Jessica Alba on being the boss at The Honest Company: ‘I’ve made people cry’


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.”

[From More Magazine & People]

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.

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114 Responses to “Jessica Alba on being the boss at The Honest Company: ‘I’ve made people cry’”

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  1. Little Darling says:

    I’m a post partum doula, and many of my clients exclusively use The Honest Company products…from laundry to house cleaner, diapers to shampoos. And almost every time I have this thought that the chick who made the movie Honey, dancing her heart out in crop tops galore, is the owner and founder of this company. It seriously blows my mind sometimes.

    Good for her though, I agree with Kaiser, her acting is pretty awful, but she has proven herself a savvy business woman.

    And yes, I love the succulents. Offices do need green.

    • oneshot says:

      I love their wipes! It’s a weird thing to say but she really does put out good product, so good for her.

    • goofpuff says:

      their products are great, loving the cleaning stuff so far. very effective.

    • Michelle says:

      I always thought she was more the face of the brand and NOT the owner/founder.

  2. Lilacflowers says:

    Driving an employee to tears, and it sounds like she has done it to more than one person, is extremely unprofessional and the sign of an incredibly bad manager.

    • Izzy says:

      THIS. She’s a lousy boss if she keeps driving employees to tears.

    • Darkladi says:

      She’s made people cry? Yeah right 😏

      • Greata says:

        If she runs a billion dollar company , should’nt she have a PR division who handles situations where an employee needs to be admonished/spoken to?

      • Palar says:

        Greata, I think you mean HR. And no the HR manager does not tell employees off, the HR managers job is to coach and provide advice to managers on how to speak to employees to get the best work done without causing them to break into tears.

    • MP says:

      Some people cry as a defense mechanism just to make the person giving them some bad news or criticism feel bad for them. I find that very unprofessional and one of the reasons why women are considered to be too”emotional” for some high level jobs.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        But she makes it sound like she has done this with more than one employee, which is unprofessional on her part. Also, men cry too when job stress gets to them. There is no reason to reduce an employee to tears. There are ways to put it out there that the work needs to improve without attacking the worker and causing emotional distress. An employer who routinely causes emotional distress often finds him or herself LOSING lawsuits.

      • Kitten says:

        +1, MP.
        Our assistant cries seriously ALL. THE. TIME.

        It starts to feel really manipulative after a while, like she’s trying to make all of us afraid to offer any constructive criticism or to let her know when she’s made an mistake, lest she dissolve into a puddle.

        And yeah, I do find it unprofessional in the sense that we all have to be accountable for the errors we make. Acknowledging that we may have messed up, remedying the situation, and then making it a point to NOT make the same mistake again is such an imperative in underwriting. Hell, one mistake in underwriting could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars lost.

        Crying and being defensive does nothing to help oneself professionally, which is why you will never see me crying at the office.

      • Joy says:

        Some people cry at the drop of a hat. And the younger generation (in my experience) is even worse because they’re so used to everyone getting a medal and everyone kissing their special snowflake behind. I’m a supervisor, people have cried after I had a normal professional discussion with them. I told them to go to the bathroom, wash their face, and don’t cry at work again unless somebody dies. Because there will always be men around, usually higher up in the chain of command, and if they see an ounce of weakness you’re ruined.

      • Really says:

        Women are too emotional and revert to crying, men are too emotional and revert to yelling. We could stereotype all day long…neither mechanism fits in the workplace.

      • MtnRunner says:

        I have a problem with anyone blaming another person for their own actions and responses (see the RDJ post). Having healthy boundaries means you are responsible for your sh*t, not someone else. Women are especially guilty of pulling the “you made me feel bad” card when in actuality, their own insecurities, desire to be approved of or unwillingness to see their own faults was the cause. People who blame-shift stay locked in a cycle of victimization and not taking ownership of what rightly is theirs. Even when the other person is at fault, at the end of the day, we are only responsible for ourselves.

