Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Welcome and How to Successfully Roe

Welcome to my blog!

Lularoe is something that I discovered the summer of 2016 when an acquaintance decided to be a consultant and I spent a whole weekend helping with hanging and staging her on-boarding inventory of clothing. I got to feel the fabrics, see the prints up close, and try everything on. I was gifted with an Azure (knee-length swing skirt) as a thank you gift, I wore it as a top the next day to a Father's Day brunch, and that, as they say, was the start of my addiction. After I got a job that required office time and not just running around on roofs in Old Navy t-shirts and capri pants, I decided to overhaul my 2001 wardrobe and replace it with good quality colorful clothing that really fit my personality and made me feel attractive. I now feel attractive every day when I go out, my clothes are comfortable, they are very no fuss-no muss and low maintenance, and I get compliments on what I wear all the time. 

Here are my recommendations for how to be a successful Lularoe wearer:

1) While the sizes really DO run true to size, there are a few sizes that run very small or very big depending on your body type. For example, I am a full-on 2X with muscular arms left over from swimming and weight lifting, a large bone structure, D cups and 5'7 in height, so a lot of what I wear has to go big for that reason. I can't wear Randys because they are too fitted through the bodice but Carly dresses have to go two sizes down to give me a waist and not look like a bag. I would very much recommend trying the clothes on FIRST before buying anything unseen and figuring out your sizes, because after that, you can buy off the rack with no problem.
2) This is no joke, they really don't make more than a specific number of pieces in that print, so once all those lovely pieces have found homes, they are gone unless an eBayer sells them for something outrageous. My suggestion is that if you find something that you really love, get it, because in all likelihood unless you scour the internet with a fat wallet, you won't see it again.
3) Wash your clothes according to the care instructions, try to wash your clothes with other Lula clothing or very soft t-shirts, and hang dry or dry everything flat. I have to hang dry everything that I wear because of space, and it works just fine. The thing I like the best about the clothing care is that you don't have to iron your clothes; they dry ready-to-wear.

So that's my story, and I'll be blogging as often as possible with where I wore my Lularoe clothing, accessorizing, reviewing the style, etceterera. If you are interested in reading about the clothing, doing some shopping, attending parties, and in general having fun, please follow my blog. I am happy to have you whether you are a consumer or consultant. If you are a consultant interested in having me model, review, assist you in your business, or hostess online or in-home, please contact me via the gadget on the right. I am glad to have you here and I appreciate you reading and following me as I ROE in real life.

What can I do for you and your direct sales business?

Why do I blog and offer my services for modeling the clothes, reviewing the clothes and hostessing parties to help consultants? I wanted a way that I can express my gratitude and thanks to all of the lovely consultants that I have met and bought from and am now happy to call my friends, whether in real life or online. I also wanted a way to get involved with this clothing line without actually becoming a consultant, which is not what I want. Read here if you would like to know why I am not a consultant.

About four months ago, I finally thought of an idea after doing some modeling for a pop-up that one of my friends was having and seeing the amazing reactions that I got from people posting comments. I have also heard from many consultants that I have done this for that their clientele is ecstatic to see real people modeling Lularoe that are not stick-figures or waifs as I am a plus-size woman with curves. I have an eye for color and pattern-matching, suggestions for how to style the clothes and wear them in different ways, and accessorizing ideas. And back in the day, before Facebook was the main platform for social media, I was a prolific blogger!

I know with as busy as consultants are which I have witnessed firsthand, it's hard to post pictures of people actually wearing the clothes in real life. This is my creative way of contributing to the Lularoe community! I post my thoughts about the style, sizing, colors, where to wear it, etcetera. This is fun for me because it's creative! I will also answer any questions that are posted about the clothing since I know how hard it is for people to buy clothes online. 

I do not consider myself to be a professional hostess, a unicorn hunter or a Lularoe employee or retailer of any kind. I am a Lularoe consumer and fan first and foremost, but blogging, modeling, reviewing, promoting, and hostessing is something that I do in my own time, and I spend a lot of time doing it. I am happy to offer this to consultants that feel that their business would benefit from it, but I do ask that I am compensated for my time with gifts of clothing only. This is my hobby and not my part-time job, so I do not charge an hourly monetary rate for my services. After surveying many consultants both in the local Dallas area and consultants all over the country, these are the guidelines that I have set forth that I feel are fair to both me as the model and reviewer and to the consultant that hires me. 

