This was originally written on September 16th.
Oh hey there, LuLaRoe retailer about to go out of business. I wanted to write a letter just for you.
Ack! Am I writing “an open letter”? Dear God, no. Anything but that. My sister will tell you that open letters are an offensive trend punishable by death, so let’s just call this my LuLaRoe musings on the past 48 hours.
FYI: I resigned with LuLaRoe on June 26th, and shipped my inventory back on August 18th. It was received in Corona, California (LuLaRoe’s headquarters) on August 23rd. I received my refund from LuLaRoe on November 7th, 2017.
On Wednesday night, my phone blew up with a zillion text messages asking me if I had seen the latest LuLaRoe drama.
(Cliffs Notes: LuLaRoe, with no warning to any retailers, leaders, or former retailers currently mid-resignation process, decided to modify their 100% refund buyback policy for resigning retailers. Instead of 100%, it is now 90%, and stipulations were put on which items retailers could ship back. Many retailers who were on the verge of resigning, or in the middle of resigning, were left in a panic that they would lose out on potentially tens of thousands of dollars.)
Making the decision to quit LuLaRoe was like a divorce for me. It was heart-wrenching, took me months to come to grips with, and I am can only imagine how this news has retailers reeling right now.
Actually, I don’t have to imagine, because a lot of LuLaRoe retailers considering quitting have come to me as a confidant and sounding board.
So, my friend who has been dealing with stressful health issues and just didn’t have the energy to box up your basement full of inventory and now you’re too late; my friend who didn’t want to abandon your downline of hundreds of women and now you’re left with $22,000 worth of inventory left to figure out how to move because you can’t send it all back to Home Office, all the countless other ladies who have been waffling and bouncing your ideas off of me – this letter is for you.
Girl. I know this sucks. I know LuLaRoe did you dirty, and it feels like your spouse cheated on you because dammit, you gave them your late nights, your early mornings, the health of your back, your blood, sweat and tears. Girl, I know.
I can’t say anything that will take the sting of that away.
First of all, I want to tell you: this is not your fault. In case any little part of you thought maybe it was. You absolutely deserved fair warning, you absolutely deserved to be treated like the team player and contributor that you are. I know how you feel right now. The rug has been ripped out from under you and you feel insecure and panicky and really f*cking pissed. But I want to remind you: you have learned so much. You have learned about yourself as a woman, as a business owner, as a leader. And nobody can rip that away from you.
You have proven that you are capable of the following:
- Lifting other women up, helping them to feel beautiful and empowered
- Creating a community of women who lift each other up
- Marketing a business
- Branding yourself (linking you out to my fave course)
- Finding your own personal style
- Taking gorgeous photographs
- Predicting fashion trends
- Social media mastery (again, linking you to the Social Media Mavens themselves if you want a tune up)
- Forecasting sales
- Ordering and managing inventory wholesale
- Seeking out information when you need it
- Multitasking like a motherf*cking ninja – because you did all of this while raising kids, or holding down another job
Plenty of people are going to use this as just another example of why “direct sales sucks.” While the beauty of a direct sales company is that you are handed a readymade business with a readymade support system, the crappy tradeoff is that you don’t get to be privvy to any of the insider stuff, like major decisions, until they are made and you don’t get to disagree.
This is not because direct sales sucks. I believe that direct sales is a wonderful business model when done correctly.
Alas, this wasn’t done correctly, and now you’re all tangled up in the wreckage.
I don’t know what your financial situation is, but I am willing to bet that you relied on your income through LuLaRoe for your family. So it’s you and your family all tangled up in the wreckage, and I know how heavy the weight of that feels on your shoulders.
Do not let your current fear of the unknown cloud your certainty that you, actually, are amazing.
I know how amazing you are because I sold LuLaRoe, too, and honestly? Nobody gets it fully except other LuLaRoe retailers. I know how much of yourself you poured into that business and I want you to remember that when you start to feel angry and scared. You have that. Grit, perseverance, a badass work ethic, whatever it is you want to call it. You have all of it. In spades.
You have proven that you are resourceful and organized and approachable enough to be a style coach and friend to hundreds or thousands of other women.
That is not nothing.
I know that the end of this journey hurts you down to your bones and all I can do is hug you through my computer, which is lame.
But I am not even two months on the other side of the tunnel and I am so. much. happier.
You will get there, too. I promise.
Please don’t mistake my reminder of your badassery as an excuse for LuLaRoe’s asshattery. I don’t have my $8,000 back and I could really use it. I get it. People need to live.
But girl, you got this.
For what it’s worth, I spoke to my former mentor today and she assured me that I will be receiving 100% of my refund check today. While I don’t think this was managed well, I also don’t think LuLaRoe is out to steal from retailers who did everything right and returned their inventory with care. I do think when all is said and done, if you manage your business with integrity, you will always reap what you sow.
(I received my full refund on November 7th, 2017.)
If you need an awesome non-Facebook venue to sell your LuLa, I recommend Poshmark. I have had great experiences.
Need an ear? You got one. Come find me on Facebook. We’ll chat. I’m here for you.
Want help starting your own boutique? I can help you with that, too!
Whatever is next for you, just know that you are a bad ass.