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Featured on May 12, 2011

Christy Purington

"If you're not the lead dog, the view is always the same."


I'm a California girl, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, about 15 minutes from Berkeley. After graduating from UC Davis, I followed my childhood dream of becoming a magazine editor by taking a summer publishing course at NYU. A few months later, with no job and two suitcases, I officially made the move to New York. I spent that spring exploring the city, causing trouble and generally trying to avoid being an adult. Finally I landed a stint at People, then made my way to Time Out New York, where I worked as an online editor for the Kids edition. After writing one too many blog posts about spoiled city brats, I quit my job to pursue a silly idea that my friends assured me would be awesome. That idea now lives in Clique, a dating site that connects friends of friends.

  • Title: Founder & CEO, Clique
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Upper East Side
  • Contact: @cpurington

What appeals to you about the online dating market?  What do you think is broken with the other online dating services that exist and Clique will fix? 

Online dating is ready to be shaken up—there's so much room for innovation. It's fascinating that the big players have held fast to their models without adapting to such a change. Clique solves two big problems that exist right now. The first is not being able to vet potential dates; there is no way to know if this person is right for you before the initial meeting. We've built a really important filter—having a mutual friend—right into our product to solve that. The second issue is the lifeless, fabricated profiles that are so common on dating sites. By integrating social media feeds into profiles, users can see where a date likes to eat via Foursquare check-ins, or what movie she just rented on Netflix. We think that says a lot more about a person than cheesy responses to open-ended questions.

What scares you?

The possibility of letting my team down. This is my first venture—and I'm essentially learning as I go, trying to make the best decisions I can each day. My co-founders, Kelsey Rahn and Mat Brown, are these insanely talented, wonderful people who decided to throw caution to the wind and create a business with me. I'm lucky to have them in my corner when I'm disheartened or unsure of the journey ahead. I'd be crushed if a mistake I made jeopardized their success.

You mention that your friends assured you that your “silly idea” would be awesome, which helped your decision to quit your job.  Where the did the idea originate from and how did you know when was the right time to quit?

It was pretty simple: the best dates I was going on were with the people my friends had set me up with. Even if there wasn't any compatibility, the time we spent together felt worthwhile. I knew there had to be a way to bring that experience online. But it was, as cliche as it sounds, the support of my friends and family that helped me take the leap. My dad has always encouraged me to go out on my own and create something. He stressed that nothing is meaningful unless it's your own. Finally I listened to him. One thing I will say to anyone looking to quit their job and build something: There will never be a "right time" to leave. There will always be an excuse. So quit tomorrow. Begin now.

Your twitter profile states that you’re a wannabe world traveler.  Where would you like to go?

Where wouldn't I like to go is the question! I've never been outside of the country, so I want to see and try everything. I love to eat, so my adventures will likely be based around food. I've made a promise to myself that before I move back to California, I'll spend several months backpacking around the world. First stop: stuffing myself with macarons, croissants and red wine in Paris.

Founder, CEO