Goop held an intimate summit in Los Angeles on Saturday. At its inaugural event back in 2017, there were 600 Goop-devotees gathered at a 30,000-square-foot reconstructed warehouse. This year, Gwyneth Paltrow invited guests into a much smaller and personal space, the Goop headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., capping attendance at 139.
“Happy to answer any questions,” Paltrow said at her first appearance of the day during an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A session.
The audience — predominantly white women who seem to feel or seek a connection with Paltrow — asked her about her personal life as it relates to them. They asked about pivoting careers, on life post-“conscious uncoupling” and advice on the college application process.
“I’ve just been through this again now for the second time. Well we’re going through it currently. I have a senior,” she said of son Moses, whom she shares with ex-husband Chris Martin. Their eldest Apple is a college student.
“In the case of, say my daughter, who was so focused on one place,” Paltrow said, “honestly, if she hadn’t gotten in, I don’t know what we would have done. And I think that’s totally the wrong approach. Hit the road and see as many places as you can.”
“We went through the conscious uncoupling together, so thank you. I credit you for the relationship I had and still have with my ex-husband and not traumatizing my children,” an audience member said. “So, my question to you is, what does it look like now that we’re older? Our kids are college age. We’re in other relationships. What does it look like now?”
“I’m still very close with my ex-husband,” Paltrow said. “We’ve sort of morphed it into true family. I know it sounds really weird to say, but he’s kind of like my brother now.” The room roared with laughter.
“And it’s hard for people to understand, but I did really make a commitment that he would stay my family, and I think we suffer a lot less because of that,” she went on. “I think it’s incredibly painful for a woman, when you comingled your DNA with a man, if you have no contact and acrimony and nothing between you. I think it’s very, very hard. And causes suffering. So, if you’re able to transmogrify that into a different type of relationship and family…that’s what we’ve been able to do, thank goodness.”
Through Goop, while being candid about her own life, Paltrow has opened conversations, unpacked taboo subjects and made wellness experts accessible to a wider audience. On the business end, she’s been busy expanding the company. In September, Paltrow added color cosmetics to the beauty line with the Colorblur Glow Balms, which were on display to test out at the summit. A month later, she introduced the more affordable, mass-market brand Good.clean.goop, launched at Target and Amazon. And she also recently unveiled Goop Villa at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., a two-bedroom space filled with Goop goods. Her efforts resulted in her winning the 2023 CFDA Innovation Award.
“I hope we’ve shed some light on trying to rid shame in certain areas, whether it’s how to divorce slightly nicer or about women’s sexuality,” Paltrow said on Saturday. “I still feel that so many women are really struggling with being in touch with who they actually are and what they actually want.”
That was arguably the theme of the day: finding your true self and wants. It came with a price, of course. A day ticket was $1,200, while a weekender pass cost $3,500 to $4,000, including a two-night stay at Shutters on the Beach, a welcome dinner at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica and farewell brunch on Sunday.
After a guided meditation with Shelley Smith, the day kicked off with a chat on nutrition (and the vaginal microbiome) with dietitians Shira Barlow and Maya Feller. There was a lively session on “maximizing connection with yourself, others and the larger world” with psychologist Thema Bryant-Davis, author of “Homecoming: Overcome Fear and Trauma to Reclaim Your Whole, Authentic Self.” And after a lunch break — provided by Goop Kitchen, of course — a talk with Kim Little of the Moments of Space, an app that provides “eyes open” meditation, as well as a celebrity panel with Paltrow’s friend and fellow actor Cameron Diaz (founder of organic wine brand Avaline), Olympic gold medalist track star Allyson Felix (founder of athletic footwear brand Saysh) and G9 Ventures founder Amy Griffin. The women discussed “redefining power.”
“It’s so great getting older actually,” said Diaz, who turned 51 on Aug. 30. “As we get older, it’s that ability to be more resilient and vulnerable, which doesn’t sound like they go hand in hand. But I think resilience and vulnerability is true power.”
They had the audience captivated, enthusiastically clapping and hanging on to their every word.
“Imagine the world if women ran it,” Diaz smiled.