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Reese Witherspoon has a startup, and it just got a $10-million check

Reese Witherspoon has a startup, and it just got a $10-million check
Reese Witherspoon, co-founder and creative director of Draper James, is trying to turn herSouthern style into a well-known brand. (PR Newsire)
Actress Reese Witherspoon’s fashion and decor startup has received $10 million from investors to get her Southern style into physical stores and onto more products.
The “Legally Blonde” star launched Draper James in May with help from a $7-million check. Already, Draper James has shipped items to shoppers in every state and more than 15 countries, Witherspoon said in a press release Monday.
She, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and several other celebrities have sought to attach their fame to product lines in recent years. Alba’s Honest Co., valued at $1.7 billion during a recent investment, was created to develop environmentally friendly and healthy products aimed at mothers. Witherspoon’s take was that existing fashion brands in New York and Los Angeles were overlooking the American South.

New York City-based Draper James offers “styles meant to be playfully worn and mixed together” with plenty of color. The company plans to open a shop in Witherspoon’s native Nashville later this month. Plans for retail and wholesale expansion, licensing and new products were not detailed. The company says “a large portion” of its products are made in the South.

Celebrity startups aren’t automatic successes. Last week, about a year after opening, Blake Lively’s online shop Preserve announced it would shut down to recalibrate. The “Gossip Girl” star said she launched her website “before it was ready, and it never caught up to its original mission” of “creating a space for people who care about how things are made, and why.” Now, she wants to think things through and relaunch when the time is right, she told Vogue.
Lively never publicly announced any investors. Witherspoon’s operation could benefit from having Forerunner Ventures in her corner. The firm also has funded rising brands such as Dollar Shave Club, Bonobos, Birchbox and Warby Parker.
Santa Monica-based Stone Canyon Industries also invested in Draper James.

Chat with me on Twitter @peard33

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