        We have no idea if JA was rude or just being straight and to the point. When you’re the boss, you don’t have time to coddle your employees. Most bosses I had were polite and respectful, but they were all business. I think someone can react with tears and still be professional, as long as they take care of their responsibilities. Crying is a normal, human response to stress and as long as it isn’t paralyzing, it’s a helpful release. I’ve had my share of tears at work, but I kept them private and pulled myself together and learned from the experiences. I don’t for once blame my bosses for the stress or difficulties I felt.

        I think JA sounds like a savvy businesswoman who can make a decision even if it upsets someone and that’s one sign of a good manager. They’re looking at the larger picture and responsible for more, they have the right make the choices they make and employees have the right to leave if they don’t like it.

      • Kitten says:

        Well said, Mtn “The Couch” Runner!

      • MtnRunner says:

        Thank you Kitten.

        Perhaps I should mention the one exception to what I said. If someone actually takes my couch (looking at you Kitty) with all its well worn springs and corners, I cannot be held responsible for what I may do as a result. Blameshifting will ensure. That couch is My Precious… My happy place… MY EVERYTHING.

      • Ange says:

        This. My SIL was a serial office crier at one of her jobs and I found it so awful. She is 40, a special special snowflake and couldn’t handle anyone not thinking she was the best thing since sliced bread. None of the men did anything about it because they had no idea what to do with it and that’s how she managed to manipulate everyone into letting her get away with murder. Finally one of her (female) managers one day got so disgusted with her she snapped and told her to go wash her face and not come back until she was ready to be an adult.

      • msw says:

        Jeez… I work in an office of all women and I’m so grateful we don’t fall into those stereotypes. I’ve seen my boss cry, and occasionally other people will cry when things are actually wrong, but I have never seen any of my coworkers cry from criticism. That seems weird.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I cry easily, but have only cried at work once after my boss screamed at me that I wasn’t even trying when I had stayed until midnight to do his secretary’s work and I wasn’t a secretary, so I didn’t know how to do it. I was just tired and angry and frustrated, and it came out in tears, which made me so mad at myself. And I tend to agree with you that in most cases, you can deliver a message to someone in a way that doesn’t make them cry if you’re any good at your job. I’m sure some people will cry with very little provocation, but I didn’t like the way she said it at all, as if making people cry was a sign that she was a good executive. I think it’s the opposite.

    • Snarky says:

      She sounds really unprofessional. No hood manager wants a scene in the workplace, and no one wants to work for a demeaning jackass who is proud of making people cry. If a person is flubbing things because they are lazy or incompetent, document it and let them go.

      I also loved her next comment about her male colleagues talking to their wives in order to see her side. How do these conversations go?

      ‘I really feel that you didn’t need to make her cry.’
      ‘Talk to your wife.’

    • OriginalTessa says:

      Cops don’t typically do anything to make women cry when they’re issuing a speeding ticket. They just walk up and ask for a license and registration. People cry for different reasons. Sometimes the one being unprofessional is the employee that’s crying.

    • Shambles says:

      I cry when I get really angry or frustrated, and it’s taken me a really long time to be able to reign that in so that I can function as a professional adult. For the longest time I wouldn’t be able to have productive conversations with my own father– he can be really intimidating, which would fluster me easily and drive me to tears pretty quickly. So ITA that some people cry as a natural defense mechanism, and it’s not always on the person “making them” cry. But in this particular case, Alba does sound really proud of her ability to make people cry. When you’re shilling your “billion dollar” company, that should not be your main selling point. That makes her seem unprofessional in the interview itself.

    • serena says:

      it depend on the person. Some people cry very easily -no shame in that- but I’m not pointing a finger at her for this.

    • Ninks says:

      I think some people are prone to tears; some people cry when they’re angry or frustrated. The smallest criticism can set them off, even when delivered professionally or kindly.

