Blake Lively, best known for playing Upper East Side it-girl Serena Van Der Woodsen on “Gossip Girl,” has launched her own lifestyle website called Preserve. Vogue called it “part magazine with articles, recipes and fashion spreads and part e-commerce with a Lively-curated collection of products for sale.”
Lively, 26, follows in the footsteps of actresses-turned-lifestyle-gurus Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, who run similar websites called Goop and The Honest Company, respectively. She has also expressed her admiration for Home and Living matriarch Martha Stewart.
Preserve aims to promote artisans based in the United States, as well as serve as a liaison between them and consumers. As stated in the website’s About Us page,
How wonderful it is to discover something that has been cast aside, to pick it up and restore it to its original beauty. Maybe it’s sentimental of us, but we hold fast to memories and moments, to relics from bygone eras. Our goal is to support the America we’ve always known, and the one we haven’t yet met.
The website is littered with dark, somber images, along with recipes for apple pie and salad. It also sells artisanal items with hefty price tags, such as newsboy caps for $125 and candle holders worth $225. Five percent of the earnings go to Preserve’s partner, The Covenant House, a shelter for homeless youth.
However, Lively has been criticized for selling overpriced items on the site.
“Rich people selling each other useless stuff is one of the modern economy’s bottomless wells of entertainment. But it’s harder to laugh when these products are displayed so close to Lively’s piss-poor attempts at charity,” wrote Eleanor Robertson of The Guardian.
Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan called the website “Etsy on Adderall. It’s a precocious nine-year-old’s Pinterest board.”
In response, Lively told Entrepreneur that one can learn from criticism if taken constructively. She went on to emphasize that they value positive feedback, where site navigation can be made easier.
“Anything that has to do with the site experience and the design we listen to and assess the value behind them,” remarked Lively to Entrepreneur.
What do you think of Preserve? Let us know in the comments.
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Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/David Shankbone