A federal Department of Labor investigation ends with the forced closing of Sarah Oliver Handbags. Oliver’s handbags grew nationwide attention after she appeared on Shark Tank on December 4, 2015.
Sarah Oliver Violates The Fair Labor Standard Act
Oliver, a Mill Valley, California entrepreneur, was found to have violated federal labor laws. The real story behind Sarah Oliver Bags was hidden from the public. Instead of hiring hourly waged employees, Oliver was purchasing the handbags from an elderly trio – Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, and Lori Greiner. At the time, the trio deemed Purlettes+1. were residents of The Redwoods, a senior citizen retirement community.
Reports alleged Oliver was not paying the elderly trio hourly wages but piece rate. One particular handbag Oliver deemed “Resort” retailed for $225 was purchased for only $17 even though it was estimated to cost $47 to make.
Oliver Does Not Deny Allegations
In December 2017, Oliver took her story to social media. Instead of showing remorse for her unethical business practices, she bashed the system calling it “broken.” The announcement of the closing of Sarah Oliver Handbags caused a stir on social media.
Oliver received some support and a lot of bashing. Some of the comments referred to Oliver’s actions as exploitation of senior citizens.
With Sarah Oliver Handbags long gone, they are no longer accessible. Reports allege Oliver sold more than $2 million of handbags before her company closed in 2017.