ESC

Blake Lively Already Closing Down Preserve

After only a year into its existence, Blake Lively is shuttering Preserve. The site, if you’ll remember, looked to shopify everyone’s lives through storytelling and artisanal everything but hit a few snags including accusations of plagiarism and telling everyone that dressing like slave owners was so in. Lively says the site never reached her goal which was to make a difference in people’s lives. I believe that’s code for the site wasn’t making enough money to offset the cost. So, she’s pulling the plug and re-launching a new site in the near future. Sort of like what clubs do every 3 years.

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,” she says, on the phone from New York. “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 is why, in an attempt to do just that, all of Preserve (from objects to home decor, accessories and clothing) is currently on a very deep and very inviting sale, to prepare for its October 9th closure, so that Lively may rebuild, rebrand, and eventually reveal—on her own timeline—what her project was always meant to be.

Lively hasn’t said exactly what her new venture will be but she says she’s been doing market research into companies like Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Which is to say, she’s basically just surfing the web until one of her advisors tells her, “Hey, that’s actually not as terrible an idea as your other ones.”

“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.”

That’s about as niche as you can get. There was a 90% chance of the site failing from the beginning. The entire premise was a muddled mess. Even now no one has any clue as to what it actually wants to be even after she explained it. It didn’t help that the site was a usability disaster. Why do I want to read 11pt text on a black background? What is that ugly wood thing under the navigation? Why is there a giant half-grey bar following me as I scroll? Why do you want me to buy a douchey hat for $72? Jesus, do you know how many Subway sandwiches that could buy?!

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