Jessica Alba’s Billion Dollar Company Was Inspired by Cash Warren Breaking Out Into Hives

Jessica Alba’s secrets to success are hard work and lemon cucumber water.

The Honest Company’s founder opened up to Self Magazine about the makings of her company with a $1.7 billion dollar price tag. Her non-toxic personal-care brand houses over 120 products, including household cleaners, toothpaste, vitamins and diapers.

Alba tells Self over a vintage conference table that she found on eBay, “I’ve always been business-minded.” Her incentive to begin The Honest Company began in 2008 when her husband Cash Warren broke out into hives while using baby laundry detergent. “I was horrified by the realities around the use of chemicals, and also the link that these chemicals have to a lot of illness,” says the entrepreneur who was pregnant with her first child at the time.

“I was bringing this little person into the world and I thought, I want her to be healthy.”

After partnering with former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World Christopher Gavigan, Alba devised a 50-page business plan for Honest Co. with Gavigan as her consultant. “It was challenging to find products that were accessibly priced and effective,” she says. “I was like, ‘It’s just gotta be easier for people.'”

Alba attributes her incessant drive to her parents’ encouragement from an early age. She recalls swim meets in her youth when she was “chubby and slow and dead last”.

“A full two laps last. I was crying and couldn’t breathe.”

“My mom and dad were like, ‘You started this, you’re going to finish it!’” she describes. “My parents made me stick to stuff, pick myself up. It’s painful to go through, but I appreciate that tough love.”

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