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This is my story starting from a customer, a consultant, and then fighting my way out of the business.
We have ALL heard of LuLaRoe (LLR) at this point. When I first heard of LLR it was not as common as it is now. I didn't see it in every group on Facebook or at every event I went to. Now, that is completely different. When it piqued my interest I had a hard time finding a local consultant. Now, that was not because they weren't there but because LLR has such strict advertising policies that you practically had to run into one before you could find one. Eventually, I found one at a local event I was at. I didn't want to order online because I heard their sizing was so off, I didn't want to take a risk.
I purchased my first ever pair of leggings. And I mean FIRST. I was not a leggings person. Still am not a leggings person. But, I HAD to know what the hell everyone was talking about. LLR uses the gimmick, "buttery soft" leggings. I don't know about you but that sounds gross! I just hated that metaphor.
They were okay. I feel like my opinion is biased on this one because I am not into leggings. That did not stop me from buying another pair that I never ultimately wore. I TRIED like hell to get into some local groups here. Those ladies were catty, not approachable and just all together mean. They didn't like outsiders. Which is weird because they want you to buy their stuff! They acted like they were exclusive and they got to pick and choose who got to wear their stuff. It pushed me away from the company in the beginning.
Then I realized someone I had been following on social media for years was a consultant. I reached out at that point because I was seeing how much income potential this business had and ultimately signed up. Surrounding this I was watching YouTube, reading Facebook and they were all POSITIVE videos regarding LLR. All the consultants raved about the amount of money they were making. They were publishing new videos every month called "numbers" videos, where they talked about their sales and profits. There were literally no bad videos coming from consultants (I found out why later). There were some videos up from customers and why they didn't like the clothes, but that was about the extent of it.
A few months later I am $8000 lighter, sitting in inventory and spending every free minute on live video feeds slanging my clothes. Building a LLR business is harder than any other direct sales business I have ever done before in my life. I have always been with a direct sales company and this one by far was the most difficult to succeed in.
You have weekly phone calls with the owners and other top dogs. Deanne (the founder) was always heard in the calls basically talking crap. She would say condescending things like "If you aren't selling, it's your fault." I'm paraphrasing here not direct quotes. Other things that ultimately brought you down were things like, "If you do not buy the limited edition capsule releases you will be left behind, your business will suffer." These are not things that make your consultants want to be the best and push your product. They constantly urged you to buy, buy, buy. If you don't have x amount of clothes in every size it was not good enough. You were losing customers because you aren't catering to all sizes.
You needed to eat, sleep, and breathe LLR. If you weren't it was. Not. Good. Enough.
If you had a family, they were heard telling ladies to hire nannies and assistants; if your husband worked they were heard saying he needed to quit to support LLR and work it with you.
There was also this huge list of things you couldn't do. You couldn't post ads online in any groups stating you had inventory, sales, or even post photos of the clothes. You had to post blind ads, telling people you had SOMETHING but weren't allowed to say what unless it was in private. You were highly discouraged from recording anything or posting anything that represented them in a negative light. (Unless you weren't a consultant). And even then! If you did, they had people canvassing the web and sending out cease letters asking you to remove the content.
You were expected to grow your business organically, through word of mouth. Or by someone stumbling across your lives one day. This seems to have changed in the past 6 months as I am now seeing girls I follow advertising sales in their groups only. Which again, was not allowed before.
During my time as a consultant they even tried to take away letting us order inventory with credit cards! The idea behind it was that they were a "debt free" company and did not want others taking out CC's to get into LLR. This also has changed a great deal in the time since I left. This has been back and forth, I believe, due to all the lawsuits and consultants going out of business and being in debt.
Now did I make money? Yes and no. I say yes because I was making a profit, BUT I was returning that into the business to expand. They said to do this either for 3-6 months or until you get x amount of items in your inventory. So, technically I was not making any money off it. Because I was reinvesting everything, I was not paying down my initial loan investment. Remember the $8,000??? Yeah, still there.
Sitting in hundreds of pieces of LLR I was one of the unlucky ones who got so many repeats. LLR bases their business on the impossibility of it being too saturated because the chances of two consultants having the same items is so slim it should not affect anyone. Well, this is a hunk of bull. EVERY box I got from them had repeats. I would even be getting things I got in my start up kit again! It was highly irritating. They do not take these items back! BUT again, if they didn't sell you aren't working hard enough!!
I grew very tired of the business very fast and just wanted out. My payments were coming up and due and with reinvesting I had no way to pay them so I sold my inventory back to LLR before they changed that rule too! At that time they were getting ready to change that policy from a 100% buy back to something else. I submitted my stuff ASAP. I did not get 100% of everything. I was still short about $400 and was not given a list of what they did not accept. Once they took the clothes back that was it. I was not allowed to know what they didn't accept nor was I allowed to have it back to sell other places. You were just sent the check and that was it. I was FREE! Sort of—I didn't have as much inventory as I would have liked and I was not able to pay back all of my loans. Still sitting on one today. Not to mention I still have a small pile of LLR that I cannot sell for the life of me. NO ONE wants it. And I was not able to return it because the tags fell off somehow.
If you look into HOW LLR started way back in the day, it's actually pretty shady. Have you heard of Dot Dot Smile? Honey and Lace/Piphany? ALL her immediate family members and some of the stories are not all unicorns and rainbows like LLR likes to say. Today, as I was writing this I looked up about 10 of the girls I knew to be pretty popular with LLR two years ago. Only two of them are still consultants. They happened to be really successful back then too.
What does that say? This is not a business that caters to a consumer. No. They don't make money off the consumer. They make money off the consultant. As a former LLR consultant I highly suggest to NOT DRINK THE KOOLAID.