Essential Women: Jessica Alba
Trust your instincts, do your homework and put your
family first, always.
A dear friend to the brand, we spent the afternoon with Alba at her Los Angeles office to chat meaningful gifting this holiday season and reflect on the guiding philosophies behind her success. Her greatest insight? Trust your instincts, do your homework and put your family first, always. We couldn’t think of a better outlook to share with other multifaceted women who have decided to do it their own way.
Do your homework. Get a clear understanding of what it will really take to get your business off the ground. Set yourself up for success from an operational perspective by building a solid team—from the people that will help you execute on the day-to-day to those that will help secure funding to get it off the ground. Lastly, be bold enough to reach out to others who were once in your position, even if you don’t know them. Whether in your sector or another, they’ll have valuable insights that can only come with the act of doing.
My family is always my first priority… everything else is secondary. Period. And I try my best to live in the moment and take it one day at a time.
I’ve learned that I can trust my instincts—they’re generally right on.
What is Honest bringing that nobody else is?
I created Honest because I had to. I saw a huge white space in the marketplace; I needed a single brand that I could trust for products made with safety, efficacy, quality and beautiful design. And I knew I was just one of many parents looking for the same.
I’m passionate about the work we do because it’s transformative. We’re creating meaningful change by providing people with education, community and products that allow them to live happy, healthy lives.
My family is always my first priority…everything else is secondary. Period. And I try my best to live in the moment and take it one day at a time. I’ve found that when life is hectic, slowing down and being present helps me retain a sense of calm.
Who is your greatest female inspiration?
Shortly after I founded The Honest Company, I read a book that changed the way I looked at the world and my place in it: Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way: Timeless Strategies from the First Lady of Courage. Despite being born into unfavorable circumstances and facing incredible adversity, she devoted her life to advocating for those whose voices deserved to be heard: women, African Americans and veterans, among others. Her words, “Never allow a person to tell you 'no' who doesn’t have the power to say 'yes'” will stay with me always.
I’m passionate about the work we do because it’s transformative.
Gifting is so hard. I have people that I’ve worked with professionally for years that now feel like family, long-time friends and of course, my family members. I always want to give each person the perfect gift. I wish I had a fail-proof system that I could share, but I do love a brand like Cuyana that has so many different options—it allows me to curate a thoughtful, bundled experience for each.
What gift are you most excited to give this year?
I can never decide, but anything I can personalize is always a win.