Second Life Podcast: Jessica Alba on Building a Business From Scratch

Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields.

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Second Life

Having a successful acting career might seem like the goal for many, but for Jessica Alba, it was a foundation to try something entirely new: building a business. Alba was at the peak of her career when she announced the launch of The Honest Company, a wellness brand that now makes home, beauty, and baby products from safe ingredients. "People told me it was too complicated and too hard," she tells Hillary Kerr in Episode 9 of Second Life. "I launched with 17 products, and now we have thousands."

Alba admits it hasn't been an easy ride. "What people don't know is the idea of Honest came three years prior to me actually launching the company," she says. "I had the idea, and I couldn't figure out how to crack it for three years." Focusing on her purpose helped her persevere. "This is why I was given this platform as an actress," she told herself. "This is where my heart was pulling me. It felt like it had to be done."

Looking back at the company's growth, Alba says one lesson was key: learning to surround herself with experts. "[I learned] to not have an ego," she tells Kerr. "I know I'm not an environmental health scientist … so I recruited the CEO of Healthy Child, Healthy World to join me in this venture." Having the humility to know your limitations and seeking out others to fill those knowledge gaps was a crucial step—one that helped The Honest Company evolve from a pipe dream to full-fledged consumer goods company.

Head to iTunes to hear the full episode.