LuLaRoe founder DeAnne Stidham has repeatedly lashed out at critics, calling them “trolls” and “haters” in Instagram live videos, while urging her followers to “snip” them out, as the company faces mounting pressure from a $49 million supplier lawsuit and growing frustration among its own consultants.
“If you’re negative, you guys get to leave. I don’t care about you,” Stidham said during a live Instagram video on December 9. “We’re going to snip those people out and let them know that this is a place of positivity. …We have to zap those people.”
Several days later, she ordered her followers to “delete” the “trolls” while critical comments trickled into a live video she was filming at a LuLaRoe Christmas party.
“We don’t care, sorry. Go be snarky with someone else,” Stidham said on December 13, as she responded in real time to viewers’ comments. “Ain’t nobody gonna take your crap. Sorry! Don’t want ya! … Ain’t nobody like you, nobody wants to be your friends.”
“If you see anybody that’s a troll, you guys: delete ’em, delete ’em, delete ’em!”
Stidham’s “trolls” appear to primarily consist of current and former LuLaRoe consultants who have been reaching out directly to her about problems, such as overdue refunds and the company’s inability to fulfill clothing orders. This is according to hundreds of comments reviewed by Business Insider on Stidham’s Instagram feed.
As she makes a public spectacle of blocking these critics, Stidham — or someone else with access to her account — has been systematically deleting dozens of unflattering comments from her Instagram page.
More than 40 comments were deleted from a single post in November, for example, after consultants flooded Stidham’s page with concerns over a line of holiday-themed leggings that LuLaRoe had just launched.
Some sellers said they were unable to order the leggings because they sold out within minutes. Others complained about significant problems with the sizing of the leggings.
“I love this company and love all of the changes taking place but this launch and the last month has been so disorganized and just a disaster,” said one remark that was later deleted. “I think what is most necessary at this point is telling us what exactly is going on. …We are all individual businesses and our wholesale supplier is not able to fill our orders.”
Another deleted comment said: “As a small business owner I feel like our voices are not being heard and we are being ignored.”
A third comment came from a woman who said she is in treatment for breast cancer and was counting on income from the holiday leggings to support her family through the holidays.
“It has been quite the roller coaster with your company,” she said. “I’ve endured so many failed launches, crappy prints, poor quality clothing, and broken promises,” this woman said. “Here I am trying with all my might to continue to provide for my family, relying on my supplier to come through. …Now, I have nothing.”
The author, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said the comment was deleted and she was blocked from accessing Stidham’s Instagram account.
Former LuLaRoe consultant Emily Morrison Belanger, who manages a chiropractic office in North Carolina, said she was also blocked by Stidham’s account in November after she posted a comment accusing Stidham of “ruining families” with “lies.”
The comment was deleted and she received a private message from Stidham’s Instagram account saying, “Wow should I post about chiropractic quacks too! Is this nice and what’s your motive? Try KINDNESS it’s always better!” Immediately following the message, she was blocked from accessing Stidham’s account.
In addition to slamming her critics, Stidham has ordered her followers to “protect” her on several occasions.
“Protect me. If there’s any negativity here I need you to protect me and you guys, pull them off and report them, OK?” she said on December 8. “You guys I don’t need negativity and I’m not going to stand for it.”
Stidham has also urged her followers not to believe any news about the company. Following a Business Insider investigation into LuLaRoe in November that found the company was facing mounting debt and an exodus of top sellers, Stidham claimed to have not read the investigation, then referred to it as “silly,” “ridiculous” and “stupid.”
“Don’t listen to the article,” she said in an Instagram video on November 21. “Just ignore it.”
A couple weeks later, the company’s chief supplier, Providence Industries, filed a $49 million lawsuit against LuLaRoe that claimed the company hasn’t paid its bills in seven months. LuLaRoe has denied the claims in the suit.
Meanwhile, DeAnne told her followers in a live video on Dec. 8 not to “look at the Internet” to “see what’s happening” because they might get “sidetracked.”
Instead, consultants should focus on placing more frequent orders with LuLaRoe, she said.
“Stick with what you know best, and that is that you can sell items,” she said. “I talk to some retailers that say sometimes they place two or three orders a day… and I think that’s really kind of a good idea.”
LuLaRoe did not respond to a request for comment on this story.