The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Thursday 24 July 2014

Heaven Preserve Us or 'It’s not about Jam'

Blake Lively, or Mrs Reynolds if you prefer, seems to have lead a charmed existence so far. Winner in the gene pool lottery she got the first acting job she went for, shot up the celeb ladder with a starring role in Gossip Girl and then married one of the most sort after Ryan’s on the planet – second only to Gosling and actually first in this house. She now has dipped her perfectly manicured toes into the water of lifestyle websites as Preserve went live on 18th July. It's been reviewed (and slated) everywhere from The Guardian to The Huffington Post so I thought I’d dig around and let you lot know what I thought of this latest venture.

Site Style
The website’s language is inclusive and friendly, softly beckoning you to peruse their ideas, thoughts and wares. Like having a conversation with a friend, the content is a welcome change from reading a magazine’s instructions on how you’re meant to dress, act, look or feel. Its style is smooth and easy going, the perfect companion to a leisurely Sunday morning in a log cabin, overlooking a tranquil lake.

Blake's own editions work as well, the editors letter flows with integrity, you can almost hear Blake’s low, strong and - yes sexy - voice as you read over the words and can’t help but hope that a) it’s message is genuine and b) it’s a success. The magic of Blake is that even though she’s got everything the western world seems to crave, she comes across in such a grounded and honest way, you still want her to succeed in any task she undertakes. That said there are a few rookie errors which are worth noting:

Basic Tip #1: If the background to your site is white or black using the smallest pale grey script will alienate anyone over the age of 40 (which maybe the goal but I doubt it).

Basic Tip #2: www = World Wide Web not American Web. Most stereotypes are there for a reason and the one where ‘Americans think America is the whole world’ is plainly visible here. Gearing your sales, talk and ideas towards one country rather than welcoming all nationalities to the fold is rather short sighted. Rather like jumping into an Olympic sized swimming pool only to spend all your time paddling in the shallow end. Someone as well travelled as Blake may want to investigate looking outside the US to achieve global dominance.

Good Goals
Again the wording that describes their charitable goals is smooth and friendly though doesn’t mince the message “Let us be clear. We are a for-profit business”. A business though that wants to do what it can to help through the site, its aim “giving 5,000 children a meal, 2,000 children a blanket, and 2,700 children a warm hoodie, all within the U.S.” is commendable.  Though the stipulation of 'All within the US' only further proves my previous point, because there isn’t anywhere suffering (or existing) except the US is there?

Wares Warning
The shop section is conceptual like one of those extremely cool independent stores you stumble upon in odd alleyways of London. And while I could spend hours milling around it looking at all its finery the system isn’t helpful. Broken down into only Home, Women and Men no further categories are available. That means you end up scrolling through multiple pages looking for what you want and when you find that ring, decently priced at under $100 for most of the jewellery, it’s sold out! Whether this is due to how great the design is or that Blake Lively’s name on the ‘bottle’ I’ll leave up to you to decide.

As an idea it has great potential, but in reality there are a good few teething problems and stock issues to work on before it is truly ready for the outside world. For reference, that’s the bits that aren’t coloured maroon with different letters to ‘U.S and A’ on them.


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