LuLaRoe as Portrayed in the Documentary LuLaRich is not the Norm in the Direct Sales IndustrySep 28, 2021
Chances are you have either hosted or attended a direct sales demonstration at a home party or online. Pampered Chef, Partylite, Ruby Ribbon Clothing, Thirty-One Gifts, Origami Owl, or Park Lane Jewelry are a few examples. Some of you may already know that I was in direct sales for 20 years. I was an independent contractor for home decor, jewelry, and women’s clothing. I loved the quality of the products I sold and was happy to share them with others. The companies I represented operated from integrity and for the most part, kept the customers and independent reps as the priority.
However, they were businesses first. A quick Google search of the word, “business” came back with “the practice of making one's living by engaging in commerce.” I share this because in the documentary series, LuLaRich, they showcase earning incentive trips by achieving sales and team numbers in a negative light. For the most part, part of the (legal) business model for direct sales or multi-level-marketing companies has incentives built into it and many people who are in the industry love the incentives because it helps us to build our businesses while earning a vacation a car, or whatever the incentive is.
I was curious to see what the content was in the docuseries because, during LuLaRoe’s explosive growth, the executive team at the apparel company that I was repping at the time and I were scratching our heads trying to figure out wth was up with this company with the #Fashiondont leggings. (Honestly, after watching LuLaRich I still dont see what the fascination was!)
The docuseries shows a lot of BAD business practices that really surprised me until I remembered that there’s “bad” in every industry. Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many bad priests, teachers, doctors, lawyers, cops, etc. Direct sales and multi-level marketing have their bruises from cheesy and sleazy people and so we understand the concepts.
In the event you watch LuLaRich and have purchased products from your girlfriend, sister in law or neighbor, who reps a different company (not LuLaRoe) chances are it’s a reputable company and you don’t need to worry about being the victim of a “pyramid scheme.”
One of the things that separated the companies that I have represented in the past is that we didn’t have to inventory products and spend thousands of dollars hoping things would sell. I was surprised to learn that LuLaRoe leadership was paid on the wholesale amount of what the rep ordered vs what was sold. How was that a good idea?
Over the years I worked with some great people. When my mother was dying, I was in St Louis at our annual conference and my team as well as the company I was with at the time, Ruby Ribbon, made sure I was with my mom for her remaining time which turned out to be less than 18 hours. There’s a saying in the industry that says, “you join for the opportunity but stay for the friendships” it is very true. I will never forget the kindness and compassion that was extended to me during that time from women I otherwise may have never known.
I “retired” from direct sales in 2020 and still highly recommend it as a way to make some extra cash from a turn-key business. However, there are a couple of “Do’s and Don’ts” that I have gathered over the last 15 or so years from being in the industry in both sales and leadership.
In this picture, I’m showcasing a lounge set to team members and their customers in Michigan
I’m happy to answer any questions and/or to share my experiences with you, DM me on Instagram @FashionSHEsta.