She was at the helm of Martha Stewart’s brand, now Lisa Gersh is teaming up with Gwyneth Paltrow to expand the actress’ lifestyle brand called Goop.
“I’ve said early on that we have very big aspirations for the brand. I used the word 'world domination' once, obviously kidding. But when we started the company, and when I joined, we were really focused on the fact that we're a contextual commerce brand,” Gersh said during a sit down interview with FOXBusiness.com.
Goop was born out of Paltrow’s kitchen in 2008 as a weekly e-mail newsletter and has been rapidly growing ever since.
“When I joined the company we were five people. Now, we're close to forty. We've raised a series of financings, which we're thrilled about with NEA, which is one of the best venture capitalists in the country,” says Gersh.
Over the past year, Gersh says they teamed up with big advertising partners, hired a sales team and ad-enabled their site.
“So it's thrilling to have advertisers like Cartier, Land's End, and Coach [which] is on the site. We also did a big piece with Old Navy recently which was excellent, but it's really in our voice and we're actually curating the product for the advertiser. So our advertisers are getting the same experience that our native brands are getting,” she adds.
The company is also about to launch their own skin care line next year with an organic beauty line called Juice Beauty.
Gersh says Goop works by breaking down the wall between the content side and the merchandising side of the world, something that a lot of retailers and media companies would be interested in.
“We could take it public. But as you pointed out, we’re exactly a year into this. We're thinking about building the business and building the brand and serving our customers and creating great content and creating great products.”
Paltrow hired Gersh last October after she took some time off after her stint as CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. But Gersh says comparing the two is difficult.
“Martha’s brand has always been content in one bucket, and commerce in another. Goop is a contextual commerce brand. We see the world very differently and I think the aesthetic is so different,” she says.
“You don’t have to read about something, close the window, and then go buy it.”
Gersh, who also co-founded and served as COO of Oxygen Media says she thinks that all commerce will operate under the contextual commerce umbrella within the next five years.
“The issue for many companies is going to be, how do I get there? How do I integrate my advertisers with my merchandise at the same?”
Goop has been criticized in the past for their pricey clothes and services but Gersh says that is a misconception.
“We have a high and low range on the site. And, I also find it interesting that people talk about the products being super expensive but when you go to Net-A-Porter, we're not even in that league of price--which is a site that I really love but the clothing is very expensive."
She also went on to say that her team and especially, Paltrow have learned to embrace the press and make fun of themselves.
“We don’t take ourselves that seriously, even though some of our content is very serious. Gwyneth is incredibly smart and incredibly creative. She's obviously all the things that people see, she’s beautiful and very talented. But I think what people really don’t see is how really smart she is. Sometimes I say she's going to take my job away from me because I started as a business person and she is the creative [one], but she has a really good business brain and is really passionate about building this business.”