Gwyneth Paltrow Covers Fast Company, Talks Goop and Its Controversies

August 3, 2015

Gwyneth Paltrow graces the cover of Fast Company and talks about her lifestyle company GOOP, speaks of its early beginnings, the controversies it has generated, and how she feels about its future as well as her own future, as both a startup founder and entrepreneur and an actress.

The 43-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow whose fame crosses over into the increasingly celebrity-like world of startups and rising entrepreneurs finds herself the willing subject of an in-depth Fast Company that takes a hard look at her the lifestyle company that she founded, Goop, and remains its creative director.

She’s just the latest of Hollywood stars to forge new territory in the lifestyle niche — Jessica Alba and The Honest Company in particular comes to mind — and the foray has drawn much attention, as the magazine points out with its very sub-headline “Her brand is powerful and divisive. Can she build a business that matters?” Yes, that just about sums it up.

She spoke of the early beginnings of Goop — which she tells the magazine is presently “really my principle [sic] business” — which had its start as her email newsletter to her subscriber base. She said of it, “Like many other things in my life. I sort of found myself in the middle of doing them before I really understood how I got there. It was the same with my movie career, or my cookbooks.”

She added, “When I think back on it, I’m afraid to press send. But at the time, I had this belief in what I was going to do.” She added, “‘My future self is always afraid when I look back.’

Along with addressing all of the controversies that have dogged Goop, she also opened up about the unforgettable way that she and husband, 38-year-old Chris Martin, frontman of Coldplay, in a statement on the Goop Web site with the headline “conscious uncoupling.”

To say there was mockery of the phrase doesn’t begin to do justice to the entire cottage industry of memes and spoofs that continue to this day. Whether she likes it or not, and whether the phrase was her own or not, it has become a pop culture fixture now. We’ll look back at the 2010s as a decade that gave us that term, just as the 2000s gave us “wardrobe malfunction.”

Now, Paltrow tells Fast Company, “When I announced that I was separating on the website, [Editorial Director] Elise Loehnen titled the piece Conscious Uncoupling and I had no idea.”

She went on to say of the backlash, “When something like that happens, I think everybody is like, ‘Oh, s–.’ I just tell them that I think we are creating interesting discussions.”

Yes, interesting would be another understatement. Whether it has helped the brand or not, remains to be seen. Ditto for all of the collective controversies. But a takeaway from the interview and the cover story profile, which is a classic long read, and not easily excerpted, is that Paltrow’s put much focus on building the company and those who sneer may find she has the last laugh.

In speaking of the controversies overall, she said, “I always like it when there’s a big response to something because it tells me, ‘Oh we’ve touched a nerve here, this is really interesting.’ There are a lot of media companies that would die to have the kind of response that we get from our content.”

As for whether she will continue with her movie career, she said, “I’m a big believer in the ampersand.” She went on to say, “I don’t see it as I’m leaving something behind, I see it as this year I probably won’t make a movie or I probably won’t do a TV show or a play, and I’ll focus on the business.”

She added, It’s our tendency to want to put women in one little category. That’s where we like them.”

You can see Gwyneth Paltrow’s Fast Company cover photo below; the interview in full here here.


Pictures: PR Photos

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