while Los Angeles Magazine acknowledged her as a “Luminary” and “Leader in her Field”, to name a few.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Born in Milan, Italy, the fashion mecca of the world, I started modeling at the age of 8. My parents decided to move to Los Angeles where my first “Hollywood moment” was at 14 when director Oliver Stone approached me to play the title role in LOLITA — which my mother refused to let me do.
With over 30 movie and TV credits to my name, I have been described as “Hollywood’s New IT Girl”, New York Post, “A Modern Day Bo Derek”, Esquire, “Italian Goddess Hypnotizing The World”, GQ, “Blonde Bombshell”, Maxim, “Golden Goddess” People, “The Most Spectacular Looking Blonde Since Marilyn Monroe” Beverly Hills Magazine, etc.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I would say my mother. She was a strong, successful, independent single mom. I have always looked up to her for her tenacity and strength. Also my late husband. He was an entertainment mogul and many considered him a genius. I think he taught me many things about success and peoples motivations.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Yes, I am working on Ask Simi. A foundation created to nurture, inspire and protect teenagers and young women across the world. That’s all I can reveal at this moment.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
There are countless ways we stand out. I can name just a few here:
1- We are a Boutique Agency
It is my personal belief, that the reason to our success is my hands-on relationship with all of our clients. Unlike other matchmakers who will simply reduce you to a desk clerk or junior matchmaker with minimal to no matchmaking experience, at Perfect 12 you get the benefit of working directly with the CEO, myself at no additional charge.
2- Our Custom Tailored Matches & Membership Packages
We conduct your “Custom Tailored Matches” in your requested geographical location for those women that meet and adhere to your choice, lifestyle, personality, interests, philosophy and values. Our “Custom Tailored Matches” have proven so successful that on average, after 6 months, most of our clients place their membership on hold.
3- Our Perfect 12 Ladies
Our lady clients are highly desirable, commitment minded women who know what they’re looking for isn’t online, or in bars. At Perfect 12, we personally interview and carefully screen each and every client that applies with our exclusive matchmaking agency. Perfect 12 spends considerable time and expense in recruiting the most desirable ladies throughout the United States as well as select countries throughout Europe. Our Perfect 12’s are comprised of fashion models, celebrities, career professionals, doctors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, etc. What makes a Perfect 12? Physical beauty is essential for a woman to become a member of Perfect 12; however, a Perfect 12 offers much more than just a pretty face. She is intelligent, well-educated, sophisticated, classy, financially independent and successful in her own right.
4- Our Perfect 12 Gentlemen
We are as equally selective with our gentlemen clients as we are with our ladies. Perfect 12 gentlemen are high‐caliber, successful, and commitment‐minded individuals who retain our firm for a premium fee to conduct a proactive search. Our clients don’t need to be “fixed up.” They simply don’t have the time or energy to spend on dates without potential. They are looking for Quality not Quantity.
5- Relationship Expert & Image Consulting
We offers image consulting and relationship counseling to make sure you succeed in your personal life and make a great impression on your date. In order to attract a specific type of criteria of the opposite sex, you need to look and feel the part.
6- Concierge Service — We help you make it an evening to remember
With our Perfect 12 Concierge Service we can help you plan your special evening. From VIP access to the latest venue openings to A-list events to private jet charters or limousine services, Perfect 12 ensures your evening is one to remember.
7- Our In House Professional Photographer — Make a great first impression
While we welcome snapshots of our members, as we all know, you only get one chance to make a great first impression, and a professional photograph certainly makes you stand out. As a Perfect 12 member you will have the opportunity to get your pictures taken by one of our professional photographers.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
All the time. When I am not making love connections, I work on Ask Simi and The Maria Gruber Foundation. The Maria Gruber Foundation was founded upon personal tragedy when my mom passed away from terminal cancer. It is my vision to provide support to families whose loved ones are diagnosed with terminal cancer by turning the fear, grief and helplessness caused from this disease into awareness, compassion, and support. It is the mission of the Maria Gruber Foundation to create educational tools designed to help parents, children, and loved ones diagnosed with terminal cancer.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Find yourself a mentor
Rome wasn’t created in one day and neither was any business. Start doing your research and find yourself a role model who can share her/his experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, family and colleagues for advice. Knowledge is power and we can never have enough of it.
2. Don’t take No for an Answer
Never ever ever ever settle and don’t be a follower. Challenge the status quo and be a leader and take smart and calculated risks in order to solve the problem before you.
3. Walk into every Meeting and Own it
Ever very heard the motto: Dress for success? I know that every woman has that one outfit in their repertoire that they feel confident in. Think of Jackie O, Grace Kelly or Oprah. Strong, intelligent, classy women that made an impact in the world all the while being dressed to impress. Whether it’s that little black dress for that first date or that power suit for a business meeting. I certainly dress for the occasion and it gives me that extra boost of confidence. You are in charge and the more confident you are, the more people who are listening to what you have to say will feel your energy and that will give you even more confidence and success. Take smart and calculated risks in order to solve the problem before you.
4. Follow your instinct.
I realized that in the past I was making a lot of my career decisions based upon what I thought was rationale and was told by others that it was the right thing to do. I learned over the years that following my internal instincts was less stressful, quicker and easier to make and nine out of ten times ended up being the “right” choice.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Fail.
You might think that successful people are just lucky or have the right connections but you forget that you are looking at the result of years of struggling, failure and hard work. I see every “failure” as another stepping stone to reaching my ultimate success. It is the ultimate teacher.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
Oprah of course. I don’t think I have to explain why. She embodies everything I stand and strive for.