LuLaRoe retailer harnesses social media to grow business

West Ranch's Michael Flores dives to hit the ball during the Wildcats' CIF-Southern Section playoff volleyball game against Millikan High School in May 2016. KATHARINE LOTZE/SIgnal.

A gift from her sister changed Valerie Bernardo’s career path a year ago.

“She won a pair of leggings in a raffle and gave them to me,” she said. “They were super soft and comfortable, and I was hooked.”

Bernardo, a lifelong resident of Valencia (“I was born at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital”) except for a few years in San Francisco, found that the leggings were from LuLaRoe, fashion brand founded in 2013 by DeAnne and Mark Stidham in Corona, California.

It is named for DeAnne Stidham’s three oldest grandchildren, Lucy, Lola and Munroe. Its products are sold by independent contractors, and Bernardo liked what she saw enough to become one herself.

“We make clothes to fit all women of all sizes from extra extra small to 3XL,” she said. “Our clothes are designed to flatter all body styles.”

It’s not a bricks-and-mortar store, but a mobile boutique. “For the most part, I keep it at my home, and I bring it to other locations and host pop-ups.”

Valerie Bernardo

LuLAroe is only four year old, so the brand is not yet as well established as some other clothing lines, Bernardo said.

And because it uses the direct-sale model through representatives like Bernardo, the company doesn’t sell online.

To get the word out to potential customers, Bernardo turned to Signal Digital Solutions.

“Marketing is not my strength,” she said. “Helping women feel beautiful is my strength.”

“Signal Digital Solutions helps me find customers through the use of social media,” Bernardo said. “They keep my current customers engaged, and they use my input to get my message out to the audience I’m trying to reach.”

Bernardo said the strong sense of community she’s always felt in Santa Clarita helped prompt her decision to move back home when she was starting a family. “I loved growing up here, and my parents still live in the same house I grew up in. I wanted my son to have the same kind of upbringing.”

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