The Quest for Brightness

No one would second guess the colors LuLaRoe puts into their designs- some people love it, some people find many styles too bright (and I have to reassure them that there are also a little less bold colors sometimes).. but colors do tend to scare people. Time magazine recently has published an article “American Fashion Has Gotten More Colorful: Here’s What Changed” by Olivia B Waxman.  

I was intrigued by the article because LuLaRoe has brought bright bold colors into daily wear, I even wear bright orange and blue together at work and brighten up the office. And now the company and many consultants are even encouraging a past fashion faux pas: pattern mixing. Who would have ever thought bold, bright, pattern mixing would be the trend?

According to Waxman, all of these colors and florals happened post WW2- companies started developing synthetic fibers that took brighter dyes that helped fabric keep color, fabrics also became more affordable. Previous to WW2, bright colors were only for the rich, and if worn by anyone else it would have been seen as “gaudy” and “immoral.” It began to change in the 1930’s when middle class leisure time was popularized after the institution of the 40-hour work week. Vibrant colors and big floral prints introduced to mass fashion, however due to fabric quality, dyed natural fibers were light sensitive and faded easily. “Early synthetic fibers did not keep color easily” explained Waxman. Before science could make fabric better, WW2 had broken out and all the extra synthetic (such as nylon) fabrics were used for curtains to parachutes, causing what was used by clothing industries to be rationed. Luckily the war had ended and the fashion industry flourished.  

Image courtesy of Hyperallergenic.com
Reading National Geographic’s article “Killer Clothing was All the Rage in the 19th Century” by Becky Little explores how bright fashion was even deadly at one point in time. Some of the most fashionable clothing were made with poisonous chemicals, such as arsenic, that are severely toxic to humans. Not only did the wearers of this clothing suffer, but so did those who produced and worked with the dyes daily. Arsenic was used in curtains, wallpapers, and even candles. It is used to dye the color green, which also ended up in dresses and gowns, as well as artificial flowers used to decorate hair and clothing. Arsenic caused rashes to those who wore them. The makers of the garments and accessories had worse deaths- symptoms I will not get into here (but please read the article). After much to do about the deaths from arsenic in dying fabric- many European countries banned the use of it, and synthetic dyes were created.

Today is is not an unfamiliar thing to hear about workplace safety. But in fashion- are there still issues? According to Little, Turkey recently banned sand blasting jeans due to contraction of silicosis from breathing in the sand. This, unfortunately, is still high in demand and such manufacturing is just moved to another country. 

Now there are also new initiatives such as the “new Circular Fibres Initiative” that bring clothing retailers together. The companies involved want to “build a circular economy for textiles.” This program will try to change the apparel industry to regenerative and sustaining business model. The fast pace world with an ever growing supply and demand of cotton with the lowest prices possible leads to farmers using and handling toxic pesticides that can harm their health and the environment, and in factories forced labor is still present but stays hidden. Many clothing companies are creating solutions to these problems, including organic cotton, and plant based footwear. “Circular Fibres Initiative has a stated goal of the textile industry using only recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030.”  

Although we have come far from toxic dresses, there are still some strides to take. My advice to you my fellow LulaLovers…. donate your clothing! Do not throw it away- whether it be to consignment, Goodwill, a homeless shelter or Salvation Army- there are so many people who will re-use your unwanted clothing. If you are crafty- re-purpose your old attire into purses, wallets, and totes. Many people sell these for a sum on eBay. Pay it forward. 

Now that we can wear our bright colored fabulous clothing (and not get arsenic poisoning or worry about fading), lets use them as conversation pieces and show the world how amazing fashion is- and how many amazing companies are striving to do good by us!

Don’t forget to check out my VIP group HERE! for LuLaRoe, album sales every Wednesday!

Unicorn Craze and Carly Daze

My unicorn got me hooked on LuLaRoe and I didn’t even know it. 
What? How can that be? Yes you heard it right ladies and (few) gentlemen. I had NO idea. I was unaware of what a “unicorn” was… how highly sought out pieces were… and how much people are willing to pay for some pieces!!  

Some of you may be asking “what is a unicorn?” And some of you might be thinking its that majestic one horned horse you see on Lisa Frank trapper keepers from 1989. And no, it’s not that Starbucks drink. It is a pattern of LuLaRoe that is highly sought out by someone- to the point of possible obsession!  

