Jessica Alba covers the new issue of More Magazine. It’s a meh editorial, but I’m not expecting Vogue-quality content from More Mag (no shade). Alba is promoting her “billion dollar company,” The Honest Company, which produces eco-friendly products. I have my doubts as to whether The Honest Company is really and truly valued at a $1 billion, but Alba has built herself a lucrative business and obviously, there’s a big market for what she’s selling.
What I found interesting about this interview was Alba’s discussion about crying at work. “Crying at work” is a thing and people have strong opinions about it. Some women believe that “crying at work” is the most unprofessional thing you could ever do, that it is weak and your colleagues and superiors will underestimate you if you ever shed a tear. Some women believe that “crying at work” is just part of life and tears don’t have anything to do with one’s professionalism. What fascinates me about this Alba interview is that she’s talking about being a boss and MAKING an employee cry and not giving a sh-t. I can’t tell if this is a boss move or if she’s a terrible person.
Alba on making someone cry: “I’m straight to the point. I’ve made people cry. I have to say, ‘This isn’t personal. This is what needs to get done, and it’s just as simple as that. And … we’re not crying anymore.’ ”
Working with men: “My [business] partners are men. Whenever I say something that’s kind of against their intuition, they go back and talk to their wives. And then their wives usually agree with me. So that’s how we get stuff done over here.”
Building her business: “I didn’t want to wake up and kick myself for not pursuing something I believed in. I couldn’t wait to reject the status quo, punch it in the face and kick it to the curb.”
The Honest Company’s office features a “floor-to-ceiling display of succulents sprouting from sweet little pots”: “Sometimes my CFO gets irritated about it. Someone has to come every week to water and put them in the sun for a day, and that costs money. We needed something alive. We couldn’t just have pretty pictures. And so when he’s like, ‘Do we really need the live succulents?’ I say, ‘Yes, yes, we do.’”
The company’s $1 billion valuation: “When you look at the marketplace that we’re playing in, it’s trillions of dollars. Window cleaner alone is a billion-dollar business, just to give a bit of perspective, because people get so freaked out by our valuation. Also, it doesn’t feel tangible yet, because I’m still hustling.”
I’m actually impressed with this side of Alba, especially considering I think very little of her acting talent. This is probably her calling, not acting. She has a head for business, and I hope she sticks with it. As for making her employees cry… if she was a dude, she wouldn’t even register the fact that she was making someone cry, you know? But it does feel like she’s taking pride in it a little bit. If Alba told you that your work was crap and you needed to do something else, would you cry at work?
Photos courtesy of More Magazine.