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Actress and extraordinarily successful and savvy businesswoman Jessica Alba graces the September 2016 cover of Allure Magazine.
She talks her Honest Company, family and how fame affects her credibility.
Here are some misconceptions he clear the air on…
Misconception #1: Alba is a dilettante who breezes in from time to time to sprinkle fairy dust about the office and isn’t really involved in product development or day-to-day operations.
Reality: “When you’re a founder of a company, there’s really nothing going on that you’re not part of…so when it comes to the design of the site, the display ads, our marketing strategy, I’m part of all those discussions and involved in all those creative assets.”
Misconception #2: She slaps her label on preexisting products from eco-friendly manufacturers and markets them.
Reality: “We don’t own our own factories. We find best-in-class manufacturers, and then I go work with their chemists to create our formulas, or we make our formulas in-house. It’s a very rigorous process of quality assurance and quality control. We have a sourcing department. We have a product-development and R&D department—those are the chemists. And then the product-development creative is on my side. So I say, ‘It needs to feel like this; it needs to smell like this; it needs to perform like that; it should be delivered in this type of package.’ And then I work with the creative-marketing team. It takes about 18 months to make it and to test it. And then I work with my retail team and the online team so the product feels exactly the same online as it does [on a shelf].”
Misconception #3: Alba is an environmental absolutist who thinks all chemicals are evil.
Reality: “Everything is a chemical. Water is a chemical. I’m not against chemicals. I care about human health, and I want whatever is safest and healthiest. Some people can have very extreme points of view. I created the Honest Company because I’m not extreme. I couldn’t identify with people who wanted to do everything completely 100 percent from nature. I don’t have a garden growing my own organic fruits and vegetables. I don’t have an organic farm where I’m raising my own livestock. That’s not my reality. So I want the best options that work for me without me feeling like I want to compromise on health or safety. Honest is about that happy medium, and not extreme.”
More sanity: She has had her two daughters, Honor, eight, and Haven, five, vaccinated. She firmly believes in modern medicine and all the benefits it affords. At work she surrounds herself with experts and, she says, is learning every day how to translate her formidable instinct about what products people want into a solid business practice. She believes that even when a beauty line, for instance, is aspirational, it still needs to be attainable. Put another way, she is very sensitive to price and doesn’t think a “foundation has to cost $75 to be good.”
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