What I can offer to you:

  • Please contact me if you would like to be featured on my blog. The consultants that are linked from my blog in the right column are the ones that I have worked with, modeled and reviewed for, shopped with, laughed with and gotten to know through Lularoe, both online and in person. Before I link to your group from my blog, I would ask that I please either am invited to a pop-up if you are a local consultant, observe your VIP group for a period of time, or be asked to hostess a party. 
  • I do offer hostessing services, both online and in-home. My hostessing services include promotion on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
  • For online parties, my Facebook group This Is How I Roe In Real Life is a place on Facebook where you as the consultant can bring your inventory if you wish to share with my group members and open for shopping either by adding to the albums or bringing your link from Roe With Me, Shop The Roe or Booteek 360, your choice. Please join my group and turn off the notifications unless you are an active party participant so I can tag you when I promote one of your sales. 
  • It is your decision if you would like to post the link to my party in your group or not to heighten sales, but if you do and they come to my group, anything that sells while they are in my group, I am entitled to hostess credit for. 
  • If you would rather choose to hold the party in your VIP group so that the party participants join your group as permanent members and clientele, that is also your decision, but anything that sells during the party period, whether it be from a person from my guest list, a random add from my promotion, or a prior client in your VIP group, I am entitled to hostess credit for. I won't agree to any parties held in a VIP group where the shoppers have to tag me in order to get credit. 
  • For in-home hostessing, you are welcome to bring as much of your inventory as you would like to display as I will make sure that you have a clean area to set up your racks and legging display, clean rooms for trying on clothes, and hi-speed wireless internet. I do have three dogs who are confined during parties, but no cats and my home is a non-smoking home.
  • I reserve the option as the hostess at an in-home party to have other non-Lularoe direct sales consultants present. 
  • My hostess compensation, whether the party is online or in-home, starting on January 1, 2017, is a credit of 15% of your total sales pre-tax invoiced and paid for during the party to use towards clothes of my choice from your inventory that you have available at the end of the party. In other words, if you sell 10 pairs of leggings to my party guests, I would get 15% of $250 or $37.50 to use towards my purchase. If you sell 10 Amelias, I would get 15% of $650 or $97.50 to use towards my purchase. After hostessing dozens of online parties, I feel that the one item for every ten items sold is outdated now that the price range of Lularoe clothing ranges from $25-$75, and a percentage for what is sold is more fair to the consultant. I also will not select my choices until the end of the party after all guests have finished checking out. 
  • I also offer assistant services for local consultants who need help from time to time with their businesses. Assistance with photographing clothing is available at $10/per hour in clothing credit and set-up/take-down for local events is available for a flat rate of $25 in clothing credit. The items that I choose to use my discount on are my choice. 
  • Reviewing/modeling for a consultant on their VIP page or for a local area event will still be available for one item of my choice from the consultant's inventory with no price ceiling unless discussed beforehand. 
  • If we have agreed on terms for a party and it is your wish that I model and review on your VIP page prior to the party to increase interest in your styles, I will do this at an additional cost of $25 in store credit in addition to the hostess compensation to be used on an item from your inventory of my choice. 
Thank you for reading This Is How I Roe In Real Life. 

Why am I not a consultant?

Since I started this blog, my Facebook group, (and really since I started wearing Lularoe and making friends with so many of you that I now chat with so often), I have gotten the question time and time again of why I am not a Lularoe consultant and when I am going to be one.

I can tell you that since I discovered this truly amazing clothing line that has changed everything about how I view myself and feel about myself, it is the first time I have felt like I have a backup if the time ever comes that I can't do what I have a passion for, but the answer is simple. I love these clothes, I love how pretty they make me feel and I love shopping, but my career is my passion over retail.

I have been a large loss insurance adjuster for over twenty years and I work in the field covering the entire country helping families who have lost their homes to fires, water losses, hurricanes and tornadoes. I can truly say that I feel like it is my calling to do what I am doing, and so much so that when I shattered my foot three years ago and found out I might not be able to do it again, it sent me into a huge depression over what God had intended for my life. Fortunately I recovered and rehabilitated my foot, but now I consider it an honor to work with my homeowners that need me.

