Jessica Alba

The Honest Company
Jessica Alba, Founder, The Honest Company, The List 2019

Early in her career as an actor, The Honest Company founder Jessica Alba worked with filmmaker James Cameron. “James told me he was going to make a documentary about the Titanic,” Alba remembers, “but the technology didn’t exist to capture footage at depths the way he envisioned. So he created it.” Cameron’s mindset inspired her when she first developed the concept of The Honest Company. “If you really want something, it doesn't matter what has or hasn't been done before” she says. “Make it happen yourself.”

When Alba was pregnant with her first child, she became frustrated by the lack of information and safe products she could trust. She sought a single trusted resource but couldn't find it, and knew there had to be other people out there with the same needs. Alba spent several years developing her wellness lifestyle brand, much of it trying to disprove preconceived ideas about the types of businesses an actor should start. “Even my co-founder rejected me the first time I pitched him,” she says. She stuck with her vision, and in the early days, rolled up her sleeves and took on every task – including packaging products and answering customer service calls.

Seven years later, Honest is continuing to shake up the industry with thoughtfully formulated product innovations in baby and beauty. Alba now focuses more on long-term strategy and overall brand vision, while remaining heavily involved with retail partnering opportunities. She is particularly excited about rolling out new programs with Nordstrom, Target, buybuy BABY and launching internationally with Douglas in 2019. "Partnerships with retailers are an important way that we are able to deliver on our brand promise of empowering people to live happy, healthy lives," Alba says. At Target, for example, product will be merchandised in the beauty as well as baby aisles. “We are able to truly show up as a lifestyle brand,” Alba says, “catering to modern consumers who care about clean, safe products for their family and for themselves.”