In 2008, pregnant with her first child, Honor and celebrating the impending birth, Jessica Alba’s mother told her to ensure she pre-washed all the gifted onesies with baby detergent before use and upon using a mainstream brand of baby-specific detergent, Jessica broke out in hives. She wondered about the effect a mainstream product would have on her child who is naturally more sensitive than herself, and began spending her nights Googling the contents of her bathroom cabinets. She found everything from formaldehydes to flame retardants in all her everyday products and in began shopping around for more eco-friendly options to no avail.
She teamed up with Christopher Gavigan (of Healthy Child, Healthy World), web entrepreneur Brian Lee and Sean Kane to form The Honest Company, named for the transparency of its product ingredients and by 2011 she was lobbying Washington D.C for updated legislation, particularly of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act.
The company grew dramatically, firstly as an online ecommerce diaper delivery business before expanding into brick and mortar retailers across the country including mega brand, Costco and extending its product range to include a myriad of household products.
In its first year of business (2012), The Honest Company was raking in $10 million in revenue. Now that figure has grown to $150 million in revenue with a prediction of almost double that for this year. With a stake of between 15% and 20% of the business, that stands Alba with a fortune of around $200 million and a view to a spot on FORBES’ new ranking of America’s Richest Self-Made Women list.
Next on the horizon is international expansion first into South Korea and potentially China in 2016.