“Beauty Changes Lives” is a non-profit organization that brings careers in beauty to the forefront. Owner of beauty school Bellus Academy, Lynelle Lynch, spearheads the organization and is supported by an alliance of beauty professionals including educators, manufacturers, industry leaders and celebrities.
Recently “Beauty Changes Lives” became the recipient of $1.5 million Proctor & Gamble donation to help raise awareness of all of the opportunities that are now available in the beauty and wellness industries. Ms. Lynch was excited to explain all of it to us in a brief interview. Read on for her insights.
Faleris: What inspired you to start this non-profit organization?
Lynch: I have been on the board of the American Association of Cosmetology schools since 2006 and during a strategic planning session in 2008, the board defined their “mega audacious goal” to elevate the perception of the careers in the beauty and wellness Industry. We dedicated $50,000 to a PR budget and I was appointed the chairman of the committee.
We hired a part time consultant and implemented a national survey with a distinguished firm, Decision Analyst. The survey revealed that the careers in Beauty and Wellness were not perceived as viable in areas of income or benefits and that while it was a creative career most of the individuals surveyed did not perceive this as a prestigious let alone a viable career.
Faleris: What did you decide to do with this information?
Lynch: I was the Chairman of the annual convention for AACS and rented a 1,500 seat theater. I determined that to elevate the perception we need to gain the media and community interest in hearing from our industry Icons.
The first Beauty Changes Lives (BCL) event was held in Phoenix in November 2009. The message on the stage was simple, “I am successful and my career is____ and it is all because I graduated from beauty school”.
Industry Icons, such as the celebrity stylist and star of “What not to Wear” Ted Gibson, highlighted the show. This was celebrated by the industry and was the inaugural event that created a buzz. I returned from the event and hired our AACS attorney to trademark BCL and start the paperwork to create the 501 c 3.
The process to become a non-profit took 2 years through the process of having the AACS board vote to approve by-laws, the articles of incorporation, the IRS filing and finally appointing a board of directors for which I am honored to serve as the inaugural President.
Our mission is to elevate the perception of the careers in beauty and wellness through the gift of educational scholarships and charitable initiatives. The BCL will benefit future professionals with scholarships, professionals through advanced educational scholarships and elevate the perception of the industry through charitable initiatives.
Faleris: How did you qualify for the generous P & G donation?
Lynch: Reuben Carranza, CEO of P & G Salon Professionals, which is now Wella Salon Professionals, a division of P & G, is a board member of BCL. In our inaugural meeting in March 2012, I discussed one of the key roles of the board will be to raise funds through donations, royalty programs with our vendors, endowments, etc. In May 2012, Vidal Sassoon passed away and corporate P & G was looking for an opportunity to carry on his legacy and to celebrate his impact on the Industry.
Reuben introduced BCL to the P & G corporation as a vehicle that was aligned with their goal. We began discussions and P & G in their strategic plan included BCL in their November 2012 roll out of the “Hairdressers for Heart” campaign. Further details can be obtained through the PR division of P & G
Faleris: What are some of the programs BCL has initiated?
Lynch: The BCL foundation is in the first year. To date we have launched a mentorship program where 4 students have had the opportunity to spend a day with an ICON – Jan Arnold, Ted Gibson, Dr. Howard Murad, and Diana Schmedtke. We also had our first prospective scholarship program that ended Dec 3 – providing $2,000 scholarships to AASC member schools.
Faleris: What is happening in the beauty industry? How is it evolving?
Lynch: This is a multi-faceted question as there are numerous aspects of the industry that are constantly evolving and new protocols and treatments are being created every day. The beauty is that the careers are expected to grow by 20 percent as forecast by the US Department of Labor. Our jobs and services cannot be bought on the Internet or shipped overseas, so the careers look very bright into the future.
Faleris: What is the biggest difference between running a non-profit versus profit organization?
Lynch: The IRS has very specific regulations to have a mission and by-laws. In addition you must have a board of directors, conflict of interest policy, audits, finance committee and many other regulations.
For more information on Lynelle Lynch and Beauty Changes Lives, click here. For more information on Bellus Academy in San Diego, click here. Or for learning more about the Bellus Academy beauty school in Kansas, click here.
For more information on Proctor & Gamble or one of its leadership brands, click here.
The P&G community includes operations in approximately 75 countries worldwide.