You ever wonder if people who are in a pyramid scheme know they’re in a pyramid scheme? This is the documentary that explores that. Does anyone remember LuLaRoe? If you’re Black and reading this and said, “What is that?,” you are not alone because I had no idea either.
It’s fascinating what an idle mind will pick once the clock stuck midnight on New Year’s Day. After all the games, champagne and fun, my friends and I settled on the couch as a family (some on the floor and already chilling with the sheep) while Sam, our hostess, skimmed through Amazon Prime and landed on LuLaRich. As the only person who usually stays up well past midnight on a daily basis, I made it my mission to finish this documentary I had never heard of about a company I also had never heard of. Clearly a win-win here.
LuLaRoe is a pyramid…I mean multi-level marketing company based in Corona, CA founded by a husband and wife duo by the name of DeAnne and Mark Stidham. The two aforementioned people are the reason why I forced myself to stay awake until four am. They were the entertainment because every time the producers talked to them, you could tell they were full of it. I feel ok saying that something is wrong with these people and I’m not sure they even know it.
Anyway, LuLaRoe is a women’s clothing company that specializes in ugly patterned leggings, shirts and skirts. I said what I said. DeAnne started making skirts in the early days and selling these creations out of her trunk. When you see those creations, it makes me wonder how she and her husband were able to start and continue to run a million dollar company because those skirts were ugly but I digress.
The four-part documentary chronicles the humble beginnings of LuLaRoe and profiles some of the women who became sales reps. Some of the women, former sales reps, while some are still selling LuLaRoe even after dozens of lawsuits.
The argument with LuLaRoe is the intent of the company. That’s the thin line that LuLaRoe toes right now. You see, a pyramid scheme, in layman’s terms and from my understanding as it was explained in this doc, is when you are basically selling someone the promise of large financial gains with no intent of making good on that promise. In addition, the financial wellbeing is placed solely on recruiting other members below you with the same promise that was promised to you. Now, LuLaRoe argues that they sell women’s clothing and that they do, no matter how ugly they are; however, in many interviews with former and current reps, they admit that the bonus checks they earned for recruiting reps beneath them were much larger than the income they amassed from selling LuLaRoe product. At one point, many of the reps interviewed mentioned that they rules changed from selling product to recruiting more reps.
Now, I would like to say that at first, I do believe that LuLaRoe was built on selling ugly clothing. I don’t think they started with the intent of being a pyramid scheme; however, once they saw that they could make more money having their reps recruiting other reps to pay the same absorbent prices for product and that could make them more money than just selling comfortable leggings, they changed their model.
Ok, so I know you’re wondering if I believe Amway, or Mary Kay or Avon are pyramid schemes, and my answer is yes and no, With the three aforementioned companies, I have always found a rep, or a rep found me, who wanted to sell me product, Was there a mention of doing this myself and making money? Yes, but I am too lazy to sell anyone anything so I never did it. But there was also product that seemed to play a bigger role in their company’s model versus LuLaRoe. And these products actually work. Like, I want to buy their product. You know how long I used Avon lotion in that pink bottle because I had seen it all my life at my grandma’s house as well as my own? Skin so soft was the best!
I liked the roller coaster they took us on. Why else would I stay up until four am to watch what would happen next because honestly, I didn’t know what would happen.
But, let’s think…remember back in middle and maybe even high school where we all assembled in the cafeteria or assembly room and they made this grand presentation of all the toys and bikes we could win if we sold like 1,000 candles? Your mind starts to think deeply when you’re watching a documentary about a pyramid scheme surrounded by sleeping friends. Was that a pyramid scheme? Were we at the bottom of a pyramid scheme and didn’t even know it? Well, my mom mentioned all the work we were doing to sell candles and chocolate and all we would get as children were cheap toys my mom could have bought at Walmart or Kmart.
What do you think? Do you remember LuLaRoe? Any pieces of this apparel in your closet? Do you know anyone who sells LuLaRoe or is a rep for another company that you think could be a pyramid scheme?