Blake Lively announced on Wednesday, September 30, that she will be shutting down her website, Preserve, just a year after it launched. The 28-year-old told Vogue that she has chosen to end the project, which she felt was launched "before it was ready" and "isn't the best we can do." She plans to focus instead on a new business venture.
"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," Blake told Vogue. "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!'"
She added: "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?"
The former Gossip Girl star, who welcomed daughter James in January with husband Ryan Reynolds, also admitted that while she expects to face some criticism for shutting down the site, she has a plan for an exciting new business, closer to her original vision.
"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," she explained. "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."
Blake first launched Preserve in July last year, joining other celebrities who run lifestyle brands including Gwyneth Paltrow, who has Goop; Jessica Alba, who's turned The Honest Company into a multi-million dollar enterprise and Reese Witherspoon, who launched Draper James.
"While the whole world races to keep up with technology, we tighten our laces, join the race, but our end goal is to preserve what's already there," she wrote in her first ever editor's letter.
The site, which comprises of e-commerce, charity initiatives and inspirational quotes and pictures, is set to close on October 9, with products still on sale until then. Blake collaborated on designs for the site, including her first-ever dress creation, as well as a bag named after her daughter, James.