Adweek Q&A With Jane Pratt | Adweek Adweek Q&A With Jane Pratt | Adweek
Advertisement

First Mover: Jane Pratt

She dishes on xoJane.com and her website with teen blogger Tavi Gevinson

Founding editor of xoJane.com, Jane Pratt. | Michael Nagle

Advertisement

Adweek: So, are you still sassy?
Jane Pratt: I don’t think that ever really goes away. Though my grandma, who is 104, keeps hoping I will get past it.

AW: How would you describe your new website, xoJane.com?
JP: It’s very, very personal. I have contributors write about things from a very personal perspective. I do this item revealing a lot of personal things about me.

AW: Like what?
JP: Everything from bikini waxes to these really mean girls the other day that made me cry. They thought I was out of earshot and one of them said, ‘That’s Jane from Sassy,’ and then the other one said, ‘No! She looks so old.’

AW: Did you really cry?
JP: I did really cry, yeah. My hands were shaking! So I did the wussie thing and I’m writing about it.

AW: Where on the spectrum of women’s sites will xoJane fit?
JP: When I was starting Sassy, I could say, ‘OK, we’re going to be the anti-Seventeen.’ And with Jane there was a little bit more of a crowded field. I could say, ‘This is how our take is different from Cosmo’s.’ Now there are so many other places. I do see it as the anti-iVillage. I want it to be broad, for lots of different types of women, not for just the type of woman that considers herself very cool or feminist. It’s taking the really personal and making it really broad and mainstream.

AW: Is Jezebel.com the spiritual descendent of Sassy?
JP: I think Jezebel takes one element of what was really important about Sassy and does it well, which is that it was unapologetic. It was a place where the girlie is elevated and celebrated.

AW: Did you hire any names?
JP: I’m not looking for established names, other than celebrities or contributors who people will naturally be interested in. I’m looking to discover voices, which is getting harder and harder.

AW: But you are teaming up with teen fashion blogger sensation Tavi Gevinson for a different project.
JP: She’s brilliant. I really relate to her and I think she is so smart. Her thoughts always have a spin to them. She’s also really good at marketing.

AW: Who needs whom more? You or Tavi?
JP: I don’t think it has to be a competition in that way. I’m not trying to ride on her coattails or vice versa. We just get along really well and we really see eye to eye. I would do things with Tavi and not have my name publicly attached to it.

AW: Are there celebrities involved in the xoJane launch?
JP: There are so many sites that report on celebrities, so I want to invite [them] to contribute. E-commerce is a part of this as well. David Arquette made a T-shirt that we will sell. Isaac Mizrahi is involved. Courteney Cox is my home editor. I have to call and get her first contribution!

AW: Who is the quintessential xoJane girl?
JP: It’s a big mix. Right now it’s everyone from Tavi to Patti Smith.

AW: Both Sassy and Jane made a big splash but didn’t last. Will this?
JP: I’ve never had a long-term relationship either. I hope that because of the way technology is constantly changing, I’ll have new challenges that I feel I’ll be able to keep growing with. I don’t know about forever, though. That’s a long time!