Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Jessica Alba and business partner Brian Lee introduced the Honest Co. to fellow technology entrepreneurs at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012 held in San Francisco on Sept 8th, 2012. Here is how techcrunch.com is reporting it:

Kicking off the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012 sessions were The Honest Company co-founders, actress Jessica Alba and Brian Lee, also of ShoeDazzle, Teeology and LegalZoom. The two teamed up to launch Honest, an e-commerce startup offering a line of eco-friendly products for baby, family, and home. The company raised a $27 million Series A from General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Institutional Venture Partners in March this year, and first experimented with the trendy subscription-based service model for selling products, later opening up to offer the ability to directly buy from the website.

Given that Honest isn’t really a “tech” startup — Lee described it as a “mission-based company” — it faces different sorts of challenges than some of the other startups in the industry. But one thing that’s not different from the rest? According to Alba, “it’s really, really, really hard” to do a startup.

It’s so hard,” Alba said, “you’re working day and night. It actually never stops. If you’re not so passionate and working day and night, it’s not going to happen.” But Alba, who started Honest with co-founder Christopher Gavigan, was passionate about the need for eco-friendly, non-toxic products after she became a mom herself. (Actually before: She had an allergic reaction to a product while pregnant, which prompted her initial interest). She first approached Lee about the idea in 2010, but it wasn’t until Lee’s wife was pregnant with their second child that the idea began to root with him. Her persistance paid off, Alba said, having spent three years being dismissed by others who laughed at the idea of an actress wanting to do a baby-products company.

Alba talked in detail about her life running a startup, as well as being an actress and mom. What does your typical day look like? It’s long, she said, speaking of rushing between meetings and trying to make it home by bath time. Her acting schedule varies, however, while being a parent is a full-time job. Running a company on the side, as she does, requires that you be passionate about what you’re doing — you have to believe in your mission. (This advice holds true even if you don’t describe your startup as a “mission-based” company.)

The two founders also spoke in broad terms about how they’re growing the company through the word-of-mouth of moms. Moms stick together, said Lee — the mommy bloggers, and Mommy & Me groups, for example. But the company has ambitions to grow beyond its “baby products” niche, as its products already appeal to those who have allergies and other special needs, or who just want products that are more environmentally safe. In the future, the company may expand into clothing and more household items, like paint. And it may also move into the retail space, so customers can touch and feel the products in real life. Actually, it already has.

As for the move away from the subscription-based model, as Lee’s other company ShoeDazzle, also did? Alba said it was a partially a technology decision, but they had also asked themselves whether there was really a desire for that from their customer base. Lee said he still believes in subscription commerce though, but it makes more sense for some items on the site than others, such as diapers and detergent. At the end of the day, it was about giving customers a choice.

 


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The Honest Life

The Honest Life recounts Alba’s personal journey of discovery and reveals her tips for making healthy living fun, real, and stylish, while offering a candid look inside her home and daily life. She shares strategies for maintaining a clean diet (with favorite family-friendly recipes) and embraces nontoxic choices at home and provides eco-friendly decor tips to fit any budget. Alba also discusses cultivating a daily eco beauty routine, finding one’s personal style without resorting to yoga pants, and engaging in fun, hands-on activities with kids. Her solutions are easy, chic, and down-to-earth: they’re honest. And discovering everyday ways to live naturally and authentically—true to you—could be honestly life-changing. - HONEST.COM/thehonestlife
The Honest Company
The Honest Company is a newly created brand that passionately believes that all parents should have access to safer, healthier family products that don’t break the bank. Parents are becoming increasingly concerned about poorly regulated, chemically-laden, baby products, but the alternatives are often expensive, inaccessible, and bland. The need and desire for affordable and non-toxic products – e...specially baby diapers and essentials – is greater than ever.

In response to this market gap, The Honest Company offers a monthly subscription service providing expert curated children’s products consisting of what mom’s need most, all conveniently delivered to subscribers’ front-doors!

"When I became a mom, I finally became the person I am, that I always should have been," she says. "It's the most satisfying job in the world. But, it can also be overwhelming and confusing. I created The Honest Company to help moms and to give all children a better, safer start."

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT HONEST.COM
Jessica Alba Supports….
"As a mother, I cannot imagine what it must be like for parents who cannot afford the most basic necessities for their babies. No child, regardless of his/her family's socio-economic status, should ever be without diapers, food, clothing or hygiene items. Our goal is to help alleviate some of the burden on these families by providing them with these essentials."

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT BABY2BABY.ORG

"I was alarmed to learn about all the potential harmful products in my home and lifestyle – like toxic chemicals in plastics used to make baby bottles, brain toxins in children’s toys, carcinogens in my cleaning products… the list went on and on!

Please stand with me as concerned citizen and parent and take action today. Ask your Senators to support the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. This new bill that would increase the safety of chemicals used in your consumer products, increase public access to health and safety information, and protect vulnerable populations like pregnant women and children."

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT SAFERCHEMICALS.ORG
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