CEO Spotlight

Profile- Business of Stars: Jessica Alba- The actress who turned entrepreneur founding The Honest Company

Jessica Alba is a successful actress and at the same time a very affectionate mother. She has two daughters and a son. Jessica Alba decided to try her abilities at the business sector when her firstborn daughter as a baby showed allergic symptoms due to a laundry detergent. It was then that a unique idea came to her mind, which she implemented without a second thought. The popular actress thought of creating a company that would offer alternatives to basic baby care products with ingredients such as petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances.

In 2011 Jessica Alba founded The Honest Company. It is a consumer goods company, which focuses on household products by providing advice to housewives on ethical consumerism. Soon after its operation, the company started making great sales. The company’s sales in 2013 accounted to 50 million dollars. The company reached 170 million dollars in sales in 2014, while in August 2015 was valued at 1.7 billion dollars. As of August 2014, the company’s products have been available in retail stores in the United States and Canada. In the meantime, it has received 70 million dollars in funding. The annual revenues for 2020 are estimated at more than 95 million dollars. Nowadays, the company sells not only cleaning products but also baby clothing and more.

In July 2015, Jessica Alba announced that The Honest Company would relocate from 2700 Pennsylvania Avenue in Santa Monica to Los Angeles’ Playa Vista neighborhood in early 2016. The following month, it announced a new round of funding which boosted the company’s total monetary valuation to 1.7 billion dollars.

In addition, in 2015 the company expanded in personal beauty products with the opening of the Honest Beauty brand as a separate entity with its own website and logo. The launch of the brand started with an 83 element product line including skin-care products and a range of makeup pieces. Its products are derived from botanicals free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, sulfates and chemical sunscreens. The products are sold at the website and at large beauty shops. Not to forget to mention that The Honest Company so far ships and delivers its products only at the United States and Canada. The products are also sold on Amazon since July 2017.

It took Jessica Alba three years to find her partners Brian Lee, Sean Kane and Christopher Gavigan. Despite the advice she received that she should start modestly and with few products, she made her debut in 2012 with 17 products. During the operation of its company, Alba pressured Congress to tighten testing of consumer products on the market for chemical inputs.

In March 2017, The Honest Company announced that Clorox veteran Nick Vlahos would replace Brian Lee as CEO. Recently, her business partner and CEO of The Honest Company, Nick Vlahos was recognized as an Executive of the Year – Gold Winner by Best of Biz 2020 Awards. Christofer Gavigan serves as CPO.

The Honest Company is known for its safe products. The company also guarantees that it does not use chemicals or compounds that endanger health, including a special list of products that promises never to enter its laboratories. Whole Foods and Costco were the original The Honest Company retailers. The company started selling to Target Corporation on June 15, 2014. Other stores that had the company’s products until mid-2014 were Buy Buy Baby and Nordstrom. By the end of the third quarter of 2014, the company launched a total of 90 products. Her top product up to that point was diapers.

However, the company has also received some complaints about its products. For example, in 2015, there were reactions for a sunscreen product with many consumers complaining about skin burns.

In March 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company’s liquid laundry detergent contained a significant amount of sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, a synthetic substance that it claimed it would never use. In April 2016, “Good Morning America” ​​accused The Honest Company of presenting its infant formula as organic, even though its product contains 11 synthetic substances banned by federal law in organic products. The Honest Company stated that the infant formula was approved and certified by the FDA, according to the National Organic Program. In December 2016, the Los Angeles Supreme Court ruled in favor of the company, dismissing the complaint.

Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at