Yes Jessica Alba is an actress you may have seen her in films such as Fantastic Four and Little Fockers, but did you know she’s also the founder of a BILLION DOLLAR EMPIRE!? Pretty impressive. Let’s take a look at how she managed to make it happen.
Jessica wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her father was in the Air Force. The family hopped around a few states before settling in Inland Empire, C.A. Her mother held various positions including waitress, bartender and movie theater manager.
One day while hand washing the clothes she received from her baby shower, Jessica began to break out in hives. Her mind started to fill with panic with the thoughts of her unborn child possibly having a similar reaction or worse! As Jessica puts it, this began her journey to “develop safe and effective consumer products that were beautifully designed, accessibly priced and easy to get.” The beginning of The Honest Company.
- Alba hired Christopher Gavigan, author of the book “Healthy Child, Healthy World” to consult on the products she wanted to create. Chris’ book addressed the toxins children are exposed to on a daily basis in everyday household products. He was just the expert needed for this endeavor.
- In 2011 the two pitched the idea to investor friend Brian Lee (co-founder of Legal Zoom, which sold for $200m in 2014). He let her down softly (thanks but no thanks). Brian just didn’t “get it” and passed on the idea. Two other investors that were pitched the idea for the Honest Company (or “Honor and Love” as it was known then) passed as well.
- Chris Gavigan and Jessica Alba continue developing the company.
- Almost 2 years after initially passing on the idea, Lee and his wife had a baby and he noticed how obsessed his wife was over the products used on and around their newborn. It was at this point that Brian finally “got it.” He agrees to invest Jessica’s company. Brian brings on Sean Kane from pricegrabber.com to be the president and co-founder of the company. (Alba, Gavigan, Lee and Kane become the founders of The Honest Company)
- In the company’s first year (2012), they do $10m in sales. In 2015 sales topped $150m! In a Series D financing round the company raised $100 million, valuing the comp at over $1.7 billion.
Jessica saw a gap in the market, filled it with The Honest Company and was handsomely rewarded for the effort. Most importantly she took action and didn’t let initial rejection keep her down.