The story of how one Pooler resident turned her
dream into a reality by simply having a fierce determination spurred on by an unrelenting belief in herself.
Amy Lee Westervelt is a woman who had a vision of what kind of life she wanted for her family, then pursued and ultimately achieved that vision through perseverance and determination. As a mentor for LuLaRoe, a clothing brand that has catapulted from near obscurity to cult status in the past few years, she now oversees a team of 10,000 women. Along with her husband William, Mrs. Westervelt has attained a level of financial security that they could only dream of just a few short years ago. However, Amy Lee’s is a story that could have had a completely different ending, were it not for her incredible tenacity and belief in herself.
“About three years ago, my husband was stationed at Hunter while going to Armstrong to become an officer,” Westervelt recalls. “One day he received orders to go to Alaska, and despite Will’s efforts to find a replacement, we ended up living there for two years. During that time, I was filled with anxiety about my husband possibly being deployed to Afghanistan again, being gone a great deal of the time, as well as being in harm’s way.” Additionally, it was very costly to bring Will’s children from a previous marriage to Alaska for occasional visits. It all weighed so heavily on Westervelt that she ultimately had to confide in her husband, tearfully relating to him about her desire to be free of her role as “Army wife.” She says, “I didn’t expect a life where we were just two ships who pass in the night, one of us working eight hours while the other one watches our kids and works another eight hours. I wanted a family who spent quality time together, and I also wanted my kids to be home-schooled. I basically wanted out of the army way of life.” Surprisingly, William agreed to her plan that involved him leaving the army, but with one condition. “I knew that (our way of life) was something she just couldn’t bear anymore. We were in Alaska with no family support at all. She was pregnant and winter was coming, so I understood where she was coming from,” he says. “My only stipulation was that I would resign as long as she could find a way to make $4000.00 a month, which was my salary at that time.”
Westervelt recalls, “I had absolutely no idea how I was going to achieve this, but I was confident that I was going to because my back was against the wall; there was simply no way that I wasn’t going to do it.” As luck would have it, a woman came to one of Amy Lee’s yard sales wearing a LuLaRoe skirt. When Amy Lee complimented her on the skirt, the woman explained that she actually sold them and proceeded to show Amy Lee her truck, which was stocked with totes full the stylish skirts. “I really loved the clothes and ended up going to a couple of parties where they were showing the LuLaRoe line of clothing. By then I had built some networks on Facebook, including one called ‘Modest Dressing Women.’ I thought that it would be great to bring this style of clothes to the group, so I did. I then teamed up with my good friend Erin, and we figured out how to sell this brand on-line in late 2014. It then took me about a month before actually buying into the company. In fact, we were the first to sell our inventory on-line, and the rest, as they say, is history!”
A couple of months later, Amy Lee wasn’t just earning what the family needed for Will to retire; she was making considerably much more than either one expected. By the time the family left Alaska, their financial situation was such that Will was able to resign his commission in the Army, and the couple had tens of thousands in the bank before finding their new home in Pooler. “I thought it was great that she would have something to do,” says Will, “but I never imagined that it would turn into what it is.” Mrs. Westervelt has worked for LuLaRoe for almost three years and apart from the on-line business, she even has a room in her house totally dedicated to the company’s products. “It’s basically set up just like a store,” says Westervelt.
Founded in 2012 by DeAnne Stidham along with her husband Mark, LuLaRoe has since sought to provide an opportunity for people to create their own freedom by selling comfortable, stylish clothing while setting their own pace and schedule. Thus, the ethos of the company was born out of the its desire to provide others with a foundation for personal success and growth. LuLaRoe also emphasizes the idea that if you want someone else to be successful, treat them as if they truly are; then they are destined to become that person. This idea, known as the “Pygmalion Effect” was dramatized in the movie “My Fair Lady” and helped lead to the creation of LuLaRoe.
“We have the most popular brand of women’s clothing in the country right now,” says Westervelt, “but a lot of the women in this area only buy our products on-line since they don’t know I’m here. I can always sell to customers by appointment. I just love making women feel beautiful. It’s great to see that when women try on our clothes for the first time, they always feel incredible and more feminine; they feel like they can take on the world. I also love helping the women on my team achieve financial independence. It’s all extremely gratifying to me.”
If you’re interested in purchasing some
of the latest products from LuLaRoe or
simply want to learn more about the
company, you can email Amy Lee at
or call her at (781) 243-9322.