She explained her decision.
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?”
Blake admitted she has mixed feelings about shutting down her website.
It’s very exciting and it’s also incredibly scary. 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.’”
I remember Blake saying that the site was forced to launch before it was ready because she’d already arranged a huge marketing campaign that couldn’t be delayed. What a tough position to be in!
The actress is bracing herself for the backlash to the news.
Failure! Folly! We knew she couldn’t do this, too!
“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!
“I’ve asked my husband to just play ‘Shake It Off’ on a loop—it feels really good to listen to it on a loop!”
Blake didn’t share what her plans were, but she has researched the beginnings of other successful businesses, such as The Honest Company, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. She did share what her business aspirations are for her new business.
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.”
So will her new business still be called Preserve? Blake isn’t sure.
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.”
I’ll “out” myself: my first thought was jam when I heard the name “Preserve”- LOL. I understand her thinking, however ;). Blake already knows how all of this (shuttering Preserve and launching a new site) is going to “shake out” in the public eye.
[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.”
At least Blake has some perspective: these are nice problems to have! I think this is the smart thing to do: if Preserve wasn’t working, then shut it down and regroup. Many successful business owners don’t “blow up” with their first business! They just aren’t high-profile enough to get our attention.
There’s nothing wrong with learning from your mistakes and trying again. Blake is just lucky that she has the resources to start a new business. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next! You can read Blake’s entire interview at Vogue.com.
Photos by FAMEFLYNET