      I remember working as a hotel supervisor and making a maid cry because she had made all the beds wrong and I asked her to remake them. I wasn’t being unprofessional, I was simply doing my job and she had failed to do hers properly. I’ve always felt horrible about it – it still sticks in my mind a decade later. But at the same time, I was a little proud of myself, not for making her cry exactly, but because I am a total pushover who can’t say no to people and I had been only recently promoted to supervisor. She was doing something wrong, deliberately, in order to get her work done quicker. She argued that she didn’t have the time to remake the beds, I stood firm and then she resorted to tears and where I normally would have given in and made the beds for her, or at least helped her remake them, I was firm with her about it, and didn’t let her tears affect me. She probably hated me, but she didn’t pull that stunt again.

      I’m sure that a lot of people had their doubts about Alba, she’s a pretty and not-very talented actress best known for being sexy. I don’t think anybody expected her to be good at business, let alone build such a hugely successful company. So, I think I can understand why she might be ‘proud’ of making an employee cry – not proud of making somebody cry, but proud of standing up her herself and sticking to her guns and not letting other people walk all over her, especially in cases where people have cried or yelled at her for doing her job.

    • Lola says:

      Not only unprofessional but plain abusive. She’s in a position of power, she should know how to use it properly.

      • Katarina says:

        Miser Alba is known for being super mean. There have been stories for years.

      • holly hobby says:

        Yes I think in all those management classes they tell you to be firm but not to the point that you are making people feel bad. Constructive criticism, when done correctly, will help the employee improve their performance. Now if you go in and say “your work is shit” or “you’re incompetent” of course people are going to cry. I hope she isn’t doing it the “movie way” where you scream and curse at the employees.

        Yes I’ve heard rumors about her being not nice in Hollywood for years.

        For the record, I’ve cried only once at work. It was after I had a blow out with a former manager. I gave as good as I got which meant I argued my points. However after it was all over, I went to the bathroom and sat in a stall and silently cried. I was also shaking all over. Yeah, there was an adrenaline rush. :p

    • lowercaselois says:

      If a boss or manager made me cry, I would look for a new job. That is a sign of bad management. Just because a company is valued at 1 billion dollars, doesn’t mean it is a good company to work for.

    • BooBooLaRue says:


    • Beth says:

      Yup. Employees, especially good ones, don’t just cry because someone is getting straight to the point; they cry because of high stress situations, unrealistic goals being placed on them, bosses that are downright mean, etc. I understand some people get more emotional than others or might have some personal issues that make them more prone to crying, but that is a different issue entirely. Any good manager can convey what needs to get done without making employees cry. Jessica is either making this up because she thinks it makes her look more business savvy, or she really does suck at managing people.

    • LexieW says:

      THIS +10000. Being a good manager or boss is about directing and leading employees, not berating them to the point of tears. Workers are the most valuable resource a business has, and managing them well can make or break a company.

  3. Mrs. Wellen Melon says:

    A billion $ company does not sweat the cost of the plant-watering person.

    • It is what it is says:

      Thank you. Also a crying employee could water them…as punishment. Done.

      I don’t get the big deal on crying at work. Steve Jobs would cry at meetings. Clearly it works in some way?

    • Lucy2 says:

      That was what I was thinking to! At most what could it be, 100 bucks to have someone come in for an hour once a week?

      • Tulip says:

        I imagine it’s the thought that counts. The thought that 1) can we save money anywhere because in good times or bad they are a business and a business tries to get every dime possible (a good fake plant would save money).

        And of course 2) the guy is not top dog and just likes to challenge his boss because people are that competitive. People pull that stunt all the time.

    • Bridget says:

      The Honest Company isnt actually a billion dollars company. That was the potential valuation they gave when they went public recently – it was a projection (and considered to be an overly generous one at that). It’s hugely successful, but not a billion dollar company.

  4. Zapp Brannigan says:

    Good for her building this business for her future. Re: the crying thing, there is a lady in my office that cries often, its very uncomfortable for many of us in the office as we sit there when she is in melt down mode, she cannot handle anyone questioning her work, its at the point that everyone tiptoes around her and just picks up her slack when she cannot or just won’t do her job, its grinds everyone in the office down, rant over.

  5. Relli says:

    They probably were driven to tears by her acting.

