Lynelle Lynch


"I have always been curious and competitive, and my personal mission statement has always been to make a difference – one day at a time."
“I think moving gives you courage to ask, ‘Why not?’ and ‘What if?’"

Lynelle Lynch worked in high-end retail for 20 years, primarily as the general manager for a number of Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Since she was 14, she loved the fashion and beauty industry, and she even modeled.

But Lynch’s mission changed 15 years ago when she inherited a chain of beauty schools. That allowed her to realize a new challenge involving helping the younger generation choose the spa industry as a career. Now the president and owner of Bellus Academy in Poway, CA, she is passionately advocating for the spa industry while serving as the president of the non-profit Beauty Changes Lives.

The biggest problem Lynch noted was that top spa owners in San Diego required employees to have five years of experience and refused to hire recent graduates. So Lynch recruited spa professionals to help redesign the curriculum at her schools and add advanced courses. She also started Beauty Changes Lives, a non-profit that aims to unite the spa and salon industry. It raised over $6 million to support individuals entering the industry with scholarships and mentorships.

These days, she is trying to elevate the industry perception with a recruitment campaign entitled, "Make Your Mark," targeting Gen Z to embrace the spa world as a career path.

"Gen Z is fiercely independent and wants to be entrepreneurs," Lynch says. "They do not want a large student loan, so we are very confident that our Make Your Mark campaign will attract them to the industry."

Lynch, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, is on the board for six charities – two of which she is chairman. In the past year, she led a $50 million endowment campaign and created a long-range plan to support the gift. Her days are busy, starting with a 7 a.m. conference call. She estimates she is traveling about 40 percent of the time – mostly for Bellus Academy and Beauty Changes Lives, but some for fun, too.

Lynch enjoys spending her time bringing together people in the spa industry and the fashion/beauty industry. While a salon is more of an energized environment and a spa is more calm, Lynch says both industries “touch individual lives and make them feel special. Both are very self-rewarding for the professional as they change lives and provide emotional support.”

Because her father was in the Army, Lynch frequently moved as a child – from Texas, to California, to Washington, to North Carolina before finally settling in Colorado from sixth grade through college, attending Colorado State. While constant change may be a challenge for some – especially at a young age – it shaped her professionally. And it helped her seamlessly transition to a new industry while finding a way to connect it to her past.

"I think moving gives you courage to ask, ‘Why not?’ and ‘What if?’" Lynch says. "So I have always been curious and competitive, and my personal mission statement has always been to make a difference – one day at a time."


"I have always been curious and competitive, and my personal mission statement has always been to make a difference – one day at a time."