Gwyneth Paltrow has built her lifestyle brand, Goop, into a powerhouse in the wellness, travel and beauty industries.
The 46-year-old founder has faced flack for some of the uniquely-named products and services attached to the brand, yet Goop has still amassed a cult following since its creation.
She recently spoke with WSJ. Magazine about the creation of Goop, what motivated her to start her own business and why she feels she “hit the freaking jackpot.”
Here are the most interesting takeaways.
She isn’t entirely sure why she created the company
"I’m still, to be totally honest, trying to sort out the why. I think I do have a very entrepreneurial spirit —- you have to have that in order to be an actor, right?" the actor and founder told WSJ Magazine on her decision to launch Goop in 2008 in her kitchen.
"In my acting life, it was very clear what the path was," she said. "This was very mysterious. I felt like I was following a thread in a dark room, but I was compelled to follow it," she added.
Paltrow wanted an outlet to “organize her unbiased travel recommendations, health-centric recipes, and shopping discoveries for friends, and also as a place to get her own questions —- about health, fitness, and the psyche—answered,” according to the company.
She told WSJ. Magazine that she was feeling fulfilled in other creative aspects of her life at the time she launched her first newsletter.
"I felt like I had hit all of those benchmarks," she said. "I’m very competitive with myself and I thought, Well, what am I supposed to do now?" she said.
"On some level I had gotten the message, 'If you’re not achieving something that’s quantifiable, you might not be worth that much.' Somehow, that wire got fused together in my head. So, I was like, How do I keep achieving something?"
Her interest in wellness stems from love and loss
Much of Goop’s content focuses on products and ideas to better oneself. Paltrow was drawn to wellness after the loss of her father, Bruce Paltrow.
He suffered from throat cancer before he passed in 2002.
"He’s the reason I got into this whole thing. I just remember the surgery was so brutal, and then I thought, Wow. What else can we do?” she said. “I was trying to take control of his life because he wouldn’t."
She opened up about the moment she found out about her father’s diagnosis in a Goop newsletter in 2008.
"In 1998, I was filming The Talented Mr. Ripley in Ischia, a little island off the coast of Naples in Italy,” she wrote. "I got a call that changed my life. My father had been diagnosed with throat cancer, and it was stage four."
"Although he underwent treatment and survived for another four years, I watched his health deteriorate slowly until his death in 2002,” she continued. “During this time I began to read about Eastern medicine and the body’s capacity to heal itself."
On the negative public opinions she faces
Some of the outlandish products Goop sells draw criticism for outrageous price tags and unique descriptions.
The company came under fire in September 2018 for its "the Jade Egg, Rose Quartz Egg, and Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend" — vaginal eggs the company purported to have unverified medical claims.
Goop settled the consumer protection suit for $145,000.
Paltrow seems to realize that the messages the company puts out will garner inevitable attention.
"It’s like the week that I was People’s most beautiful woman and Star’s most hated celebrity," in 2013, she said. "It’s a lesson that I learned when we did the 'conscious uncoupling’ thing."
Paltrow used the term to describe her separation with Chris Martin at the time and told WSJ. Magazine that people's reaction to it was “so vitriolic."
"I was so raw," she said. "It was so hard to be getting a divorce and letting go of this dream, and the public stuff was super painful. I wanted to see if we could check our pain and egos at the door and remember what we love about each other and be a family for these kids. What I didn’t understand at the time was, I think there’s a message in that, which is, 'If you don’t do it this way, you’re hurting your kids.'"
"I think people take that as: ‘She thinks she is better than me,'" Paltrow said.
Chris Martin and Paltrow really do share an amicable relationship
During Paltrow’s interview with the magazine, Chris Martin came over to have dinner with the star. She shared that she covers the morning drop-offs at school and he does the afternoon pickups, while he isn’t traveling for work.
He also sleeps at her house often when Paltrow travels, as he has a room in the Brentwood home.
Paltrow married Brad Falchuk in an intimate ceremony in the Hamptons in September and is adjusting to post-married life.
"We are still doing it in our own way. With teenage kids, you’ve got to tread lightly. It’s pretty intense, the teenage thing," she says. "I’ve never been a stepmother before. I don’t know how to do it."
She also has a unique take on finding love later in life.
"It’s fantastic. I feel like we are probably better equipped to choose our life partner when we are halfway through life," she told WSJ. Magazine.
"But generally we have to pick our spouses a lot earlier because of the whole procreation piece.... For me it has been more of a process, and so I feel really lucky to have met this person who is an incredible, true partner."
One extremely influential mentor simply will not get back to her
Paltrow has a list of impressive mentors she seeks advice from in her business ventures.
However, she can’t seem to get in touch with one man in particular, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
"I’ve emailed him. He won’t email back," she said.
She is mostly grateful for her success
Paltrow doesn’t overlook the great fortune she has amassed but she still has her hesitations.
"In one way you think, 'Oh, my God. I hit the freaking jackpot. I won the lottery. I get to be this person,' and that served as a platform for me to start my business and to have all this incredible access to amazing people and artists and designers, and I’ve had such a fascinating life," she said.
"And then on the other hand, you get old and a little grumpy and you just want to kind of be a hermit," she added.