It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus!

I would lie if I told you I am happy it is autumn.  I love autumn, don’t get me wrong.  I love the crisp air, apple desserts, pumpkin carving- however it means winter is around the corner.  I live in beautiful New England – with colorful changing leaves, and many festivals dedicated to autumn traditions.  I look forward to Halloween, but as soon as Halloween passes then the dark and cold winter falls upon us.  I hibernate until mid-March.

That being said let’s talk about my pinnacle of the autumn months- Halloween!  The only thing I really look forward to besides Christmas over the end of the year. It is my favorite holiday.  Whether its people watching in Salem, MA, or dressing up and partying on Bourbon Street, I have made the last few Halloweens a day to remember for the rest of my life.

As a child we always dressed up and walk to our neighbors houses. We live in a very rural area so the houses are very far apart. As I got older, in high school, my aunt would help me make my own costumes – and that is what started my love of Halloween. Dressing up as my favorite characters and the first way I had learned to express myself outside of the box. I was Snape from Harry Potter my senior year of high school, due to my love of Alan Rickman. The most in depth costume I had created was a bobble head nurse from Silent Hill. I had made a paper mache mask and dyed a nurses dress. My personality is to be different and to be creative. I am never content just doing something- I have to pull my all into it.

This year I have no extravagant plans but to spend Halloween with my mom and aunts- to spend time at a restaurant together down on the CT Shoreline. We all plan to dress up- so the question I had posed to myself was… now that I am a fashion consultant how can I make this a fun LULAROE Halloween?

I decided to put my thinking cap on.  How about LuLaRoe inspired Halloween costumes?  I quickly rushed home and went through my inventory.  Like a kid in a candy shop I imagined what each piece could possibly turn into with a few cute accessories.  The cheshire cat, a cow girl, clowns.. you name it I have created it.  Why buy a costume for $40+ when you can buy a dress or shirt/leggings that you can wear all year?  And when people ask about it, you can proudly say you are wearing LuLaRoe!

Curious to see what my creative juices came up with?  Come head over to my VIP group!!  We are also hosting a giveaway at the moment. Stay tuned to see what costume I will be wearing this year!!


Busy is an understatement

When taking on LuLaRoe, I knew I would be busy working pop-ups, online sales, marketing, customer service and multiple other activities involved with owning a business.  When signing up for this business, if you are thinking about it, please realize it will consume all of your free time.

I love every second of this.

I love meeting all the new people and interacting them them.  I learn about peoples likes, dislikes, trends, family stories…  I have made new friendships and reconnected with old friends.  Found long lost co-workers from years past who just randomly saw a sponsored ad on Facebook.  LuLaRoe has thrown some amazing curve balls at me, and I seem to roll with her punches.

I love figuring out how business works, and how marketing helps, as well as the ups and downs of trends.  I have learned how to purchase items based on what my customers love, and learned how super-saturation of items can be an issue in my inventory as well as the whole LuLaRoe market.  Having an MS in management, my business has helped me utilize what I have been taught, and give me experience in project management, ethics, finance, and even consulting.

Hopefully I can pencil in time to keep up with my blog now that I have motivation and a handle on my new business.  Time management has been my hardest challenge.  Full time job + LuLaRoe (which turned into full time work) does not leave much time for anything else.  I go to the gym, take dance lessons, and try to keep a social life.  I started to blog about my LuLaRoe experiences, however I failed to keep a time to write.  It is important in life to make an appointment with yourself and not cancel it- make yourself a priority.  This is my new goal for the autumn months.



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 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