Last night, while perusing the RfM Web site, I ran across a thread about the mega popular leggings MLM, LuLaRoe. Although the military community, especially in Stuttgart, is rife with women involved in multi-level marketing businesses, I had not actually heard of LuLaRoe until maybe a year or so ago. And that was probably only because I have a local friend who hates leggings and insists that they aren't "pants". I think she shared this article about LuLaRoe and her frustration about constantly being added to Facebook groups for the brand.
I myself have been added to LuLaRoe groups, but I mainly ignore them. My days of wearing leggings are pretty much over. I used to think they were basically okay, until the other day when I noticed someone on post working in an office wearing them with a sleeveless polyester shirt. It looked really unprofessional. I guess if you wear them with a skirt or a long tunic or something, they're alright. But I don't like them for me... And, in fact, I don't like a lot of the stuff I've seen hawked by LuLaRoe because it's simply not my style. I also hate MLMs.
Anyway, I read the RfM thread with interest. I didn't know it was owned by a Mormon mother of seven. Furthermore, when I read one of the links the poster included, I learned a little more about the culture of LuLaRoe... at least as it's stated through one woman's outraged diatribe. I shared the link on Facebook and, sure enough, it got comments. One person who commented is now a LuLaRoe "consultant" and she seemed rather defensive. She says she makes money and it helps her be more available to her husband (who appears to have significant health problems) and their daughter.
I guess I don't have anything against women who do the MLM thing. I have a cousin who was very successful selling some MLM product... I don't even remember what it was. She ended up with a car. Now she works for the University of Virginia and has a prestigious job as an associate director of admissions for their MBA program. I don't talk to her very much because I think she's a snob. So is just about everyone else in my family, though. :D
I know other people who work in MLMs because they strongly believe in the product. Like, for instance, one friend has been struggling with melanoma and has found relief using essential oils by DoTerra. I guess if you're dealing with cancer and essential oils help, who am I to say you're wrong?
Still, I couldn't help but notice that there were a few other articles about LuLaRoe (named after the founder, Deanne Stidham's granddaughters, Lucy, Lola, and Munroe) that leads one to think there could be trouble in paradise. I mainly shared the diatribe because I thought it was kind of funny, but it lead to some other reading that makes me realize there are some real issues behind those furious words.
I have heard that LuLaRoe's quality has gone down a bit, especially since the clothes are apparently no longer made in the USA. However, even though the labor and materials going into making the clothes has become cheaper, the prices have remained the same. People who have tried to speak out about the issues have apparently been encouraged to be quiet. Consequently, some women have decided to leave the company.
I don't have a dog in this fight... horse in this race... skin in the game... I guess if LuLaRoe makes people happy and wealthy, they should have at it. I dislike the MLM model, though. I think it's a bit distasteful on many levels, because it often requires people to exploit friendships and family relations. And while I realize that not everyone who sells stuff for MLMs behaves in that way, enough do it that it turns me off. But really, I just don't like loud colors or patterns, polyester, or supporting the Mormon church, even loosely. So I guess I'll never be a LuLaRoe ho...