Blake Lively's "Gossip Girl" days are long gone -- now she's having Ryan Reynolds's baby and helming (and self-advertising) her Goop-y fashion and lifestyle website, Preserve. But it turns out Lively isn't the only vet of a CW series (or otherwise teen-friendly TV show) who have launched their own burgeoning lifestyle empires -- there are quite a few more and they're pretty unexpected.
These fellow online endeavors follow a similar Goop and Preserve-like format -- fashion mixed with a lifestyle element, be it food, travel or tech -- with an e-commerce component ranging from affiliate links to shoppable pages. Of course, each blog has its own personality, angle and aesthetic that's just as pretty as the bloggers themselves. You'd expect no less from the stars of some of your favorite shows, including "Pretty Little Liars," "Glee," and the greatest series EVER, "Friday Night Lights." (Plus even two of Lively's former "Gossip Girl" colleagues have lifestyle sites!)
Shay Mitchell, Amore & Vita
"Pretty Little Liars" resident tomboy Shay Mitchell has an extracurricular activity that's not swimming or continuously trying to thwart a nefarious hoodie-wearing psychopath. Along with her best friend Michaela Blaney, she originally started a eponymous blog to showcase her interest in fashion and beauty. This summer, Mitchell and Blaney re-branded and re-launched with a slicker-looking site christened Amore & Vita. "Amore & Vita was born -- love & life in italian (and one of Shay’s favorite Countries) [sic]. The yin and yang for love and life is an exact reflection of both of us," the duo explain on the refreshed site.
It's not clear how often the off-screen Emily Fields writes and contributes on the site, but she will model for fashion-themed posts, schedule permitting. (And with a puppy!) Amore & Vita also rallies guest bloggers, including MTV vets The Buried Life Boys for a series on YOLO-ing. The editorial schedule runs themed series, like the seasonably appropriate pumpkin week, featuring recipes for mummy-shaped corn dogs and a pretty extensive tutorial on Halloween nail art. And if you want to dress like an off-screen Shay Mitchell, Amore & Vita uses the popular Liketoknow.it app to shop her looks. (The two are also working with eLuxe.com on an upcoming A&V t-shirt and tank capsule collection.) Of course, the social media savvy Mitchell does a stellar job of promoting her digital endeavor, too, to her 4.7 million followers on Instagram.
Jamie Chung, What the Chung
Before Jamie Chung played Mulan in "Once Upon a Time" and Stu's wife in "The Hangover Part III," she starred in a teeny bopper mini-series on ABC Family called "Samurai Girl." (Although, before that, she played herself on "Real World: San Diego" in 2004, and the ensuing "Inferno II." #neverforget) Off-screen, she's a Fashion Week FROW regular and a frequent sighting on best-dressed lists, so obviously she'd start her own blog, cheekily named What the Chung. "I was in between film projects and thought it would be fun to archive my recent past trips," she tells Fashionista. "What I wore, where I ate and my favorite places to shop. I also had some styling ideas so I asked my friend to take some outfit shots. With the help of some friends, What the Chung was born."
It's very fashion bloggy -- showing lots of pretty street style shots displayed as photo listicle features, with looks that can be shopped via affiliate marketing links. "I do everything myself," Chung tells us. "I schedule the shoot, style my looks, resize my photos and arrange on the blog. I find the similar items online for my readers. I do it all and it's a lot of work!" (Simply Digital Network helps handle the sponsorship aspects of the blog.) Fashion is the main focus, but there's crossover to her travels and a food porn section cutely titled "We Be Grubbin." Sorry, ladies, but hubs-to-be Bryan Greenberg makes very rare appearances. Maybe because he's the one taking all the pictures of her? "If I'm on holiday, I'll usually beg my fiancé [to take the photos]," she says.
Aimeé Teegarden and Yin Chang, Haute Hammer
This actually sounds like a CWTV pilot pitch: Julie Taylor (Aimeé Teegarden) from "Friday Night Lights" and Blair Waldorf's nemesis on "Gossip Girl," Nelly Yuki (Yin Chang), become besties on the set of the teen horror movie "Prom" and decide to start a lifestyle blog together. Haute Hammer, which launched in July 2013, basically looks and feels like a personal blog run by two cute, young and not necessarily famous BFFs sharing their travel escapades, beauty and fashion obsessions, and quirky DIY tips (washi tape on an iPhone charger, anyone?).
