A Glimpse Into Katherine Heigl’s World on Shopify

MILAN Katherine Heigl has been exploring a completely new lane since she traded the palm-lined streets of Los Angeles for a mountain oasis in Utah. In addition to her work as an actress, mother, wife and daughter, the actress has also become pretty tech-savvy. Lately she’s been focusing on supporting her family-run charity by expanding her Shopify store, which she built entirely by herself in 2023.

“I was really proud of myself because I’m not a technical person,” the “Firefly Lane” star admitted to WWD in a phone interview.

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New Lane Road Mercantile’s Homeware Shop and Textiles verticals showcase a range of home goods, while the Apothecary section features an array of home scents, fragrances and even skin care. Katherine’s Shop is dedicated to some of her favorite accessories and comfortwear, while Josh’s Shop is dedicated to a selection curated by her husband, singer Josh Kelley. The latter includes cowboy hats and a wide range of whisky sets.

New Lane Road Mercantile Katherine Heigl
Ethically crafted in South Africa, Thula Tula blankets are just one of the artisanal products available on New Lane Road Mercantile.

Heigl ultimately wants customers to walk away feeling like they just stepped into a charming boutique nestled in the mountains, where it’s always sort of November, she reflected. “It’s all leaning toward that season of cozy socks and cups of tea and quiet time to journal and light candles,” she enthused, adding that after living in Southern California for many years, she’s come to the realization that she’s “more of a mountain person” who craves four real seasons.

“I think there’s sort of two types of people in the world: beach people or mountain people. I like the quiet of the mountains. I like the sort of shelter of the forest. I was looking for that, as I grew up in Connecticut. Moving to L.A. was a big culture shock for me,” she said.

Heigl donates 100 percent of the store’s proceeds to funding the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, the animal advocacy and nonprofit organization she created alongside her mother, Nancy, in 2008, in honor of her late brother. Preventing animal abuse is her number-one mission. Supporting the world of small craftsmen has also become a main driver. Nancy is an active member of the team as Heigl’s business partner.

“I felt like this was about giving back in some way with purchases that actually matter. All of the vendors and artisans in the store are giving back in their own way as well,” she added.

The current featured artisan on New Lane Road Mercantile is block print maker Danielle Lee Heilweil, who is based in Montclair, N.J., and who carefully hand-traces her artwork onto rubber blocks. Elsewhere, there are baskets from Likha, which supports Filipino artisan families active in local craft, as well as handmade Southwestern Kilim throw pillow covers made with wool and cotton constructed on a loom by Nomad Turkman people.

Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl

Heigl explained that she is still in the phase of “dipping a toe into the arena” versus embarking on a full-blown collection. Looking ahead, she said she’s hoping to boost the amount of exclusive products for the store and is working with a potential partner to develop a scent special to New Lane Road Mercantile. “We’re doing little things like that and we want a whole section of the store to have products exclusive to New Lane Road. That’s going to be this coming year’s evolution of the store,” the actress added.

The marketplace hosts more than 50 artisan vendors and hopes to add 40 more this year. Heigl is in talks with 15 vendors, five of whom are from Utah. Committed to keeping products affordable, the typical customer’s order value is about $85 and continues to grow. Inventory includes premium items priced at more than $500 and accessible options priced under $20, matching the wide spectrum of customer preferences. Heigl said she is exploring other tools to continue growing her business, including Shopify Collective, a business-to-business tool that unlocks brand collaborations with other small businesses.

Shopify, which seeks to be the e-commerce back end for brands of all sizes, was a great starting point for this endeavor, she explained, as the process to growth was quite seamless. Shopify claims it powers more than 10 percent of U.S. e-commerce.

Well-known players that joined the platform last year included Nike Strength, Dollar Shave Club, Banana Republic Home, Authentic Brands Group, Oscar de la Renta, Everlane and On Running.

In the world of furnishings and interiors, shopping platform and celebrity home collaborations are also on the rise.

In February, Kacey Musgraves decided to tease her album “Deeper Well” on online marketplace Etsy with objects for the home that afford fans a glimpse into the creative journey behind the album.

Also in February, actress, singer, businesswoman and interior designer Ashley Tisdale partnered with direct-to-consumer platform HomeThreads for her first home collection, an easy chic line of furniture, lighting and decor.

Last year, Paris Hilton launched her Be An Icon collection of kitchenware with Walmart. Drew Barrymore also linked with Walmart in 2019 for Flower Home.

In terms of her work in TV and film, Heigl said she’s taking a more selective approach to new projects, with a freshman in high school, a middle schooler and a 7-year-old at home. “I’m looking for stories that I am passionate about and that I see real potential in,” she said, adding that the pandemic showed her that she needed to slow down. Moving to Utah was an easy choice, as her last projects took her to Canada and she can easily fly to Los Angeles in under two hours.

Heigl is also gearing up to exhibit her first collection of paintings in a gallery show with 10 pieces, titled “Mother Nature,” with a focus on flora and femininity. She developed a passion for painting during the pandemic through an online course.

Nancy has since moved to Utah and continues to be Heigl’s rock. She credits her mother as a main source of strength whilst navigating the daunting world of Hollywood. “She’s very savvy and she’s a real fighter. She gets out there and really fights for my agenda on my behalf. To have somebody on your side that not only loves you unconditionally, but will fight for you and what you really need…it’s been invaluable.”

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