The FIRST online purchase of LuLaRoe I made from my Sponsor, Amanda, was my beloved donut leggings. I love anything DONUTS! I don’t eat them often- but I like to share Neil’s donut’s in Wallingford with a friend on a special occasion maybe once or twice a year. So Donuts bring happy memories. When Amanda brought those donut leggings on screen I had to have them! My heart jumped and my fingers quickly scrambled to type SOLD!! And they were mine! My first pair of leggings. I did not know how soft and how addicting they would be either. Now I have NUMEROUS pairs of leggings! And will never buy another brand. Some may find $25 steep, however they are so comfy, soft, and have a nice thick band so they compliment your waist line.

I had another Unicorn I searched through thousands upon thousands of leggings. I wanted Pineapple leggings. I am still searching for OS pineapple leggings, however my friend Jessica found me Tween leggings and settled for them. Why do I love Pineapples? I was in Newport, RI and had to buy this sweater with pineapples on it…. and ever since pineapples bring fond memories of Newport- my favorite place in the USA. It is such a beautiful place- if you have not been I highly suggest a vacation!

Do I have any current Unicorns? I believe everyone who loves LuLaRoe will gain a new unicorn for every Unicorn they find. It is impossible to stop. I have reasons for every piece I love and reasons for every piece I want. What are your unicorns and why are they so special to you? Are you currently searching for them or have you found them?

Recently, in my first album sale, I had a serious stash of unicorns. I had a few ladies approach me in disbelief with the great first shipment LuLaRoe had sent me. They sent me the gold, a treasure chest. I had beautiful pieces that were on many ISO threads I had come to find out later on.  

When I had posted my merchandise last Wednesday, I woke up Thursday morning with over 16 pending requests to join my VIP group. I was shocked. How did people find out about my group? I struggled weeks before to increase membership. I had this gorgeous Carly in XS and Medium.

A heathered grey with coral orange and teal Native American patterns. I had never thought of having a Unicorn of something other than a pattern that meant something to me… but these ladies unicorns were this dress that I just passed a blind eye in my shipment. Was I missing something?  

The beautiful Carly in question

I asked Crystal, one of the lovely ladies who had purchased the Carly, “do you have any reasons why you wanted and loved that piece?” Crystal replied that she “honestly thought it was different from any I had seen before. And I could picture it as a cute summer dress or in the fall with cute brown boots and a little jacket or sweater.” Yes! Crystal is right- that is such a cute outfit no matter what season. With a light Lindsay or a jean jacket, tied with a hair band or wrapped with a brown braided belt. This dress is fashionable at a music festival this summer or at a coffee shop sipping a pumpkin spice latte.

“I can’t believe I actually got it and it was true to size and fits… …and its funny because I didn’t realize so many people wanted it, but now I’m seeing it ISO everywhere! And no I don’t care what the offer would be I am in loveee!!!” Yes, Crystal we are too! Enjoy that Carly, and gloat you got this Unicorn before someone else did! You look fabulous in it, and we can’t wait to see it through all the seasons! 

As always please join my VIP Group! and search for your very own Unicorn πŸ¦„ πŸ’•

Trendy Tuesday!

I decided to spice some things up today on this #TrendyTuesday.
Today’s outfits of the day! A beautiful Carly and Lindsay! And a beautiful Cassie and Lindsay! As always up for grabs in my VIP GROUP!

#lularoe #ootd #lulaaddict #llr #lularoecarly #lularoecassie #lularoelindsay

Launch me LuLaRoe!

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 πŸ™‚

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!

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/1851144848434278/
Photo courtesy of Andrew Kerski of the Ballroom Project Rocky Hill @akerskipro_everydayballroom 

