"Hearst Magazines and Verizon Media may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below."
At one point in time, LulaRoe was everywhere. Then, just a few years after their leggings, dresses and other brightly-colored clothes took over social media, the company found themselves embroiled in controversy: Dozens of former consultants, employees and suppliers (including the entire state of Washington) filed lawsuits against them, citing quality control issues, unfair refund policies, deceptive practices, among other concerns.
LulaRoe's downfall takes center stage in the new Amazon docuseries, LulaRich. At the start of the the four-episode series, LulaRoe founders DeAnne and Mark Stidham paint a pretty picture of their business: DeAnne, a "struggling mother" of 14, sewed a skirt for her daughter and dreamed up a plan to sell her creations on a larger scale. As time went on, they recruited a team of retailers (also called consultants or distributors) to help sell their designs. Then, within four years, the company exceeded $1 billion in sales and employed more than 80,000 consultants.
As the episodes play out, we get a whole different side of the story - one told from the former consultants and employees who laid out the pressures, demands and harsh realities that came with working for LulaRoe. One former consultant revealed that after being sent moldy, torn clothing, her once-thriving business was at a standstill, forcing her to file for bankruptcy, even selling her house and two cars, one of which had a license plate that read "LulaRoe3." Former employee Derryl Trujillo admitted that when the company abruptly ended their refund policy, he came to the conclusion that his work wasn't serving customers; it was only serving the company's founders.
Even when questioned, Mark and DeAnne continue to stand behind their actions, denying that they ever created a pyramid scheme in the first place - intentionally or otherwise. But throughout the docuseries, they also talk about the company in the present tense, leading many viewers to wonder if LulaRoe is still in business amid the million-dollar lawsuits and workplace scandals. The short answer: Yes, LulaRoe is still around in 2021.
If you take a quick glance at their social media accounts and website, it appears that everything is carrying on as normal. Their Instagram page is full of smiling retailers, fun patterns and stories of their successes, like the LuLaRoe 2020 cruise, aptly named the D.R.E.A.M. trip. Their website makes their mission clear to anyone who visits: "to provide an opportunity for people to create freedom by selling comfortable, affordable and stylish clothing."
Even after settling a major lawsuit with Washington state by agreeing to pay a $4.75 million fine, LulaRoe still has dozens of unsettled lawsuits against them. For that reason, it's unknown how well the business is really doing at this time. In a recent Instagram post, LulaRoe said they have 17,000 active retailers, a far cry from the 80,000 they had back in 2017. Of those retailers, the income disclosure statement shows that about half made less than $5,000 in product sales and bonuses (now called the "Leadership Compensation Plan").
The most noticeable difference between then and now: In LulaRich, former retailers reveal the startup cost for new retailers ranged anywhere from $5,000 - $10,000, causing many women to take out loans (even, sell their breastmilk) to buy-in. Today, it costs $499 to join - but just like joining any other multi-level marketing company, it still comes with the same level of risk.
A Cleaning Expert Explains the Best Way to Clean Cloth Face Masks After You Wear Them - Good Housekeeping
35 Delicious Pantry Recipes That Use What's Already in Your Cabinets and Freezer - Good Housekeeping
The Amish keep to themselves. And they're hiding a horrifying secret. - Cosmopolitan