Close Up: Jessica Alba, Mompreneur
Jessica Alba is getting into the baby-products business. The actress recently co-founded The Honest Company, a Los Angeles-based business that makes nontoxic and eco-friendly items for infants. "The idea came to me three years ago, when I was pregnant with my first daughter, Honor," says Alba, who gave birth to her second child, Haven, last year. "I was horrified to find out how many toxic chemicals are in baby products."
Alba launched the business in January with Christopher Gavigan, author of Healthy Child Healthy World, and serial entrepreneur Brian Lee, co-founder of ShoeDazzle. The Honest Company lets parents order customized bundles of eco-friendly diapers, baby wipes, shampoo, and other products online. The bundles, which sell for $36 to $80 each, are delivered every month.
Alba, the company's president, says this experience has been eye-opening—and tiring.
"We're still this scrappy little company where everybody is working long hours and doing five things at once," says Alba, whose workday includes unglamorous tasks such as packing boxes and taking customer service calls. "I had no idea how tough it would be," she says. "I commend anyone who can start a business."
Darren Dahl is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He also works as a collaborative writer and editor and has partnered with several high-profile authors. Dahl lives in Asheville, North Carolina.