Preserve just isn’t doing what Lively intended for it to do, she explained to Vogue:
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. 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?
Which, if you think about it, is really big for Lively to admit. Preserve definitely did become the butt of many jokes at the time of its launch, so if anything, it’s refreshing when a celebrity like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star admits that something they’re doing just isn’t working out.
“It’s very exciting and it’s also incredibly scary,” she commented. “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.’”
And as for any kind of backlash she’ll receive for going public with the site’s closure, she’s ready for it.
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.
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!
Unfortunately for her assistant, that means seeking solace from Taylor Swift. Lively said, probably with a brilliant smile and twinkle in her eye, “I’ve asked my assistant to just play ‘Shake It Off’ on a loop—it feels really good to listen to it on a loop!”
You know what they say, when one door closes, another one opens! Though Preserve is scrapped for now, it’s not the end of the road for Lively and the Lifestyle Blogosphere. She’ll be taking a stab at imitating Goop again in the future, though she’s mum on the details.
Her mission will be more or less the same though:
Our goal has always been to touch millennials through storytelling, and the idea is to create a shoppable lifestyle. 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.
What about the name “Preserve”? Will she be keeping it? Maybe…but she’s giving it a second thought due to the whole jam comparison. Lively told Vogue:
I love the name Preserve. But then, I never thought people would think Preserve had something to do with jam! Like, ‘Oh, you sell jams!’ ‘No! It’s like preserving things and us and life and artisans!’ These are all of the things you don’t think of when you’re too intimate with something.
Lest you forget, Lively knows her Lifestyle Blog woes are the least of humanity’s problems:
[The news will] blow up and I’ll look like a jerk and everyone will be really horrible. 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.
Nevertheless, Lively is ready for a risk. She elucidates to Vogue,
The only time I’ve ever done something and felt real reward is when I’ve done something that’s incredibly risky, because without great risks it’s impossible to have huge success. I don’t mean financial success, I mean personal success, pride, happiness in what you’ve done. And the only times that I have felt that are the times that I have really put myself out on the line and done something that really scared me—and I know that sounds like something out of a Hallmark card, but this feels like something I really have to do.
I’ve finally summoned the strength to take on whatever anybody says because I know I’m going to come back with something stronger. I’m proud of it and I can take it, because I am a much harder critic on me than any nasty gossip rag. And that’s a good thing and a bad thing, but I just want to make myself and my family proud. And this time around, I really think I’ve done that.
Lucky you! Because Preserve will soon be closing its doors, there’s a huge sale going on right now, including extra 50% off new sale styles.
Head over and shop on. You have until October 9th.