With fantastic acting and fashion, we shouldn't be shocked that Lively was ready to take on a new project. Once Gossip Girl was over, Lively had some more time. In 2013, the 26-year-old started to share news about a website she was working on.
She shared with Vogue, "It's something that will be launching in a few months and that I'm really, really thrilled about. The main element of it is that it's about storytelling and it's about living a very one-of-a-kind, curated life, and how to achieve that. There's nothing like it out there — it's without a genre…I have so many passions outside of acting and things that I grew up being good at and that I don't utilize when acting. Acting was something that my family did so I just kind of got into it by default, but there was so much that I cultivated, thinking that I wouldn't be an actor."
Finally in 2014, more information was discovered about this mystery site, called Preserve. In an interview with Lively, Vogue describes the site as "Part digital monthly magazine, part e-commerce venture, part video blog, the site will seek out and celebrate people all over America who are making things — food, clothes, pillows, dishes, dining-room tables—with their hands." And Lively wanted to make it clear this was not about her. "[This is] not about watching my journey of learning how-to, it's about me sharing that with you so we all sort of learn together."
It was also always about creating an empowering space for women. When speaking with Stylist, Lively said, "If you look at the facts, women spend the most on e-commerce sites, yet less than 30 percent of the companies that venture capitalists fund are female-driven, even though female-run companies are the most successful." Lively had done her research.
And even though there was criticism when Lively first started Preserve, she discussed with TIME how she wouldn't focus on that. "I see what happens in the world of female entrepreneurs and I see what the media does. And that they pit women against each other and there's an or — should women stick to this or this? I knew we'd probably get grilled, or celebrated for being someone they're not already picking on."
The site officially launched in August of 2014… and was shut down by October 2015. There's more to this story below.