I have witnessed firsthand just how much work my consultant friends put into what they are doing. For many of them, they are doing it as second incomes, with their husbands' help, or with the hope of making it the only thing that they do. And it's very hard and takes a lot of time, effort and physical work. I don't have the time to do it and no retail background to be successful at it to where it didn't become my main occupation. It's a serious clothing line and these girls that I assist with reviews and modeling work really, really hard at it. You really don't know how much work goes into getting inventory ready for a party until you have spent three twelve-hour days in a weekend just helping a consultant hang and stage her clothes for photographing. And that's just a small piece of the pie!

However, I still have a creative outlet as I was a journalism major in college and I was a very active blogger, cross stitcher and scrapbooker before my daughter McKenna was born. I haven't really found anything to replace that creative outlet since then until now. Matching outfits up with the clothes that I have, accessorizing, writing about it, and showing other women from size 0-26 how great these clothes can make you feel by writing about it is really fun for me and doesn't feel like a job. And if it helps my friends in the process while I am having fun with it, all the better!

So there you go! No consultant here, not in the queue, not waiting for a call. Just a Lularoe fan girl who loves to be girly girly when I'm not digging through a fire loss.

Thanks again for being a part of This Is How I Roe In Real Life. Please feel free to add your friends, consultants, uplines, downlines, sidelines to the group as everyone is welcome. 

How do you shop online?

The way that Lularoe is structured is that each consultant gets to pick what styles they sell and what sizes they carry but they have no choice at all at what colors or prints that they receive. Lularoe only makes approximately 5,000 pieces in that particular color or print and those colors/prints could be spread out across leggings, skirts, shirts or dresses. I have seen the same print in leggings, shirts and skirts before many times.

However, once Lularoe makes those prints and distributes them among all of the consultants, they go on to make more prints and everything is unique. Every time I shop a consultant sale whether it be in person or online, I see something different and I pick only the pieces that I really like; however, I keep in the back of my mind that when I DO see a piece that I really like IN my size, I better grab it because there is no guarantee that I will find it again and the consultants can't special order it. There is no catalog because the prints and colors and styles change all the time.

So in other words, asking the consultant if she has a print you like in your size is not going to get the answer you want because if she did, she would have it posted. For pop-up parties, the consultant has everything in their inventory posted. They may have a duplicate of an item, but that's it.

So, here's a How To Shop a Pop-Up Guide. I am going to use myself as an example and pretend that I am looking for a skirt to wear to work.

1) The first thing I will do is go through the choices in the inventory, which the consultant will post directions for in the party on how to get to. They either will be in the Facebook albums or in an off-site boutique application that connects with Facebook.

2) I ask myself, what kind of skirt am I looking for? Do I want something short? Something long? Something fitted? Something loose?

3) Once I click through the names of the styles that are being offered, I can get an idea of not only what the skirt looks like, but also what size is recommended for that particular skirt. The consultant and hostess are very familiar with the sizing on all items that are being offered for sale and can assist with finding your size as long as you know what your size is in other brands of clothing. If needed, measurements can come in handy such as waist size, bust size, height.

4) After looking through the skirt styles, I decided that I am looking for a Maxi skirt since winter is coming and I would like something longer to cover my legs.

5) After looking at the size guides and thinking about what sizes I wear in pants, capris and other skirts, I decide that a 2XL is going to be my best size.

6) I click on the album for the Maxis and scroll down to where the 2XL Maxis are. I click on the first one and roll through the ones that the consultant carries in that size. The only ones that she has in my size are the ones that are posted, so if there are five, that's all there is to pick from in this sale in that style. 

7) Voila! I found a black one with a burgundy abstract print on it that will look great with a black top for the holidays. There are no comments on it which means that it is still available.

8) I click on "claim" to indicate that I want the item or comment "sold" with my email address in the comments. That will indicate to the consultant that I have decided definitively that I want to purchase the item and will also let other shoppers now that this item is no longer for sale.

9) If the item is already marked sold or claimed, but I really want it, I will comment "sold next" as that will indicate to the consultant that if the first person decides not to buy it or doesn't pay their invoice timely that they can contact me to invoice me for the item.