  6. Kate says:

    I’ve made a lot of people cry at work. It’s not something I’m proud of but I don’t feel the slightest bit bad about it either. It amazes me how many people can’t cope with criticism.

    It’s one thing to start crying at work because you’ve received terrible news, or you’re sick, or some nasty manager screamed at you for no reason. It’s another thing entirely when you tell someone they need to re-do a piece of shoddy work and they start sobbing like someone’s died, or you remind them that they haven’t done something they’re supposed to and they spend the rest of the day conspicuously weeping and muttering about workplace bulling under their breath.

    • Eleonor says:

      I am a person who cries a LOT.
      But for work there’s the toilet ! With time I’ve learned to menage that side of me and I’ve learned to smile, to say thank you, and then breaking down at home.
      BUT: I am one of those person who need to go into full breakdown mode before taking a big task. I need to cry, I don’t know why.

    • TeresaMaria says:

      Kate, I’m with you on this one.
      I try to be very considerate about people’s differences and address each one accordingly, but … I don’t believe a lazy worker should be treated with silk gloves.
      Some people are more sensitive to simple feedback than the others. And sometimes I just can’t do a damn thing about it.

    • Kimberly says:

      Yes Kate. I have two “cryers” hear at my place of work. If they receive any type of criticism, the waterworks start. If they don’t get “equal recognition” they get to crying. One of them cried when she didn’t get nominated for the last months employee of excellence award, for a project she did not contribute to. She actually complained that is wasn’t fair. Four people were assigned the task, and management found out that only two of them actually came up with the idea, did all the research, and executed the launch. SMH. I call it the 9th place trophyitis. People expecting a trophy for coming in 9th place. It’s ridiculous.

  7. marie says:

    I’ve made people cry at work before too. Performance reviews almost guarantees tears and being forced to let someone go is even worse. I moved someone’s desk once and they cried, I moved them so they weren’t next to their buddy in hopes that they’d actually start doing their job. It’s not bad management, it’s just reality. If you’re the boss someone is going to cry. I don’t see it as her taking pride in it, rather just stating the obvious. You don’t become a billion dollar company by being everyone’s buddy.

    • Mimz says:

      I absolutely agree. I don’t think she said it like Oh I love making people cry, I just think she wants to assert that she takes her business seriously, and people have cried about it.

      I don’t like that crying for everything attitude and if you are prone to cry go do it elsewhere, and yes I do feel like crying sometimes because of a mean boss or whatever, but I keep it inside or will go somewhere to do it. Never in a million years will I let my boss see me teary-eyed.

      • marie says:

        Reading back through the comments, I’m pretty sure the ones calling it bad management or abusive are the criers. The world is harsh, either check yourself or fail. the young adults of this generation are a joke. They think everyone should be nice and kind and love them. No, being an adult sucks and someone should have shown you reality as a child.

      • Nayru says:

        Reading back through the comments I get the impression the ones who don’t see why making people cry is bad management are the insensitive jerks with bad people skills who don’t know how to offer constructive criticism without insulting or breaking a person down.

      • a cut above says:

        @ marie: I agree that being a boss will guarantee that you’ll make many people cry. BUT, I was with you until the weird diatribe on the younger generation. Not every young adult is like that. A lot of younger workers have potential if you just train, guide and direct them. They do have to learn working skills to succeed, but you have to meet them somewhere in the middle on something, or you’ll lose them and the talents they could bring to the table. If all, or most, of your young adult employees are a “joke”, then it probably says something about your management style, as well.

        And because I suspect you’ll accuse me of being a Millennial, I’m not — I’m Gen X. 🙂

      • marie says:

        Some people cry For nothing. Especially not getting their way. I’m sorry you can’t have Friday off 3 people requested it before you, that’s fair yet I had someone stomping around just 3 days ago saying it’s not. First come first served.

        Moving someones desk so they stop talking and I don’t have to fire them for not meeting their goals after 3 warnings. Plenty fair.

        Warning someone about parking in a handicap spot instead of parking across the street when the lot close to the door is full. Fair, and lucky I spent my time giving them a chance to move instead of just having them towed.

