Jessica Alba is undoubtedly best known for her acting. However, this has nothing to do with why she is my #wcw this week. The Honest Company was the brainchild of Alba when she was a new mother, looking for non-chemical options for her child.
She founded the company in 2011, having taken 3 years to find her business partners. They were: Sean Kane, Christopher Gavigan and Brian Lee.
Despite being told to start small, Alba launched 17 products under the Honest brand in the first year. By 2013, sales stood at around $50 million, and by 2014 this grew to $170 million. Not bad for a 3 year old company, in an extremely competitive consumer goods market. The Honest Company has also never used traditional media in advertising (billboards, print adverts, television).
By the end of 2014, the company had grown to 275 employees and 90 products on offer in large distributors such as Target, Wholefoods, Costco and Nordstrom.
In August 2015, the company was valued at $1.7 billion.
Alba has come out saying that it took her a long time to convince people that her idea would work. She is my #wcw because she stuck true to her vision for the brand and didn’t compromise. She really grafted to get the business off the ground, and had a lot less help than people would assume. Alba claims she got a lot of condescension and ‘why don’t you go back to Hollywood?’. She’s also candid about the mistakes and teething problems she’s had on the way.
“You should never be the smartest person in the room – worry if you are” – Jessica Alba, on her best advice for starting a business
She works full time in the office (check out the video below if you want to see it) and is extremely hands on with the business. She really connected with the insight and her consumers and that’s what’s made it a winning idea.
The company touts its Honestly Free Guarantee: it does not use “health-compromising chemicals or compounds”
Like any company, it is not without its controversy. The Honest Company has been accused of ‘scare-mongering’ parents by blasting its competitors for use of ‘unsafe’ chemicals. In 2015, there was also issues surrounding its sunscreen products after consumers complained of getting sunburnt whilst using it.
Click on the link below for a great keynote interview with Jessica.