From a young age, Winter Garden resident Christy Lynch was fueled with a passion to forge her own path.
At 19 in her native Nigeria, she began modeling, singing, dancing and working in TV production.
Charting her own course as a young female entrepreneur was not easy, but Lynch’s aspirations never wavered. The goal of supporting herself through her own business endeavors was a constant motivator.
Although a large part of her entrepreneurial spirit runs in her blood — her father and stepmother were both businesspeople — she always has been motivated by being told “no.”
“I’ve always liked a challenge — when someone tells me I can’t do something,” she said. “There were instances in my childhood where I was told I wasn’t capable enough. I always took that to heart. They don’t know me. I know me, and I get to define me and who I am. I also had a drive and felt the burden to help my siblings, some who were not as fortunate.”
THIRST FOR ADVENTURE
Lynch’s father was an international businessman, so the family took vacations to places such as London or Germany.
Being exposed to international culture and travel at a young age fostered Lynch’s desire to work as a flight attendant.
“I wanted to see the world,” she said. “I was fascinated by the experiences I never had, and I didn’t think I could have all of those staying where I was in Nigeria.”
When Lynch met her now-husband, Glenn, who was working for a multinational company in Nigeria, it seemed like fate.
Lynch said her husband always has been a supportive spouse and a driving force in her life.
“He’s always been my rock, my pillar,” she said. “He has never said no to me, because he knows what drives me. He believed in me, because I’m a doer.”
Lynch followed her husband around the world. The company moved the pair every few years to different foreign assignments in locations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada, Angola and Kazakhstan.
Often when traveling, foreign wives were not allowed to take away jobs from the nationals, leaving Lynch feeling unproductive while her husband worked. She knew she had to find something to occupy her time that would also benefit the community.
As a young, black woman in Kazakhstan, Lynch stood out. The natives were fascinated with her, and she connected with many people despite not speaking the same language.
Eventually, Lynch formed a band with some of the native people and brought R&B and jazz music to the small town. Many of the concerts sold out; Lynch said this was one of the best times of her life.
She donated the money she made to places such as the local music theater.
In the Philippines, Lynch said her husband’s company allowed the wives to attend school and earn an education. She studied jewelry-making and fashion design, coining her company Style by Christiana in 2009.
BUILDING A COMMUNITY
When her husband brought her to the United States for the first time and they visited Walt Disney World, Lynch fell in love with the diversity of Orlando.
In 2003, the couple built a home in Keene’s Pointe in Windermere.
There, Lynch hosted the first Afrocentric Orlando event in 2016.
During the pandemic, the couple and their son, Jano, 15, made the move to Winter Garden after finding a home on Lake Apopka.
At the time, Lynch’s stepson was attempting to start his own brewery business in Colorado. The couple decided if they were going to invest, the brewery would have to be in Central Florida.
The family searched for proper real estate and found the building on Main Street in downtown Winter Garden. They closed on the sale in 2019.
Although the business fell through because of unforeseen circumstances with the pandemic, Lynch now leases the spots to businesses such as Schweini’s Delicatessen.
After settling down in the West Orange community, Lynch knew it was time to find her tribe.
Lynch is a natural social butterfly and realized a majority of her friends were single women.
She found it easy to connect with people and understand their wants and needs. Many times, friends would ask her for dating and relationship advice.
This inspired her next business venture, Christy The Matchmaker, in 2013.
Although she has big dreams, Lynch never jumps into ideas blindly.
“I want to be good at what I do before I present it to the world,” she said. “I build credibility and gain knowledge in any endeavor I want to pursue before I do anything else.”
Lynch attended a matchmaking institute in New York, where she earned her certification.
However, she knew she didn’t want to just be a typical matchmaker. Instead, she wanted to be a headhunter of sorts, using her international connections to travel across the world to find the right person for her clients.
She has been sent to Africa to find a wife for a doctor and even traveled to Italy to set up multiple dates for a client who flew out to meet her.
CONTINUING TO GROW
Recently, Lynch has embarked on a new business venture called Accepted Meets, with her business partner, Candace Smith, who lives in Turkey.
Lynch met Smith in Orlando when she was hosting a radio show with the Caribbean television network about matchmaking called “Love, Dating, Culture.” Smith was a guest on the show. The two have been close friends ever since.
Accepted Meets is a dating and friendship app that helps people with special needs or disabilities to find partners.
“They’re not always able to put themselves out there the way they want to, but they need love too,” Lynch said. “They don’t want to be lonely, especially with the circumstances life has thrown at them. They need a connection, whether that be romantic or even a friendship.”
The app was inspired by Smith’s daughter, who is in her 20s and has both autism and cerebral palsy.
The pair has been working with developers for the last two years to bring the app online.
Although the app is still in beta testing, Accepted Meets is now on multiple app stores.
Lynch hopes to host a launch event for the app in Winter Garden in the near future.
In addition to her style and image consulting, matchmaking and relationship coaching, music entertainment and TV production, Lynch provides etiquette coaching and event planning services.
Her long résumé also includes the release of an album, which she launched in 2012 in the Philippines, called “Move Me,” and her show on Amazon Prime called “Love Dating Culture With Christy The Matchmaker.”
“I want to tell and show other women to be strong,” Lynch said. “The road is rough and life has ups and downs. Mentorship is important. You need someone backing you and in your corner. I hope to do that for other women too. Be focused. Do not waver in what you believe in.”