        Firing 2 people for having a screaming match in the lunch room. I don’t care who started it or what it was about, that’s not how you conduct yourself at work.

        These are the things people cry over, just the weird stuff. This isn’t even the write ups and layoffs ive had to deal with. It’s not abuse or poor management. It’s me doing my job because it needs to get done. More often than not people cry because they aren’t getting their way. 90% of my reviews from employees are good or indifferent, that other 10% who hate me are the ones sucking up my time with demands they aren’t entitled to, constantly needing to be coached or flat out dramatics.

      • marie says:

        @acutabove they’re not all bad, in fact my best employee who I just promoted is only 20. My issue is the phones, texting, social media and whining at work. If they could put that all down for 8 hours they’d hit their numbers and I’d never have to see them. I’m only 31, it’s about work ethic, something sorely missing in many (not all) young workers today.

    • PinaColada says:

      I’ve never cried at work, Marie, and I’ve been promoted right up the chain with solid work turnouts. I’m pretty high up myself at a really large multinational company. And I side with the people who feel making employees cry is poor management. If I had a boss who let it be known that they think adulthood sucks and therefore we should be fine with rudeness or abuse, like you are directly saying, I would take my talents elsewhere.

    • PinaColada says:

      Edited to say that the examples you list are valid. But there’s also a way to say it appropriately and a way to say it unprofessionally. I’m not assuming either of you; just noting it. I don’t know how Alba does it either.

  8. shaylee says:

    Both of my kids have broken out in rashes from her products. I thought it was maybe something else, but nope. What a bummer. But, good for her on the business.

  9. Sue Ellen says:

    I have had one employee cry. She was habitually late and her co-workers covered for her constantly. She cried because I firmly told her this was not okay, after she waltzed in late yet again, and she made herself coffee before even turning on her computer. I am glad I no longer see her, but shudder to think the BC government continues to hire her.

    Sometimes people just cry. Though in Alba’s case it seems a bit curious that it may be a handful of workers.

  10. Naddie says:

    She’s trying to sound badass. While I have no doubt she might be good at business, this kind of attitude usually backfires. In almost every place I’ve worked in, the bosses were shitty people (men and women) with a lot of personal issues.

  11. Lucy2 says:

    I think she is trying to make her image more strong and businesslike, there are still many people who sort of dismiss the whole thing as a celebrity’s hobby. If the company really is doing that well, good for her. And I agree her acting was always pretty terrible, so it’s good that she’s found something else to focus on and build.

  12. Dana m says:

    Bragging about making people cry is not very professional. It’s almost like she said it to prove to us that we should take her seriously because she runs a business bc sure she knows her acting is not stellar. I do question her business acumen . I would imagine her partners know what they are doing. Also I wonder what percentage she actually does own vs her partners. And I wonder if they’ve borrowed money from banks or if they have investors. Which would make them have some kind of control as well. (Too lazy to look this up… Plus I don’t really care to).

    • Sofia says:

      I totally agree with what you wrote. And I’m sorry if I sound a bit cynical but how great it is for a brand to have a celebrity as part of the office giving interviews promoting it! I have my doubts about her being the boss. She is probably into it, but she didn’t do it by herself and she has no background in business. She is the face of the brand, but that’s something else.

    • holly hobby says:

      Just like Jessica Simpson and her designer empire. She just put her name of it. Others run the nuts and bolts.

  13. paola says:

    I’m not sure she should be considered a bitch for making workers cry, we don’t have enough details on the matter. One of my colleagues cries for every little damn thing and it’s so annoying I sometimes would love to slap her to her senses.
    Plus i don’t know if this is the case.. but if i was the head of a multimllion company I would be sure that the job is done respecting my standards.
    You could make a few people cry in order to save many people’s job.

    • FingerBinger says:

      Alba should be considered a bitch. If a man said “I’ve made people cry” we’d be all over him. No one would care about details.

  14. Anon says:

    Not a billion dollar company .. It’s projected ..billion dollar is misleading. It only sells over a hundred million a year..PR looking for buy ins to put it on stock can be a tough boss without thinking that making people cry to get your way.. That isn’t being assertive to get a job done .

