Life after Lula

If you know anything about Ryan and I, you know we recently made a gigantic change in our life and closed our side business. Let me give you a little background.

Last year someone invited me to a clothes party online. I watched things fly off the “internet shelves” during this party. Clothes I’d never heard of before. After watching this, I was so intrigued I took a little bit of a deep dive into it. What I found was a small, startup opportunity to make some extra money. It was a huge buy-in. I think Ryan and I invested about $13,000 initially into this just on a whim. I credit Ryan for the idea. I jokingly said to him one night, “Hey, what if I just sell LuLaRoe or something as a side job?” and he quickly took the bait and said yeah, we definitely need to do that. Fast forward to 8 weeks of planning, prepping and saving and there we were with 700 pieces of clothing in our possession and 70 parties booked for the following 4 months.

We worked out butts off. We kept full-time jobs doing it and in my role, I had to do quite a bit of overtime as well, so many weeks we were working 100+ hours, trying to juggle a toddler, keep a house clean, act like our heads weren’t about to pop off and still find energy to socialize and enjoy each other’s company. Can you guess which of those we struggled with? Hint: the last one.

We also moved across the country during this time period. 1500 miles away from our closest friends and family, reestablished ourselves, revamped our group and then grew to some pretty epic proportions with a 13,000 following on Facebook.

Here’s what we found:

I am a professional at maximizing a day, but even I can’t make more hours appear out of nowhere. We found ourselves working 10 hours a day at work, coming home, ordering some food cause we didn’t have time or energy to make it and then do the clean up, parenting until Elle went to bed and then we would divert our energy to the task at hand. Either Ryan was studying or I was (we’re getting our MBAs) or we were both doing LLR or we would split up and one person would tackle something and the other person would tackle another thing based on whatever list of priorities I had established for that random Tuesday. We would pop into bed around 11 or 12 on a good night, only to re-awake around 5 to ship some more packages, respond to some more emails or make some outfits to post as sell.

That was just the back office and only a small snippet of it. Then you have the front office, dealing with the customers, trying to reinvent yourself consistently to appear interesting. Sharing about yourself, sharing about your kid, getting to know your group, getting them to know each other, building a community – just a few of the things we did.

We had something kind of traumatic (depends on who you ask, I suppose & I’ll get into this later) happen in December and while I didn’t feel it then, looking back I know that’s when I started pulling away from LLR because of a renewed need to focus on myself.

Then February came and something happened. Then March, then April. One by one we kept having these sad, sad things suddenly start to happen to me and it became apparent that for my own self-care, I needed to step back. I have NEVER quit anything in my entire life. Ever. I am also not sure I’d call this “quitting.” I ended on a high note, on my own terms, just as I’d wanted to do and knew that I would do. Almost a year after we started, we stopped.

I don’t regret a single second of it. It definitely had some difficult points. We definitely worked our butts off the entire time we were working. We barely saw each other. We were in the same room, but we weren’t in the same moment. I don’t think I fully relaxed in over a year. You don’t get to just free your mind when you’ve got things pending and you’re running a business from home. I got so much out of the experience, from customer service to friendships to financial opportunities. We did it and we did it pretty well. Looking back, while it was a busy, curious part of our lives, we gained so much.

So now we’re here. We’re in our new house. We’re trying to figure out what a “hobby” is. I’m back to cooking dinner every night (I love that) and we have free time. Ryan and I are trying to do some serious reconnecting because we’ve abandoned our marriage considerably in the last year and we both know it and are both responsible. Things are slowing down to a manageable pace (a still 60mph pace, but manageable nonetheless) and I find myself having time to do things like this finally. Things I’ve been wishing I could do for quite some time. Things I wouldn’t have been able to do if I hadn’t spent the last year doing LLR. This is life now and it is very sweet.

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