Blake Lively is shutting down her startup venture, Preserve, which she launched in July of 2014. The e-commerce lifestyle website offered a number of things from clothing to artisanal products but had difficulty establishing itself and was forced to use Lively’s celebrity image to maintain relevance.
In an interview with Vogue on Wednesday, the 28-year-old Lively expressed her feelings about her venture and the reason she is pulling the plug on it:
“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?”
Still, Lively remains hopeful that her idea will be reborn as she had originally envisioned it. She is optimistic, saying:
“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.’
Like any determined entrepreneur would, she accepted her failure and is already poised to hit back even harder — not typically something you’d expect from your typical celebrity-backed company.