The real story of Lularoe’s early days, when did Lularoe start? By Anne

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The controversial tiered clothing company LuLaRoe started in 2012, but the company’s roots go back to 1988, when DeAnne Stidham was a mom on a budget looking for trendy clothes for her little ones. girls.

DeAnne is now the president of LuLaRoe and her husband Mark Stidham is the CEO of the large corporation which has been sued dozens of times for potentially predatory practices. The couple sat down for an interview for what became the documentary LuLaRich, which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. During the interview, they recounted how LuLaRoe became what he is today.

Before LuLaRoe

In 1988, DeAnne’s business acumen was heightened when she found a guy at a swap meeting selling dresses her daughters would love at a fraction of the price of department stores. DeAnne also realized that other moms she knew would love these dresses for their kids, so she started hosting sales parties.

DeAnne was on a mission to grow this business for her. She would book up to 15 nights a week in three different states (Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.)

She even learned to sew herself and added her own handmade maxi dresses to her sales parties. DeAnne has managed to make a good living for over two decades selling clothes at these parties within a traditional business structure that was not an MLM or pyramid scheme.

Back then, Mark often traveled to Los Angeles to buy more fabrics and patterns for DeAnne. Meanwhile, the idea of ​​limited motives, which is a big part of LuLaRoe’s hype, became part of the allure of what DeAnne was doing. She was selling certain models of skirts because customers feared they would no longer be available.

The start of LuLaRoe

In 2012, that all changed when another woman wanted to sell some of her skirts. They found a price to sell this woman so they could make a profit, and she could sell them and make a profit herself. This was DeAnne’s first offspring, and Lularoe LLC was founded shortly thereafter.

Ashleigh Lautaha (aka Ashleigh Rawson), she was one of the first retailers to join LuLaRoe. In MLM (multi-level marketing) structures, the earlier a person engages, the more potential they have to make money in the long run.

She joined because she had seen people posting LuLaRoe maxi dresses on social media, but wasn’t sure how to order them for herself. This is another hallmark of MLMs, you often have to find a real person to sell you a product, you can’t buy it from a website where all the inventory is available for everyone. Starting in 2021, the LuLaRoe website is set up so that you can see the current styles available, but you need to search the retailer inventory to make your purchase. The business did not work that way at first.

Ashleigh contacted DeAnne, who offered her a business opportunity. DeAnne even flew to Washington to help DeAnne start her new business. She even showed DeAnne how to fold clothes. Ashleigh had pop-up parties and had tubberware hits full of maxi skirts. “The goal was always to make money and make new contacts,” says Ashleigh.

What Ashleigh was doing created such a buzz and hype that other people wanted to sell skirts as well. It was certainly encouraged. A great marketing phrase used in the business early on implored potential retailers to “join the movement.”

Where does the name come from?

The name LuLaRoe comes from the names of DeAnne and Mark Stidham’s three oldest grandchildren: Lucy, Lola and Monroe.

How MLMs Work and How Are They Different From Other Businesses

LuLaRoe’s business structure, like many similar companies operating today (such as Avon, LeVel, HerbalLife, Young Living, Monat, Plexus and dozens of others) behaves like what is commonly referred to as a “pyramid scheme.” “. These types of businesses sell products, but the real goal of salespeople hired to sell those products is not to make money selling the products (like a salesperson or influencer would) but to develop a team by selling the products. below you who are also looking to add a team -members who buy inventory and focus on recruits. This creates a business structure that focuses on selling an entrepreneurial dream that is unsustainable for most people in construction, instead of just focusing on the products themselves.

Salespeople, or “retailers” like the LuLaroe class, end up being the company’s primary “customers”. The larger LulaRoe company did not follow or incentivize based on what it was selling, but based on the inventory it was buying and the inventory its subordinates were buying. whether or not they can profit from the resale of this product does not matter to the company. People join these types of businesses because they are drawn to the illusion of becoming entrepreneurs, but for the vast majority of people who join these structures, they are clients, not successful business owners. .

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