Jessica Alba has been a well-respected, working actress for over 15 years, but when she pitched an innovative idea in 2008 to launch a line of nontoxic household and baby products she didn’t get the respect she deserved. The mega-star graced the November cover of Inc Magazine and talked about the critics who tried to steer her away from her vision. Instead, they pushed her towards what’s worked for other Hollywood stars, like becoming the face of a new fragrance. “Everyone I approached was skeptical. There wasn’t one person who said, ‘Yeah, that can happen,'” the actress revealed.
Alba founded The Honest Company on the idea that everything that touches you and your family–everything in your home–needs to be nontoxic, needs to be effective and beautiful to look at, and needs to be affordable… things like, diapers and wipes, cleaning and personal care products. “I wanted this to be a whole lifestyle brand. Everyone I talked with in Hollywood could not wrap their heads around the idea. Whenever I tried to sit down with them about it, they would just get this glazed look on their faces. Entertainment is a totally different business. It’s like, how do you squeeze the most out of a person for five seconds, and then you move on to the next one. It’s hard for people to take anyone seriously who’s never done this before. They see you only as something else. But all that just gave me fire to move forward.”
And, thankfully, the actress didn’t give up. The mom of two persevered despite the naysayers.
“It took me three years to find my business partners. You have to be brutally honest with yourself and understand your strengths and weaknesses. I’m not a business person–I’m a mom. I wasn’t going to be coding. I wasn’t going to be in the lab mixing potions. (Though I do test all the products on my kids!) I wasn’t going to be the one doing the business model and running the operation…”
Alba said that having the right partners meant having people you like. “They’re all people I wouldn’t mind getting stuck with at an airport for five hours. We can hang and have a beer and chat it up, or stay silent together and be totally cool with that. That’s really important.”
Alba obviously proven her cynics wrong and didn’t allow them to squash her dreams, and as a result, she’s one of the most successful mompreneurs in Hollywood.
Today, The Honest Company is expected to pull in more than $150 million in revenue in 2014, has a reported $1 billion valuation, and is poised to go public.
For more, pick up the November issue of Inc. Magazine.
Photo Credits: Inc. Magazine