Jessica Alba covers the January 2018 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine photographed by Justin Coit.
Jessica Alba on her inspiration to create The Honest Company: “I was really sick as a kid. I had severe asthma and allergies, and I spent a lot of time in the hospital. My airways would start to close up if I had an attack—it was really scary… When I had my first child at 26, I wanted this new little person to live a healthy life too. I had a really lonely childhood, and I didn’t have a lot of friends. I didn’t want that for my kids… I wanted Honest to be a brand that put human health and safety first and actually worked.”
On The Honest Company receiving the Good Housekeeping Seal (for their reformulated line of dish soap, multi-surface cleaner, laundry detergent and hand soap): “We were in a conference room and someone yelled, ‘We got the Seal!’ There were high-fives and people hugging, we were so proud. We were confident in our formulations, since we’d put everything through our own rigorous testing for safety and efficacy, but still, you’re always nervous—it was sort of like waiting for a baby. Earning the Good Housekeeping Seal means you can trust that it’s been vetted by the best of the best. It’s validation that [the products] really deliver.”
On overcoming obstacles The Honest Company has come across: “[Dealing with lawsuits] was stressful, but it was a lesson, and it made us want to better convey our messaging. We are always looking for ways to be innovative, to learn and take it to the next level.”
Jessica’s secret to success: “Nothing is easy. If it’s easy, you should worry. You have to fail a few times to find out what the best path forward is. It’s part of learning.”
On how acting prepared Jessica for the business world: “I’m competitive. Being in acting, you [learn to] persevere. ‘You don’t think a woman of color can be a leading lady? Let me show you.’ The constant rejection in acting prepares you for just about anything, but certainly for business. When people tell me something can’t be done, I see a challenge. Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t be. I just have to figure it out.”
On balancing motherhood with work: “I feared I would lose my sense of self in becoming a mom, but it’s actually made me more true to who I am. It’s good for my girls to see that I have an opinion…hopefully some of what I’m doing will rub off on them. It’s hard, because they’re growing up with more privilege than I had.”
[Photo Credit: Justin Coit/Good Housekeeping Magazine]