    • Bridget says:

      Thanks. It drives me a little crazy – it’s essentially a PR phrase that gets repeated. The Honest Company is very successful, but not actually a billion dollar company.

  15. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    I cried at work once and I’m still ashamed about it. I was working in a call centre in England and some very sadistic customer took pleasure in tormenting me for a very long time. He wouldn’t hang up and I was not allowed to as he was mocking my accent (on a speaker with his family laughing in the background), calling me very bad names, telling me I should go and let myself be run over by a bus etc. I quit my job the very next day. I also had a very, very unpleasant boss in other job, but I would never cry in front of him, because it would give him an unwanted advantage and he would have an opportunity to brag about it later, as Alba does here. I cried at home.

    • Tulip says:

      That’s horrible! What is wrong with people? If they were angry they could’ve just hung up or talked to your boss like a normal person would’ve. I’m sorry you had to go through that. They sound like truly vicious people, just a bunch of nut jobs.

    • Lucy says:

      I’m so sorry that that happened to you. What a bunch of f*cking a**holes.

    • Sofia says:

      You wrote “call center” and I immediately felt like crying. You have my deep sympathy and empathy. People are not robots and we shouldn’t be treated like one.

      • Norman Bates' Mother says:

        Thank you all for your kind words. Call centres are a nightmare and mine was connected to the investments, so most of my customers were rich, entitled jerks, who lost some money and looked for someone to blame. I’m Polish so I thought I’d have a tough enough skin to work there, as many people from the better parts of Europe think very poorly of us and making a living abroad usually means having to learn how to be immune to insults and being treated like a subspecies, but this was a whole new other, very degrading experience. I’m glad I left this job. Actually – I was so horrified and shaken by this (that one customer was the worst but there were others almost as vicious as him every day) that I left the country and came back home to be unemployed and live with my parents for the past 7 months and that i regret. I feel strongly for anyone who has to work in a call centre or deal with angry customers on a daily basis.

    • Cankles says:

      @Norman Bates’ Mother: I’m a little late replying to this, but I am so sorry this happened to you. I truly believe that mocking someone for their accent is one of the lowest things a person can do. Learning a language other than one’s native language is HARD. We should always commend people for this, not belittle them.

      On a personal note, I love Polish accents. My grandfather was Polish; he’s not with us anymore, but any time I hear a Polish accent, it reminds me of him and makes me smile. 🙂

  16. Jamie says:

    Embarassing but I have cried at work from frustration. I am in the mental health field which is demanding, was having staff conflict and disrespect issues, had repeatedly asked my supervisor for assistance and recieved none, and still had her demanding xyz and wanting to know why certain things weren’t done in her timeline (even though they were completed on time, if that makes sense). On top of that my mental health clients were all exhibiting severe behaviors and my staffing had been cut, with the company refusing to fill a position temporarily while my lead staff was on maternity leave.

    I wish I hadn’t but I don’t consider it terribly unprofessional, I wasn’t crying in a meeting or anything and it made her realize she needed to step her ass up. She tried to call me unprofessional and I forwarded her the chain of emails expressing I was stressed to the max (and also their refusal to approve any vacation time, but that’s seperate).

    If her staff are crying it looks bad for her. Either she can’t hire well or can’t manage well.

  17. N says:

    Children are also people and I’m sure she might have made her daughters cry.

    Also that bit about her male business partners and their intuition? I don’t think I have ever heard a man say ” my intuition tells me to invest in this…”

    • goofpuff says:

      yes you have – they say “I have a hunch that this will….”

      and children like some employees will cry if they don’t get their way. I read it as she stood her ground.

  18. jess says:

    Most of the time you can’t make someone cry. I’m never yelling at them but we work in a high stress environment and some people can’t handle that or they can’t handle the fact that they made a mistake so yes I’ve “made” people cry. And I don’t feel that bad about it so I see her point. Sometimes the truth hurts.

