Pulling the plug on Preserve. Actress-turned-entrepreneur Blake Lively announced on Wednesday, Sept. 30, that she is shutting down her lifestyle website, Preserve, after launching the brand only a year ago.
“We have an incredible team of people who do beautiful work, but we launched the site before it was ready, and it never caught up to its original mission: It’s not making a difference in people’s lives, whether superficially or in a meaningful way," Lively, 28, announced to Vogue. "And that’s the whole reason I started this company, not just to fluff myself, like, ‘I’m a celebrity! People will care what I have to say!’ It was so never meant to be that, and that kind of became the crutch because it was already up and already running, and it’s hard to build a brand when you’re running full steam ahead—how do you catch up?"
Lively (who wed Ryan Reynolds three years ago) famously announced her pregnancy last fall on the website, wearing collections offered by Preserve in her first bump-reveal photos. While she's successfully pulled off exclusive collaborations with home and fashion artisans, the Age of Adaline actress ultimately felt that it was time to let it go. Other celebrities to currently run lifestyle brands include Jessica Alba's The Honest Company, Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop, and Reese Witherspoon's Draper James.
“It’s very exciting and it’s also incredibly scary," baby James' mom continued. “I never thought I would have the bravery to actually do that, to take the site dark and to say, ‘You know what? I haven’t created something that is as true and impactful as I know it can and will be. And I’m not going to continue to chase my tail and continue to put a product out there that we, as a team, are not proud of.’” Click here to see Blake's post-baby body.
Admitting failure, the L’Oreal spokeswoman said she was prepared for backlash from the haters. “Failure! Folly! We knew she couldn’t do this, too!” she joked. “I know what it’ll look like, what I’m facing publicly, that people are just going to have a heyday with this. But it’s so much worse to continue to put something out there—to ask my team to put something out there—that isn’t the best we can do. I’m going to take this hit, and the only way I can prove all the negative reactions wrong is to come back with a plan that will rock people."
That's right, she's already planning a comeback. "And I have that plan. And I’m so excited about it, and that’s what gave me the courage to do this, to say, ‘You know what, I’m going to give myself one more shot at this, and I really have to do it as well as I can do it this time.’ And that is the only thing that will impact people. And that’s what I’m doing. And I’m totally terrified out of my mind!”
Her next step shares a similar mission to Preserve: "to touch millennials through storytelling, and the idea is to create a shoppable lifestyle," Lively shared. "And that's not to say to turn everything into commerce, but to make things easier: This is a thing that I created with my own two hands and this is how you can do it, or this is something that I found on my adventures and travels and this is how you can have it. It's about creating a level of ease for the people who identify with us. We've focused in so much that it's actually very simple, it's very clean, it's very direct."
In the interim, Lively joked that (just like Us!) she'll cope with some Taylor Swift on repeat. “I’ve asked my assistant to just play ‘Shake It Off' on a loop," Lively joked. "It feels really good to listen to it on a loop!”
Things will ultimately be fine. "[The news will] blow up and I'll look like a jerk and everyone will be really horrible," Lively said. "And then the new news will come out and I'll look like a hero and everyone will be really nice, and then the new site will come out and half will be nice and half will be mean again. I mean, champagne problems—thank God these are the things I get to complain about."
Watch Lively discuss Preserve's mission with Martha Stewart above!