How Jessica Alba Turned Her Mom Passion into Millions…
When you hear the name Jessica Alba, you may think of her many acting roles including Sin City, Valentine’s Day, Fantastic Four, and Honey. Since her Hollywood debut in Camp Nowhere in 1994, Jessica Alba has been making a name for herself wherever she goes. However, this Golden Globe-nominee has much more to offer than just her on-screen performances. So, how did Jessica Alba make her new business succeed? Read on to find out!
In 2008, while pregnant with her first child, Jessica Alba did what most parents-to-be do and started reading up on parenting lessons and what to expect. But it was the book, Healthy Child Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan that encouraged her to become an entrepreneur. After reading the book she realized it was difficult to raise a child in a home free of toxins, which can be found in our food, cleaning supplies, and even items designed for children. She decided to team with Gavigan and entrepreneur Brian Lee. Using her own funding capital as a new mom, Alba set out to create a company that would offer non-toxic cleaning supplies and diapers, in the form of The Honest Company.
What sets Jessica Alba’s celebrity venture apart, is that she isn’t simply investing in a company she believes in. Instead, she decided to play an active part in the business, designing a line of products and using her celebrity status to promote them. And it’s working. Her company was recently valued at $1 billion and just announced its intention to file for IPO. Needless to say, there are lessons this celebrity “mompreneur” can offer us all.
New Business Lessons from Jessica Alba
1. Explore your sales options.
The Honest Company doesn’t just offer general retail sales in stores such as Target, Nordstrom, Whole Foods, and Buy Buy Baby. In a retail setting, your product is next to a host of other products with varying promises on their labels. Competition is fierce and people are leery of products they’ve never heard of.
For the more tech-savvy parents, The Honest Company offers a monthly subscription service that eliminates the shopping hassles and offers exactly what you need – diapers and wipes, cleaning supplies, or health supplements – in a convenient package sent right to your front door. Customers can order a trial kit of any of the options before purchasing full products to make sure the items are what they’re wanting. Given that 80 percent of the company’s profit comes from monthly subscriptions, the additional sales options are proving to be smart business.
2. Know your expertise and when to ask for help.
Alba knows what eco-conscious parents are looking for but she knew what she was doing when she partnered with Brian Lee. Rather than taking on the entire business and the logistics herself, she sought the help of someone far more experienced. Lee, a former attorney and current serial entrepreneur known for his ventures ShoeDazzle and LegalZoom, is familiar with what it takes to successfully run a business.
Unfortunately, not every startup has a Brian Lee available to them. However, every business can seek outside help. A good business coach can ensure your business is properly established. It’s all about asking for assistance when you’re inexperienced. Since its inception in 2012, The Honest Company has seen nothing but upward mobility, which wouldn’t be possible if Jessica Alba tried to handle everything herself.
3. Associate with labels you want to identify your company with.
The Honest Company isn’t a not-for-profit, but it isn’t exactly a for-profit either. Along with over a thousand other companies, The Honest Company has “B corporation” status. This means they have been certified to create a positive impact on the environment and our society. They’re also accredited with the Better Business Bureau and Gold Certified with Green America. A socially conscious business not only impacts the community and the environment in a positive way, but it can also ride the wave of ‘do good’ publicity as well.
Obviously, every business isn’t going to be certified with eco-friendly labels, but it’s important to find positive entities you want to associate with your business. Find industry appropriate identifiers and promote your company’s vision.
4. What is the cause that you are passionate about?
The Honest Company was born out of Jessica Alba’s passion to create clean and healthy environments for parents and children. The entire cause had a deeper meaning for her, which propelled Jessica to put the time and energy into making it all happen. I find that when business owners go after something just for the monetary reward, they don’t give it the energy and effort it needs to succeed. You must have that drive and motivation to stay with it, even when times are tough.
With record profits estimated at $150 million for 2014 for The Honest Company, they are obviously doing something right. These are just a few valuable lessons you can take from Jessica Alba and her new business endeavors.
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Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.