    • OriginalTessa says:

      Yeah, I own a small business and I consider myself extremely professional, but there’s tears at work sometimes. It’s usually the person that’s putting in the least amount of effort and helping the team the least being called out for it, and them boom, they’re in tears. Calling someone out for not properly doing the job they’re being paid to do is far from unprofessional. It’s how you run a business.

  19. Samigirl says:

    I refuse to purchase anything from her and her company due to her harassment and bullying of the owner of the facebook and twitter page “Honest Toddler,” who has been around before The Honest Company. Alba is a gross person.

  20. wow says:

    Good for her. Extremely smart move to start her own business.

    I still don’t like her though. Based on the way some of her comments come off in this interview, she does seem to take enjoyment in mentioning she has made employees cry. I don’t like that.

  21. InvaderTak says:

    The comment about the male exes having to consult their wives is eyeroll worthy. How would she even know that? If that’s true, she needs to hire the guys’ wives instead. And your partners aren’t always going to agree with you because, you know you’re not always right. Isn’t her own husband on the board of directors? Is he there just to agree with her? She’s trying way to hard to sound like a badass business women and actually ends up sounding dumb.

    • Bridget says:

      Chances are the wives are the ones actually using the products. And the husbands are most likely on the business/production side of things, not product development.

    • Sofia says:

      Isn’t that also a bit sexist? Unless guys who work in her company never change diapers or take care of their kids…

      • goofpuff says:

        mine does all that help around the house but I buy the products and use them the most. so yeah some men may not even think about it.

      • Sofia says:

        But if this is her company shouldn’t she choose people knowledgeable about this segment of products? Men or Women who work in marketing have to be aware about the market they work on. I had an Advertising teacher who knew a lot about clothing detergents because he had to, he had to think as a consumer and didn’t do much at home. So I would still say it’s very condescending of her or at least she hired the wrong people…

  22. jlee says:

    I’m the boss of my own company as well, making an employee cry is nothing to hang your hat on. I have a very hard time believing she runs a billion dollar corporation. HR nightmare comes to mind.

  23. Jayna says:

    I’ve worked for some tough people. They’ve never driven me to tears, though. If that’s happening on a regular basis, which is how it comes off, she’s not an effective communicator and I’m not impressed by that statement. There’s the odd time, someone might cry when a mistake was made and addressed by the boss, but I find that rare, and I’ve worked with women all my life and been the boss before.

    I am very impressed by her company and what she’s achieved and her branding is spot on for her line of products.

  24. Tracy says:

    I just wish she would make her consumable products organic. They’re filled with synthetic chemicals. Her vitamins and supplements, especially. Or buy the best USDA Certified Organic vitamins and supplements company in the world, Nova Scotia Organics. Or something!

  25. Lisa says:

    I won’t call her a bitch, but I don’t think it’s something to brag about. If someone cries easily, that’s their thing to deal with. This just sounds like another version of ~*brutal honesty*~, which is code for “I’m mean to people.”

    • Pandy says:

      I suspect she’s quite the piece of work! Agree with your comment about “brutal honesty”. I bet if you try to explain yourself to her, she’d have you out the door for insubordination.

  26. Dash says:

    I take the title of Kelly Cutrone’s book seriously – If You Have To Cry Go Outside. I have cried in work toilets before, even at super cool sounding dream jobs. I only cried in front of people when I was let go and wanted the whole office to know how badly I had been treated.

  27. HK9 says:

    While there are people who cry easily, I’ve worked long enough to know that “making people cry” as a boss is nothing brag about. It usually means you’re abusing the power you have as a manager.

    I’ve had some wonderful bosses and when they had an issue people listen because they were fair and managed well the rest of the time, hence there was no crying.

  28. mia25 says:

    I thought More magazine only featured women who were 40 years and up.

    • Pandy says:

      Yeah, what’s up with that? I see why More didn’t last in Canada. They’ve jumped the shark.

