If you had a Facebook account it is highly likely that you have been exposed to the monstrosity that is Lularoe at least once. Whether it be watching a consultant do an unboxing live stream or receiving one of the infamous "Hey girl! Wanna be your own boss babe?" messages from a girl who used to bully you in high school. LuLaRoe is a dangerous pyramid scheme, not a "side hustle". I recently fell down the LuLaRoe hole on Youtube and watched the documentary from Vice that highlights the horrors of working for LuLaRoe. I was appalled to find that the company is still alive and that there are still people willingly joining LuLaRoe and were unaware of just how problematic this "company" is.
It is a multi-level marketing scheme.Giphy
Multi-level marketing is defined as a "marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce selling the company's products/services, while the earnings of the participants are derived from a pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system. When a LuLaRoe vendor recruits someone to join their team they make a 5% commission from every order that person makes as long as you yourself order at least 175 pieces. Once a vendor reaches "trainer level" they make a 3% commission from the orders made the people the vendor recruited as well as their recruits. But, only if you order at least 1,750 pieces. LuLaRoe is a textbook example of a pyramid scheme.
The owner is SO problematic.Giphy
LuLuRoe was created in 2013 by DeAnne Stidham and was later joined by her husband Mark Stidham. The Stidham's have been in a lot of trouble since the conception of their business. They were recently accused of hiding millions of dollars to avoid having to pay creditors (they allegedly owed $33 million in unpaid bills, $49 million in damages, and $4.1 million to other creditors such as UPS). Mark Stidham supposedly responded to payment requests by saying, " "look guys, I am not going to pay you guys a f***ing dime unless the judge orders me to pay it, and DeAnne and I will take our two or three hundred million dollars to the Bahamas, and f***everything.". DeAnne has also been accused of some pretty shady stuff. In the documentary done by vice, one of the consultants mentioned that when she reached trainer level DeAnne added her to a group chat called the "Tijuana Skinnies". Everyone in the group chat, including DeAnne and her sister Lynnae, pressured this woman to go to Tijuana, Mexico and have an illegal gastric sleeve procedure done. Stacy Kristina (LuLaRoe consultant) revealed that DeAnne told her that she likes her leaders to be a size small or medium. Lynnae's nephew, Sam Schultz said that DeAnne and Lyanne charge $5,000 for the surgery that only costs $4,000 and keeps the profit. A former LuLaRoe mentor by the name of Courtney Hardwood said DeAnne pressured her to go through with the gastric sleeve procedure. Hardwood decided to instead to opt for a less invasive gastric balloon procedure. However, she started experiencing serious complications afterward that nearly killed her and had to have the balloon removed. Almost immediately after Lynnae began pressuring Hardwood to go through with the gastric sleeve procedure.
The clothes are ugly and cheaply made.Giphy
LuLaRoe's most popular clothing items are their leggings that come in a large array of colors and patterns. Many of these patterns being far too obnoxious to EVER wear (or too inappropriate due to pattern placement) and consultants have no say in what they order. The owner of LuLaRoe comes from a Mormon background and strives to produce "modest" clothing and is said to have played a huge role in the "modesty movement" Not only are the clothes ugly but they are cheaply made and improperly stored. The Vice documentary shows a former vendor ripping a pair of "defective" leggings as easily as paper. Another woman claimed to have received a shipment of leggings that were wet and smelled like mildew and believed that it is because LuLaRoe stores their clothing improperly.
The company is ableist.
On several occasions, the company has faced backlash for its ableist tendencies. LuLaRoe has even gone as far as to side with vendors over disabled customers. For instance, when vendor Robert Budenbender mocked down syndrome during a live stream with the statement "My name is Robert and I'm special". Budenbender later issued an apology video that involved his wife and her sister who has down syndrome. He ultimately used his wife's sister as a "prop" to prove that he's not ableist because he knows someone with down syndrome. To make matters even worse, LuLaRoe came to Budenbender's defense while in partnership with the National Down Syndrome Society (the partnership was terminated shortly thereafter). The company has also had several run-ins with the deaf community as well. The primary method that most vendors use to sell LuLaRoe is through live streams. Most live stream services do not have the capabilities to provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing. During a live stream with popular vendor Amber Jones, a customer asked her to hold up the price tag to the camera so she could see the price and size and asking if Jones had a particular size and style in stock. Amber Jones and the other viewers quickly became annoyed with the viewer for "cluttering the comments" and refused to cater to the viewers' request even after they explained that they are fully deaf. This behavior certainly seems to go against the brands' mission statement: To create freedom, serve others, and strengthen families through fashion. It's a community where lives are improved through love, purpose, confidence, trust, and growth.
They heavily promote poor financial planning.Giphy
Selling LuLaRoe does not come without a price. As a matter of fact, the buy-in to be a LuLaRoe consultant can range from $5,000 to $9,000. Consultants also are required to purchase at least 33 pieces ($350) to remain active. Not only is it ridiculously expensive to sell LuLaRoe, but they are notorious for encouraging consultants to make irresponsible financial decisions to afford their "side hustle". These include charging it all to a credit card, taking out a loan, and selling plasma and breast milk. At least 70 people have filed for bankruptcy because of LuLaRoe since 2018. Most people who leave LuLaRoe leave in a substantial amount of debt and have to work several jobs to pay it off.
They target and prey on the weak.
"They really pushed recruiting. Not so much sales at all. Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. They said 'if it's a warm body then take 'em'" is a statement made by a former LuLaRoe vendor in the documentary by Vice. It has been proven that MLM's such as LuLaRoe are more likely to target vulnerable people such as disabled people, stay at home moms, and those who are not financially stable.
The moral of the story is to avoid LuLaRoe at all costs. If you just HAVE to buy some leggings or a floral print t-shirt dress, just do yourself a favor and go to Old Navy. The clothes are half the price of LuLaRoe and better quality.