10) If I comment sold or claim and then change my mind (this is discouraged), I will not delete or edit my original comment, but instead make a new one that says "pass"; that way the consultant will know that I have changed your mind rather than my comment getting lost in Facebook.

11) If I really want the skirt but have a question, I will comment "sold pending question" with my question posted on the item if I'm comfortable with it or "sold pending question sent by PM". If you have a question about sizing and are not comfortable asking in public, the consultant and the hostess are available to help. Once the question has been answered, you must confirm that you either wish to buy it or pass.

12) The invoice will be emailed to me using Lularoe's billing system called Audrey and I will pay it using a credit card or debit card (no checks or Paypal allowed), receive the receipt from the consultant via email, and the consultant will pack my item up to be shipped as soon as possible.

13) The item will not be shipped until payment is received by the consultant.

14) Before buying anything, make sure that you have read the consultant's policies about returns and exchanges.

Any questions, just ask the consultant! It's easy once you get the hang of it! If the consultant uses Shop the Roe, Roe With Me or Booteek360, instructions will be posted to explain how to use it. 

How to be a involved and fantastic online hostess!

Yes, it's a surprise, I know, but there's more to being a great hostess than just agreeing to do it and collecting the clothes.

I love Lularoe clothing, but I have no interest in being a consultant. The next best thing after wearing the clothes and shopping? Spreading the word around to your friends about how great it is and participating in parties! It's social, it's fun, and it gives you the chance to pick up some free clothes!

There are two types of parties; one is an online pop-up boutique which is held on Facebook and your friends are added to the consultant's page where she sells her inventory, and the second one is an in-home pop-up boutique where you either invite your friends to the consultant's house or open your house to the consultant, your friends and the clothes for a traditional party.

This guide will refer to the online party, which should be treated with the same respect as an in-home party except it's virtual...and believe it or not, it is more work than an in-home party!

1) Once you have picked a date and time with a consultant to do a party, make sure that you are available during that time from either your laptop, phone or tablet, just like you would be present during the entire time at a party in your home or in the consultant's home. You should be ready to answer questions about the clothing, how to buy, what you like about each style, answer questions about what pairs well, etcetera.

2) The week prior to the party, it would be very helpful to your friends if they see you wearing the clothes. If you are inviting friends that you work with, make sure that you are letting them know that what you are wearing is Lularoe, especially if they comment on how cute you look or ask where you got a specific piece. Be ready to provide information on how they can join your party. The recommended method is to have them send you a friend request on Facebook if they are not already friends with you and then add them to the VIP group for the consultant. For online parties since you may be inviting people that you don't see every day, selfies and some comments about what you are wearing are incredibly helpful since real life photographs are easier to look at than the model stock photos provided by Lularoe.

3) You should be thinking of fun activities to do during the party time to keep people interested and engaged while they shop. Your consultant may want to do some giveaways, so you should discuss with the consultant BEFORE the party starts on what their plans are for the weekend and whether or not they want to give away Lulabucks, discounts, clothing, free shipping, etcetera. Never offer a giveway without the express permission of the consultant.

4) Make sure that you are familiar with how the consultant wants items claimed and what the shipping and exchange policies are in the event that there are any questions that the consultant can not answer. Your guests should be able to get any basic answer from you during the party just as they would if you were standing in your home with them shopping.

5) Once the consultant has concluded the party, it will take several days for her to let you know what free clothing allowance you have earned, so be patient. Not everyone pays their invoices quickly. You should also be prepared to remind your friends if they have not paid and assist your consultant with contacting them.

6) Get the word out! The consultant is relying on you to bring her business and sales and that is why you are being a hostess. You can post on Facebook, set up a group to advertise, find pop-up groups on line to post the link to, look for community boards for local sales, send emails, send text messages, set up a display at work with pictures of Lularoe so they can see what the clothes look like, etcetera. Remember that the best word of mouth is YOU. If you tell your friends that you genuinely love the clothes and show them how much you love wearing them and how pretty they are, they are going to catch on and be intrigued.

7) Lastly, remember that while this is one night FOR YOU, this is your consultant's livelihood and business and as such, all final decisions made regarding ANYTHING on the sale, your hostess gifts, giveaways, are her decision and hers alone. You are here to assist her and do what she needs to make this a successful party for her and a fun party for yourself and your friends.

Follow these guidelines, and free clothes are in your future!