Tired of “dating apps”, Anne Lopez has a plan for you, and it seems to be working!

Serial entrepreneur and seeker of a better way to connect singles. When I first met Anne and heard about “the Green Wristband” I was skeptical. I was never part of the dating app scene so other than conversations with friends, I have no point of reference. My first thought was this seems a little off, but after she explained the frustrations with dating apps I agreed to come to a meetup.  The next one was at Federal Galley, a great open space for mingling. I observed a group of singles get together for what seemed like a very pleasant couple of hours. It reminded me of a group of friends networking. I didn’t notice the normal awkward “should I go talk to her/him”, everyone genuinely mingled. It seems as if maybe Anne is reintroducing Pittsburgh singles to an “old fashion” craft.
What was the inspiration for the Green Band
This idea was born after a terrible Bumble date. I went on a date with someone I met online. It was very clear within a few minutes of meeting this person that he was not a good match for me. I wasted a lot of time swiping, texting and meeting this person only to find out he wasn’t a good match. And this is a story I hear repeated by so many of my friends. It’s much more efficient to determine whether you might be interested in someone in real life. And it seems like there should be an easy way to tell if someone is single…and ready to mingle. : ) If you are at a concert, a bar or even the grocery store, it would be nice to know who is available. The lack of a wedding band doesn’t mean someone isn’t in a relationship so we need a more clear indicator. I came up with the idea of the Green Band™ on the night of the date disaster. I immediately started talking to friends (and strangers) about it and everyone seemed to like the idea. I knew I was onto something when friends who told me they had never done (and never plan to do) online dating were interested. Almost every single person I knew told me they would wear one. So, I decided to find out if they really would. I ordered the first batch of bands about two weeks after the initial idea. Turns out, people WILL wear them. Nearly 200 people wore green bands at our launch event. Right now, I’m scheduling a series of “Mix and Match” singles nights. I’m hoping to make it easier than ever to date in Pittsburgh. You can learn about our upcoming events and order a green band on our website at jointhegreenband.com.
Tell us how it’s currently set up to work.

We have partnered with Federal Galley to offer monthly “Mix & Match” singles nights. Singles are invited to wear green wristbands, available at the event for $5 and casually mingle with other singles. Our next event is on April 12 from 6-9p, which is also the first night Federal Galley will be hosting live music in their brand new beer garden.

From your interactions with others, do you feel there’s a burn out from some of the dating apps?

Definitely. Everyone is sick of swiping, texting strangers, and then meeting up with people they aren’t even interested in. The response to the Green Band has been overwhelmingly positive. People are relieved that there might be a better way.

From my observation at the event it reminds me a little bit of a social network, you don’t necessarily have to be there looking to fall in love.
 We really are trying to create a community. You don’t necessarily have to be looking for love to participate. We encourage single people to wear a green wristband and introduce themselves to as many members as possible, whether or not they are interested in dating them. Sometimes it takes a conversation or a few encounters to discover a spark. We aren’t about pickup lines and smooth talking. It’s about making genuine connections, whether romantic or not. If I could make some rules for members, I’d institute the following:

1. Wear a green wristband if you are 100% single.

2. Introduce yourself to as many other members as possible.

3. Be respectful and kind.

How often do you plan on having these events and is there a website people can go to for more information?
We have partnered with Federal Galley and plan to have monthly events. Events and more info are available at JoinTheGreenBand.com.
On a side note, from what I understand you’re a bit of a serial entrepreneur, can you tell us what else you’re working on?
That I am. I started a company called Romeo Delivers almost five years ago which was funded by Innovation Works and part of AlphaLab Gear. We sell gifts online and through brick and mortar shops, including many local retailers, like love Pittsburgh, Wildcard and Gifted Hands. I’m also working on something NEW!!!! with co-founder, Henry Schneiderman. We are building a platform where friends can share and discuss useful information without the distraction of advertising or the creepiness of being tracked. We believe there is life after Facebook and we are building that future. Invite only the people who actually matter. Discuss only things that matter to you. No ads. No psychographic profiles. Just private conversations with your friends. It’s called Loopla. We are currently in private beta but will be launching to the public soon.