Happiness

With great enthusiasm, LuLaRoe just announced their new “Happiness” and “Make good Program” policies. With the recent back lash of unhappy customers due to holes in leggings, LuLaRoe had to respond to make things right. This company is a highly successful and new company. Any negative press can be devastating for sales, however anyone I know who buys or sells LuLaRoe stands with the company. The leggings are brushed in such a way to make them so soft that sometimes the fabric is delicate and thin, but the company still stands by their products. I would always take soft leggings over any other competitors brand now that I know the feel, and what beautiful designs LuLaRoe has to offer. One of the reasons I became a rep is because of the beautiful pieces LuLaRoe offers, as well as the warm, loving culture the company projects outward to reps and to the community. 
Customer satisfaction is the key to a successful company, but how can companies promote a culture to have employees/representitves (of any company not just LLR) successfully project happiness as well. Being a direct sales company, LuLaRoe has to put all of their confidence in all of the lovely ladies who sell their products. Some have different strategies than others, some have a lighter touch when coming to customer service, and some are more crafty in packaging and sending out lovely notes to their patrons. There is NO screening process in becoming a consultant with LuLaRoe- you just have to have cash on hand in your bank account. If you are going to be successful at direct sales you must have what it takes to make the sales, otherwise you will be the one failing, losing your money you had invested. The company is not the one losing out- or is it? The company’s recent bad press with leggings having holes expressed people having difficulty getting exchanges. Is this LuLaRoe or is this the direct sales rep? I had one pair I wore out in less than 30 days one of my lovely reps quickly exchanged for me. I took photos of the 3 tags, and the holes, sent them to her via FB messenger and I was allowed to use $25 credit in her online boutique. I used it towards a beautiful Azure skirt instead of leggings (since I am stock piled in leggings now). She made the process quick, simple and easy (which is why I am not understanding why so many complaints are apparently being made when there is such an easy return process).  It is all in the representative of the company you work for. IF you have a lazy or difficult direct sales rep- no matter the company – it is a bad representation of that company.  The representatives of the company must represent the company the best they can. They are a mascot. They are the face of LuLaRoe. They can give the company a bad name, or a beautiful face. Come on girls, let’s give our amazing company the name it deserves!

There are some essential values to keep when hiring employees (I am talking any company in general not LLR reps) to keep the company’s core values and culture alive.

-Hiring and keeping employees/representatives with positive attitude will promote a positive work environment and a positive interaction with customers, which will bring back repeat business and happy customers. Happy customers are the key to free advertisement for your company!

-Creating an environment that promotes happiness will ensure that employees/reps will want to create happiness and find happiness in their own lives. If a company wants to create happiness- the company looks for ways to better improve the workplace, work culture, process improvement, and customer experience. It would be a joy working for a company that would promote such values.

-Let employees/reps create their own schedules – by letting emloyees create their own schedules or choosing hours (full or part time) you will help them work around their hobbies, families, schooling, and other goals in order for them to gain their own happiness.

-Positive motivation. Never talk down to employees/reps or consumers, Positive attitudes wins everyone at the end of the day.  If someone does not meet a quota do not reprimand them- better luck next month! Or offer words of advice and encouragement. 

-Bonuses when appropriate. Articles in the Harvard Business Review have argued that bonuses or incentives can hurt employees/reps work. I believe this is correct in such instances as healthcare registration (asking for more money than required from patients to reach copay incentives, etc. or making clerical errors when quick overturns are needed in an ER), however in retail I believe up-selling or trying to reach monthly goals is a healthy way to compete. Consequently raising goals monthly to unreasonable standards can hurt relationships amongst co-workers and employees/reps to consumers. One lady pushed so hard at a direct sales party I had- my friends will never attend another party I throw with this company- whether or not it involves this rep. It hurt her, and hurt her company. If a company has reasonable goals, there is no unreasonable expectations that causes consultants to harass consumers.

-Respond to complaints in a reasonable amount of time according to company policy. There is no reason to be slow to respond. Take the issue into your hands and deal with it- end of story. You are a representitve of the company and it is your responsibility to make the consumer happy within the guidelines of the company policy.

-Keep employees/reps (also sign ons of your team) and customers informed of company updates the best you can. Keep people excited for the future and growth. When there is excitement and no fear for the future, that will ensure long term success.

-Listen, show courtesy and respect, ensure customers have the highest care and best experience

-Share your pride! BE PROUD to represent your company! UP TALK your team! LOVE what you do and who you represent. Be in the moment!

And what my current full time employer’s catch phrase is: “Every moment, every person, every time!”

LuLaRoe is such an amazing company… I hope this new happiness policy brings much more happiness to its reps and its consumers, bringing much more positive business and new people into the LuLaRoe Family!  Nothing is more important than keeping positivity in the company and projecting it outward into the world. Happy employees/reps make happy consumers. Happy consumers bring more business. More business brings more diversity and creativity that LuLaRoe can bring us!!! 

Enjoy the read? Join my VIP group!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1851144848434278/