Healthy Living in Hollywood: Jessica Alba’s Honest Enterprise

Alba Vator

I attended Vator Splash LA, held in Santa Monica, CA this past Thursday.  The highlight of the event, other than seeing some pretty cool startups compete for the coveted first place in Vator’s now well renowned startup competition (no small win – past winners of Vator have now received over $400,000 in follow-on capital) was to see Jessica Alba, the Hollywood star, and her company’s CEO, Brian Lee, in a “fireside chat” with Vator’s founder, former tech journalist and pundit, Bambi Francisco.  During the day-long event, the room crowd ebbed and flowed, but for this talk, the room was packed.

Alba founded her startup, The Honest Company, in January 2012.  She talked about it being still in classic startup mode, evidenced by the fact that she insisted that the team all sit in a big open room, and she plays hip hop music on Fridays.  The vision for her company is to create a way for people to “live an honest lifestyle”, and have access to products that are healthy, made from quality, non-toxic ingredients that are attractive, and yet affordable.  She and CEO Brian Lee (formerly with LegalZoom, among other ventures) disclosed that their product lines run approximately 10-20% higher than “average retail” products in the same categories, and the price differential is due to sourcing higher quality ingredients and materials.

So far, their products have been mainly in the bath and baby category (such as diapers and wipes, apparently inspired by Alba herself becoming a mom and becoming conscious of wanting better choices for her own baby).  When asked about future product lines, Jessica replied that they get thousands of calls every day, and customers are very vocal about wanting more choices in other categories, namely feminine hygiene and makeup/beauty.  (These two new categories are in the works as new product offerings).

Brian Lee talked about their greater vision of developing actual commercial sites where “customers can experience an honest lifestyle”.  These future offerings are still on the drawing board, but I was convinced that this duo is one to watch for future health-related innovation.

Hilary Weber, founder, Opportu Startup Leadership.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.