How'd She Do It? Jessica Alba

How’d She Do It? Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba is a household name for a reason—she never fails to deliver the best of the best, whether she’s gracing living room screens in popular sitcoms or starring in theatrical films.

Alba is best-known for her roles as a hip-hop choreographer with a heart of gold in 2003’s Honey the Eye, as Susan Storm in Fantastic Four (2005), and for many, many more.

Acting Early

Alba began making TV and movie appearances at just 13 years old, in Camp Nowhere and The Secret World of Alex Mack, but rose to prominence at 19 when she was the lead actress of the television series Dark Angel, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. For Alba, acting opened up a new world of creative people and a community where she belonged.

Although her acting career wasn’t always full of glitter and gold, Alba worked hard to get her name in lights and arrive where she is today. When Alba turned 11, she attended an open casting call at the Beverly Hills Studio. Thousands applied, but it was Jessica who won, receiving a year’s worth of acting classes, which she condensed into a summer so she wouldn’t have to miss school.

By the age of 18, she had landed her breakout role, being cast as Max Guevara in Dark Angel. In Sin City (2005), she played a stripper with book smarts, and brought a comic book heroine to life in Fantastic Four. Alba played Sue Storm, one of four astronauts who gain unusual powers after being exposed to cosmic rays. Reprising her role, she also starred in the 2007 sequel, 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Jessica Alba has always treated her Hollywood career as a business. She made a rule with her publicist that for every placement she got in a men’s magazine, she wanted coverage in three women’s magazines. Alba didn’t let fame distract her from the things that matter most to her—and truth be told, Hollywood wouldn’t be the only industry that underestimated her.

Shifting Focus

When Alba and her husband Cash Warren, a Yale graduate, producer, and tech investor, were expecting their first child, they found a lack of safe and effective consumer products in stores. Alba noticed that her baby was breaking out in hives after her onesies had been washed in detergent. She partnered with author Christopher Gavigan (himself husband of actress Jessica Capshaw), whose book Healthy Child Healthy World addresses the numerous toxins children are exposed to in typical household products.

In 2011, Alba co-founded The Honest Company, a consumer goods company that sells baby, personal, and household products, and focuses on ethical consumerism. Prior to the company’s success, however, Alba endured frequent rejection as investor deals fell through. However, Alba’s passion and purpose collided and resulted in $10 million in sales for The Honest company in 2012, its first full year in business. 

The Honest Company only provided 17 products at the beginning, including items in the diapers and wipes category, which were delivered to subscribers’ homes on a monthly or à la carte basis. When Jessica couldn’t find one brand she trusted for all her everyday needs, she set out to create it—and she knew others would be looking for it too. The success of the business showed just how many other people were looking for safe products, simple solutions, and clear information about their choices.

Following the early success of her company, Alba released her book The Honest Life in 2013, sharing her experiences of creating a natural, non-toxic life for her family. As a new mom, Alba had wanted to create a safe, healthy environment for her baby, but was frustrated by the lack of trustworthy information available for moms. Since day one, The Honest Company’s social initiatives and community partnerships have ensured that more people have access to safe, effective options, when they need them the most.

The Honest Life became a New York Times Bestseller, and in 2015, Alba went on to expand her franchise, launching a collection of skincare and beauty products called Honest Beauty. Honest Beauty now creates natural makeup made from safe formulas and naturally derived ingredients. The makeup line includes eye, lip, and face products, including fan favorites like a moisturizing lip gloss and a juicy tinted lip balm.

How did Jessica Alba do it? She didn’t take no for an answer, and stuck to her instincts about what was right. In 2016, Honest was valued at $1.7 billion, according to PitchBook data. It’s important to stay true to yourself and your values! It worked for Alba—so who’s to say it won’t work for you?

 

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-Taelor
The CGS Team

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