The inaugural post was an ode to Topshop and story highlights include a pretty, photo-filled recap of the "FNL" alum's recent trip to Seattle and Chang's pretty solid instructions to DIY a gold foil mani. (Each post's handwritten sign-off by either of the girls is a nice personal touch.) Now if only Teegarden could rally fellow Dillon Panther Taylor Kitsch to guest blog about his perfect Tim Riggins hair...
Shenae Grimes-Beech, Two Halves
Shenae Grimes is a vet of not one, but two teen-focused shows: first, "Degrassi High," which ran from 2004 to 2008, and then the second coming of "90210," from 2008 to 2013. (She basically played the millennial version of Brenda Walsh.) But lots has happened since her run at West Beverly ended. Last year, she married model/musician/designer Josh Beech and the two launched a blog together sweetly named Two Halves. Part of the reason she decided to go digital was her overflowing closet. "I've loved fashion for a lifetime and have collected an extensive wardrobe of beautiful pieces that weren't being put to good use," Grimes-Beech says.
Two Halves covers fashion and music from a his and hers perspective -- broken out by "ladies" and "lads" verticals (oh, btw Beech is British), as evidenced by their she said/he said insights on the creepers trend. "We do absolutely everything," Grimes-Beech explained. "The blog is a full-time job in and of itself, but launching an e-commerce business has been a massive undertaking that we just dove into head first. We shoot each other, we edit, we write, we market, we design, we web design and the list goes on and on." She estimates that the couple dedicates 95 percent of their weekly allotted work hours to Two Halves. They're also growing the brand by recently launching a co-branded online shop, which sells well-priced street-wear (him) meets boho (her) jewelry and apparel. "We want the blog to organically build into whatever it may and as for the line, we are currently developing our first style of jeans," she tells us. "We want people to be able to get decked out in Two Halves head to toe, so we'll keep chipping away at that dream piece by piece."
Katie Cassidy, Tomboy KC
If anyone has a comprehensive CWTV resumé it's Katie Cassidy. She played the first Ruby on "Supernatural," Ella Sims on the short-lived "Melrose Place" reboot, Serena van der Woodsen's antagonist Juliette Sharpe on "Gossip Girl," and, currently, Laurel Lance on "Arrow." And when Cassidy has some downtime from staring into hunky Oliver Queen's (Stephen Amell's) eyes, she's writing and editing her blog Tomboy KC in her Vancouver set trailer.
Cassidy started Tomboy KC with her Dallas-based best friend Lynsey Eaton in September 2013. The name was inspired by the actress's penchant for menswear-inspired dressing. "I just felt like her style mixed with my style, it’s the best of both worlds," said Cassidy, referencing Eaton's more ladylike sartorial leanings. "We tend to balance each other out." The site covers multiple categories: fashion (including a "What Katie Wore" column), travel, food and beauty. The partners also put out features, like what the staff of Vaunte is wearing and a style profile of "Arrow" co-star Willa Holland (a.k.a. Kaitlin Cooper on "The O.C." and troublemaker Agnes on, oh hey again, "Gossip Girl"). While Eaton runs the day-to-day, and affiliate marketing is handled "through an agency," Cassidy is very hands on with her baby. "I have a computer on set that I leave in my trailer and a computer in my apartment," she says. "I'm constantly either editing images or coming up with content or writing or FaceTiming with Lynsey. All I have to say is, thank god for FaceTime."
Harry Shum, Jr., Tenth + Fourth
Now, you might know the prolific triple threat Harry Shum, Jr. from his fancy footwork in "Step Up 3D" and as his long-running role as Mike "The Other Asian" Chang on "Glee." Shum is also a fashion fan and a tech head, so he merged his passions onto Tenth + Fourth. He runs the lifestyle blog in partnership with an agency called Digital Media Management (it also manages "Glee" co-star Naya Rivera's site), so there's a group of contributors writing about the latest apps, gadgets and need-to-know things, like, how to beat a hangover.
But Shum fans should definitely stop by as Shum has his own dedicated vertical -- written by him -- in which the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2" actor shares his thoughts on subjects near and dear to his heart, like: how dancing on a treadmill is a good workout (don't try this at home, kids) and shopping out one of his natty press junket outfits.