Jessica Alba Says People in Hollywood Underestimated Her When She Started The Honest Company

Kimberly RipleyLife

Share this Post

Jessica Alba says people in Hollywood didn't have a lot of faith in her when she launched her Honest Company. In fact, many thought she was just plain crazy.

"Certainly people in Hollywood underestimated me. They absolutely, 100 percent thought I was nuts," she said in an interview with Net-A-Porter. "In Hollywood, they don't really build businesses, so they don't really understand what I'm doing. It's hard for people to take you seriously when you're known for entertaining, because there are preconceived ideas of what it is to be an entertainer. But you have to have a lot of heart [to be an actor], a lot of drive. You face a lot of rejection, too, and it takes a certain kind of person to withstand that."

"People are used to seeing someone in my position associated with a brand through an endorsement deal: you show up, they give you your talking points, you say those things, maybe you're on a couple of billboards, that's it," Jessica Alba adds. "I am not that person. I think a bunch of actresses feel like, 'Oh, I have this platform and all these people are making money off of me, I should be able to get a piece of that,' and that's where their intentions are."

All the Hollywood doubters succeeded at was making Jessica Alba work even harder.

"I've dealt with people undermining me; I've dealt with people thinking that I would do anything to get ahead and be successful," she says. "I was never that girl. I never dated people to be successful, I never compromised myself, or my beliefs, or my values to get ahead. And you know, in a weird way, I liked it when they didn't believe in me. It fueled me."

Alba admits that right now, she's a bit overworked. It's hard not being available for her husband and daughters whenever they need her.

"My girls ask why I work, but I think it's more of a rhetorical question at this point; they just want to spend time with me. Kids don't want to be understanding," Alba says. "And they shouldn't be at this age! When they are 18 they will have perspective, but at four and seven they are just living in their own little world, and it's all immediate gratification. Sometimes I do a better job at turning off, but right now I have just launched Honest Beauty, with 87 products, and I'm not doing a great job at managing my time. I'm traveling too much, I'm staying at the office too late, and I don't know how to shut off completely when I go home. But it's challenging to be a working parent, whether you are a woman or a man."

Jessica Alba ran into trouble with her Honest Company sunscreen this past summer, with a few lawsuits filed by disgruntled consumers. Stepping away from her company hasn't once been a consideration, however.

Were you surprised when you learned that Jessica Alba--a Hollywood actress--was launching a business? Were you among those even more surprised when the business was deemed a success?

Were you among those who gave Jessica Alba a figurative high-five and expected great things instead?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.