Beautiful, Poised, Self-Assured, and Convicted in her purpose are just a few of the ways to describe Jessica Alba and her recent dialogue with a group of creatives that Fast Company Brought together at the L.A. Creativity Counter-Conference.
It was inspirational and aspirational to witness how the talented actress-turned mother found herself at the center of a multi-million dollar idea and how her career and life changed when her first child broke out in welts from a product that her mother innocently recommended.
Alba was motivated to make a difference and create an alternative to synthetic fragrances and petrochemicals that were in so many baby products and consequently created The Honest Company, one of the first subscription direct-to-direct marketing online businesses. The business model she DESIGNED was socially motivated. She wanted to expose the toxic materials that were present in baby products by offering a healthier alternative. It was encouraging and rather impressive to learn how Alba made it a part of her business’ mission to create awareness about the pervasively toxic chemicals present in the marketplace and she even lobbied the United States Congress to create more stringent test for children’s clothing, toys and other products. Now how altruistic is that.
One of the most appreciated parts of the dialogue from an entrepreneurial perspective, was Alba’s openness and ability to share with us some of the challenges she faced in building the Honest Company. She faced numerous ups and downs. In fact, it took years to find the core leadership team: Chief Executive Officer Brian Lee, Chief Operating Officer Sean Kane and Chief Product Officer Christopher Gavigan, so that she could focus on the creative vision and direction of the brand.
Additionally, some of the very people that were closest to Alba totally underestimated her did not believe that she could successfully wear the business hat. Alba chuckled as she reminisced about her management team laughing at her idea originally. They dismissed her and underestimated her ability to execute her vision. An actress could never be taken seriously as a business owner, right? WRONG.
Alba’s ability to maintain a humble-yet-confident demeanor, allowing her to rise to the challenge of becoming a successful entrepreneur; while being a wife and mother of two children and at the same time maintaining her acting roles is undeniably impressive.
Alba not only rose to the challenge of co-creating a business that was worth one billion dollars in 2014, but she also changed the perception that entertainers can just do one thing. The beauty of her story is that she could not be put in a box and her ability to stand up for what she believed in and who she knew herself to be, carried her to new heights. Alba applied herself by collecting the knowledge and placing people around her who had the expertise and experience to take her dream to the next level. Now, those very same managers who doubted her and considered her to be a joke are now seeking her knowledge and opinion in regards to investment opportunities and innovative business ideas.
During the event, conference-goers were excited to be among the first to hear about the new product category that The Honest Company is going to explore. Jessica enthusiastically shared that the company has decided to expand its products into the feminine care market. They plan to use organic cotton as a healthy alternative to the chemicals and synthetic fragrances that are prevalent in the feminine care products market currently. Right now, you can purchase the eco-friendly products from The Honest Company Online at www.thehonestcompany.com as well as the following retailers: Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Buy Buy Baby and Nordstrom.
Check out the three business savvy takeaways from Jessica Alba at Fast Company:
1. Direct to direct sales is still one of the most successful marketing strategies. It allows you to cut out the middleman and build a relationship with the consumer directly. It also allows you to build both a company and a community.
2. In order to be an entrepreneur the top four questions that one should ask oneself is:
a. Who is your target demographic?
b. What is your unique value proposition?
c. Who is your core leadership team?
d. What does the company’s day to day operations look like?
3. When hiring people, it’s just not all about smarts and ability. Make sure that they pass the airport test. Would you want to be stuck with them in an airport for six hours? And if you are a start-up, make sure that whoever you hire is comfortable doing work that may lie outside of their expertise and comfort zone. Everyone knows that in startups, everyone has got to be prepared to role up their sleeves and get to work.
?Love & Light☀️,