This Docuseries About Facebook Mums Caught In A Pyramid Scheme Leggings Scam Is A Must-Watch
I can’t get enough of scammer stories. From Fyre Festival to Elizabeth Holmes’ Theranos — I will absolutely inhale it all. So, when I heard about upcoming docuseries LuLaRich, which focuses on a pyramid scheme disguising itself as a fashion retailer, I was instantly hooked.
From the directors of Fyre Fraud, LuLaRich takes aim at billion-dollar business LuLaRoe, a brand synonymous with daggy bright leggings and flowing maxi skirts. What makes this business so suss is that retailers don’t generate most of their salary from selling LuLaRoe merchandise, instead they make money by recruiting more people to sell for LuLaRoe. And to sell for LuLaRoe, you have to pay a member’s fee to become a “consultant”, which starts at around $5,000.
This is obviously not how most reputable clothing brands are structured. LuLaRoe follows a multi-level marketing (MLM) model, which is more commonly known as a thinly veiled pyramid scheme. The main difference is that MLMs involve selling a product.
The four-part docuseries chronicles the meteoritic rise and inevitable unraveling of LuLaRoe. First sold as a way for young mums to start their own businesses from home to maintain a work/life balance, LuLaRoe retailers found themselves working excruciatingly long hours for little pay, with some even becoming bankrupt as a result. Many of the sellers sold stock via Facebook Live videos, or hosted parties, but the onus on retailers was always about recruiting more retailers, rather than selling clothing. The clothing itself was often defective and poorly designed.
The series features wide-ranging interviews from ex-employees, some of the top-tier executives, along with LuLaRoe’s eccentric founders DeAnne and Mark Stidham, who also happen to be Mormons. I was lucky enough to preview all four episodes and believe me, this docuseries is a must watch.
There are so many layers to this story, it’s like a goddamn trifle. If you’re keen to dig in, LuLaRich drops on Amazon Prime on September 10.