Lynne Foose is the kind of woman that’ll teach you a lesson. Often mistaken for being just the beauty of the operation as Chip Foose’s wife, those that discount her soon find that she is the brains as well.
“I am the Vice President and Corporate Financial Officer,” introduces Lynne. “Which means, I make all the decisions related to anything and everything legal, financial and administrative.”
Lynne and Chip started Foose Design in 1999, the same year their first child was born. A graduate of Western State College of Law and young business owner herself, Lynne was a natural choice to helm the company while her husband let his creative juices flow. A new mom with a raw and fierce aptitude for business, she was a force to be reckoned with.
A force indeed, as today, Foose Design is a multi-million dollar business, widely known for being the focal point of the reality television show Overhaulin’.
“I think it’s very true when people say that life takes you in directions you never saw coming,” Lynne tells L.A. Weekly. “If you had told me that I would’ve spent my life self-employed and building a worldwide brand, I would’ve laughed at you. Today, one of my biggest goals would be to make the car building side of our business as profitable as the licensing and spokesperson side of our business.”
As a female leader in a stereotypically male industry, did she face any gender discrimination while building up the brand?
“Within the context of the male dominated custom car industry, I can say with a resounding yes, I did experience discrimination in this industry,” she answers. “I definitely got the feeling that in this industry, women were to be seen and not heard.”
Citing her mother as a strong role model and mentor, Lynne had to find the confidence within herself early on in her career in order to ensure Foose Design’s success. “You have to know your worth,” she advises. “You have to be willing to say ‘no’ when others don’t value your worth.”
Her advice to other young women out there, hoping to become leaders in their industry as well?
“My advice to young women would be to remove all emotion from business. I always knew that my emotions had no place in the business world,” says Foose Design’s VP and CFO. “I could not get hurt or offended if someone didn’t see the value in our brand, and at the same time, I had to have the courage to demand what I thought we were worth.”