Keep My Home Business open! Don't let the county shut me down!
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Hey Friends, so as many of you know I am a LuLaRoe Retailer, and have been for the past three years. The story begins about four and a half years ago when I was a new mom, struggling to accept my postpartum body, and still wanting to look respectable at my teaching job. Along came LuLaRoe trendy, on fashion clothing that was also modest and affordably priced for my teacher budget. LuLaRoe also came along with a community, an amazing community of retailers and consumers who were revolutionizing the fashion industry, and empowering women at the same time, two things I never thought I'd say in a sentence together. I decided I wanted to be able to stay at home with my son and raise him and the LuLaRoe opportunity was the perfect way to make that happen. LuLaRoe is a direct sales MLM type company where retailers acquire the clothing from the company at wholesale price, and then sell it at retail price for a profit. Retailers then sell through in-home pop-ups, or demonstrations, they sell via Facebook Live, and through our personal websites and the consumer either leaves with their product or the retailer ships it out via the USPS. The one thing that makes LuLaRoe so different from other MLMs is that no one retailer carries the exact same inventory. Every retailers boutique is full of product that is unique and different because they produce on-trend prints and patterns in limited quantities. This along with the amazing community and leadership that came with it seemed like a sustainable business model for me, so I signed up.
The ability to be home with my son over the past 3 years has been the biggest blessing ever. I have been able to afford opportunities for me and my son because of the income that I have earned through my LuLaRoe business.
Recently, one of my neighbors decided to report me and my home based direct sales business to the county zoning office. I have not been provided an exact reason why they complained but regardless they complained that I was running a retail establishment in a residential building and that is against Fairfax county zoning ordinances.
Zoning officials came out and said I needed to have a home occupation permit and that I should be okay, so I got one, but it didn't seem to fix the problem. The problem currently that the county has issue with is that I carry inventory. I can't run my business without inventory. If carrying inventory is not allowable then I know a TON of other women in Fairfax county who are working MLM direct sales businesses that are carrying inventory also, not to mention other LuLaRoe retailers. That would mean that women who sell things like Mary Kay, Avon, or Tupperware, or Thirty-one, are all in violation and therefore should be shut down. These women are using these businesses to pay for their child's music lessons, or pay their mortgage! Not allowing those of us who are in direct sales to carry inventory is preventing us from making a living, and supporting our families.
At this point the county wants to shut me down and ban me from ever having another home based business at my current address ever again. This cannot happen. I am writing this petition to ask the county to amend the current zoning laws so that I, and any other people who come up against this problem, can continue to make a living to support my family.
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