What the last 8 weeks had built up to had all came and went in a swift whirlwind of events over the past week. A rush of every emotion had gone through me- from excitement, to worry, and back to elation. Highs and lows, but no regrets. I will discuss all about my amazing launch party and my first album sale- however I will absolutely get into some key points on what you should focus on going into your first week of being a consultant and throwing your first parties (that may be over looked). It is important to pass on important information to others, and not let them make the same mistakes I made my first round. If it even helps one person, I am happy with that.
The first mistake I made was planning the launch party before I received my queue call. I scheduled my launch on April 28th at my ballroom dance studio. I expected to get my call around April 12th, but for some reason LuLaRoe had slowed their onboarding calls, so I did not get a call until the 20th! I got a UPS notification my items shipped Friday the 21st, and would be delivered at my doorstep Friday April 27th between 1 and 5pm. That leaves me 24hours allowance for error. That’s NOT good. What if a truck broke down or a package lost?? Or what if anything happens at all. The worst part was between Friday the 21st and Thursday the 26th night around 10am nothing had changed on the tracking at all- so the whole week my heart was in my throat with worry about what to do if my shipment was no longer on time. Thursday my packages ended up in Massachusetts, and I figured at least if the packages were on the east coast I had my dad or Andrew (my ballroom instructor) with trucks and we could find the UPS facility and pick up the packages if need be. I was happy to see when I woke up Friday morning (I took the day off from my normal job) that the packages were out for delivery from Waterford, CT. Yay! I was relieved.
That morning I ran to staples. I learned another valuable lesson that it is cheaper to print at home and not pay $1.03 per print out at their computer. It was a good investment my mother made to buy an laminator because I will never have to re-print signs for pop-ups or labels ever again unless one gets really bent. Anyways, I ran a few other last minute errands, and made it home in time for lunch. The UPS men came around 2pm! I was so happy they came earlier than later. I wish I knew 2 UPS men came- I gave a card with $5 worth of scratchies to the CT Lotto in there. I figure it gives them some fun and a chance to win some cash. Also, I appreciated them lugging 13 – 22lb boxes. I hope they at least made a a few bucks for a coffee. My mom and brother helped me carry the boxes in and I started on them right away. It took me 6 hours with only a 15 minute break for dinner to get through them all. I started with TC leggings and ended with Julia’s. I put them all on hangers and places them on racks organizing as I went. Then they went right in to the Frakta bags from Ikea on the hangers already. I only picked out 4 items for myself I liked in a tentative to keep pile. I am not sure what I want, but I figure I will keep one or 2 items. If I want more than that I will purchase from myself. I am not going to bankrupt myself over clothing to begin with! I did NOT buy enough hangers- I do not know what I was thinking but I bought hangers before I made the inventory order and never re-calculated how many pieces I ordered. I got a few duplicates so it was ok until hangers started breaking from transport…. so buy extra hangers!! I packed my car and my mothers car (it will all fit into moms car so I found out, but my tiny Chevy cobalt coup named Zelda is too small). I was finished by 8:30, and I was done and ready to head out and spend the evening with my friends down at Water’s Edge watching our friends band JC/DC.
The next day I got to the Ballroom Project in Rocky Hill to set up with my mom around 11:45. Luckily the studio had 2 coat racks already they let me use so I didn’t have to use some of mine. The racks I purchased were from Bed Bath and Beyond and were easy to put up and take down. Leaving the clothing on hangers the night before was easy to just take out of the bags and put right on the racks. We lined the walls with racks, and used a few tables for the legging bins. I also used a table for the check out area. I posted my laminated signs for pricing, and party hosting in the room, as well as arrows on the outside of the building to find the door to the studio. The studio is in an industrial park so sometimes it is hard to find. I purchased yard signs and placed them near the road with balloons to catch drivers eyes off the road (which one lady did see and stop in). I also did purchase a Facebook ad and a co-worker I knew from years ago saw it and stopped in. So sometimes advertising does work. I hope to look into better ways in the future. Many friends came that day and supported my launch party. I was relieved I had such a great turn out. Better than expected.
The fear I had most (other than my inventory not coming) was the credit card app not working. And what happened? The credit card app (Bless) was not working. Well I was flustered. Shaking like a leaf, of course 5 people wanted to check out at once. Luckily it was all friends and family and everyone was patient. My friend who is a LuLaRoe consultant stopped in to support my endeavor and luckily she was there to help out. (It is hard because my beautiful sponsor is in NJ).. she helped me and suggested accepting PayPal as well as accepting Square. So I set up Square as a back up in case Bless goes down. My friends and family were really patient and had no issues paying with PayPal, or cash. I had reached above and beyond my sales goals. My best guy friend even stopped by to show support- which really was very touching to me that he was there for my big day. All in all I had a very successful day with a small hiccup.
After some research my sponsor realized I had not submitted my merchant application. It was an oversight and I did not realize I had to sign up for one. There were no instructions when I had to download the Bless app. I wish LuLaRoe had come with some sort of instruction manual for beginners with the app, and also my “starter kit” is back ordered that was supposed to come with my initial order so I really do not know what is coming with that. Needless to say Saturday night as soon as I sat down I applied for the ability to swipe credit cards! I was approved just in time for my Album Sale Wednesday!
I began taking photos of my inventory bright and early Sunday morning. It took me 12 hours total to photograph ALL of my inventory between 6 hours Sunday, 4 hours Monday afternoon and 2 hours Tuesday evening. I suggest buying a nice lighting set up. I have really bright lights in the basement, and didn’t think I would have a shadow. Well, I did. I ended up using standing lights from my living room but placed an order through Amazon for a nice photography lighting kit. Newbie errors. *eye roll* I definitely suggest a solid 2 days if you do not work to photograph- if you work then maybe 3 afternoons to photograph non interrupted. It is a long process. Longer than you think. And mind you- you have to fold or put clothing back on hanger and on and off a mannequin. Change the sleeves or shirt around to make it look better in the photo. Its not a quick job at all. If you want to look professional, and sell things, you have to make everything look its best. I was relieved when it was all finally over. If I were to do this again I would not go with Package 2. No one needs 80 Irmas straight away. I would rather buy a smaller package, add on larger sizes (they DO NOT come with 2XL and 3XL sizes) and add on OS & TC leggings, and add on a few other styles. In my opinion.
Luckily last night album sales went well. The only thing I suggest is DO NOT use Safari for Mac users… I wanted to start at 8pm but the albums kept loading and loading… and would not post! So finally I quit and used Firefox with no issue. I am not sure what Safari’s issue was, but I will stick with the Firefox. I also am using Stamps.com for postage since you get a huge discount after paying the $15.99 a month fee. Its quick, easy and just convenient. Oh and I could accept credit cards no problems this time around 🙂
I have met a lot of very nice ladies on my first album sale. There were ladies who added friends who found their unicorns, so I was just thrilled I helped them find what they had been searching for.
All in all my first experiences in person and online for pop-ups were fun, exciting and I wish I could relive the experiences. I know first experiences are always the best. But in any case I can’t wait for the next time around. Every week will get easier and easier. I will learn new things, find better ways of doing things, and meet new people who have other experiences. I just can’t wait to live more LuLaRoe!
Don’t forget to join my VIP group for my album sale this week!! Going on now!
Photo courtesy of Andrew Kerski of the Ballroom Project Rocky Hill @akerskipro_everydayballroom