"My day starts early with yoga or spinning," Jessica Alba says, "and, unless I have a pressing work engagement, ends with bedtime stories with the girls and a little TV time with my husband." In between, there are back-to-back meetings for The Honest Co., which Jessica started as a one-stop shop for the nontoxic, eco-friendly household, baby, and bath products she wanted to use but couldn't easily find on the market. Jessica launched the company in 2008, shortly after becoming a mom -- "despite many people telling me I was crazy," she says.
It's not the first time Jessica has gone with her gut. At 11, she begged her mother to take her to the Hollywood acting competition that kick-started her TV and movie career. These days, though, it's all about her girls. "My kids are my top priority," she says. "Their health and well-being come first." In fact, Jessica's determination to do better for her daughters was propelled by her own severe childhood allergies and asthma.
"I was a very sick kid," she says. "Once I became aware of cause and effect, I became much more health-conscious." That means exercising, drinking lots of water, getting good sleep, and eating healthy. In fact, life at her home in L.A. revolves around family meals. "We love, love, love to cook, and family dinner is mandatory Friday through Sunday," she says. For the rest of the week, she does her best. "I wish I had more time from Monday to Thursday to make dinner, but the truth is, we rely on healthy food delivery when we have to."
Building her business has taught Jessica two keys to managing her busy life: Know your limits, and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Another lesson, hard work, was learned much earlier. "My grandmother raised her kids and her grandchildren and put herself through school," Jessica says. "She and my mother are my heroes. They showed me the value in hard work, resourcefulness, and common sense. I just want to make that path for women easier however I can."
The path she's blazing for herself as an entrepreneur is a fulfilling one even if it's not always smooth. "Some days I am resilient and tough, and on others, I struggle and can be fragile," she says. "You can't let it all affect you too much. It's also important to remember to breathe."
Beauty products are the most recent addition to The Honest Co. line. Most mornings you can find this busy mom putting on her makeup at the kitchen counter while her girls eat breakfast.
She's beautiful, she's successful, and she's real. Here's how Jessica Alba keeps it that way:
Health "I'm healthy, but I don't go to extremes. I exercise for my mental health, but I can mow through a box of cookies with the best of them."
Being Organized "The kids and I put our clothes out at night so there's no drama in the morning."
Parenting "I try to teach my girls by doing. We fill water bottles instead of buying new ones, recycle, and talk about what products are safe and unsafe for them and the earth."
Here, Jessica and her daughters Honor, 7, and Haven, 4, tend to herbs and succulents on their patio in Los Angeles. Jessica's business, The Honest Co., was named after her firstborn.
Dark furniture, white walls, and white bedding make up a versatile backdrop that lets Jessica change up the look of her bedroom just by swapping out the decorative pillows and throw.
Raw woods, leather, and durable fabrics make Jessica's bedroom sitting area a comfy spot for working or relaxing. Organic, rounded shapes such as the lamp and the live-edge coffee table contrast with the clean lines of the dresser.