  29. Dama79 says:

    At my last command in the US Navy I had a Ensign Division Officer that had just got out of the Naval Academy and it was my job to train her in the the ship going Navy. My rank is a high enlisted rank so she was actually in my care. During those first few months it seemed that each time I opened my mouth (and mind you I never yell) she would start bawling. I’m female, but I had been in the Navy for 12 years and had gotten used to working with males and a females that went toe to toe with males. My husband and I discussed at length (we’re co Navy) and had differing opinions. He believed emotions get people killed on a war ship. I felt there was something behind the emotions but as her Supervisor I was bound by ethics. So what I did was I started to get to know her. Not lets go have a beer and be buddies but where are you from; just little thing here there. She was a scared kid on the leading missile defense warship half way around the world. Even though I’ve now left that command, she and I still text and keep up with each other on Facebook. She’s making out to be a fine Officer and a great friend.

  30. Lola says:

    There is a “tension” always between boss and employee. You as boss need to be a good supervisor, it is, after all, a business that needs to generate money in order to continue paying the employees. I’ve been in negotiations between both sides and it is a fine line. The employee sometimes gets too comfortable and starts slacking off, and when he/she gets called on it, then tears come, “give me another chance” type of behavior. Now, that is something different to a boss/supervisor that is SO insecure that they are mean due to fear.
    Something totally different is to cry after a very tense day at work. I think it is not shameful, it alleviates stress. Helps you move on to the next day. Again, something totally different is a woman that will cry just to get out of her responsibilities at work. That type of person, should be fired.

  31. Embee says:

    I took her crying comment to be an answer to a question like “What’s your managerial style? Are you tough? Do you make people cry? Or are you a softy with cookies for all?” And she responded, (paraphrase) “I’m direct and that makes some people cry, but I make sure they know it isn’t personal and then WE’RE NOT CRYING ANYMORE.”

    Nothing harsh there

  32. Micki says:

    ….” If Alba told you that your work was crap and you needed to do something else, would you cry at work? “….
    No, if her critic is on personal level I may cry at home (if ever)
    But I’m one of those, who don’t like crying in public. My personal belief is that I’m giving away a weak spot, so I don’t do it.

  33. Neelyo says:

    If it keeps her from trying to act, I’m all for her being a successful CEO.

  34. oneshot says:

    I’ve used Honest Company products, they’re legit.

    Now THIS is an actress (former actress, now) who deserves a Vogue profile for forming a thriving and successful lifestyle brand as a post-Hollywood thing, not Blake Lively and her embarrassing mess of a Goop lite.

  35. lylaoooo says:

    i´ve cry twice in my work.. the first time i was actually two weeks there and a male co-worker
    got angry at me because i get something wrong.
    the second I got one was because of a client.. it wasn´t my fault but he start yellin at me and calling me irresponsable ..

    both times I cry because of anger… i was so madd!!

  36. JoJo says:

    She sounds unkind and arrogant. Who would brag about making their staff cry? Hope they have a quality HR dept.

    • lisa2 says:

      I don’t think she is saying it in an arrogant way. I think she is just saying she is tough when she has to be. I have to get tough with people at work too. Too many people take things personally and can’t see it as a business decision. So they cry. That is not business. That is forgetting that there is a business to run and tough choices have to be made. You can’t please everyone.

      I haven’t used her products but will try them. I like that she stuck to this. I also like that she doesn’t use ACTING to promote this. It is a business that is not about her “acting”.. so good for her.

  37. Dirty Martini says:

    People cry……and if you are a boss and delivering bad news (“you didn’t get the promotion”), having to terminate someone, or even coaching poor performers……yes some people are going to cry. That shouldn’t be considered to be a bad boss. And candidly if you do it long enough — or with enough staff — the whole thing of “well once is OK but if its more than one” is crazy short sighted.

    SHe may be a bad boss……but I wouldn’t draw that conclusion from this quote. How about hearing from the employees of her company??

  38. Meggin says:

    I have cried more than once at work… But only at this 1 job I had. I was constantly being blamed and criticized for the smallest of things. My boss would yell at me and I couldn’t take being treated like that. A good manager will not make someone cry

  39. Messenger says:

    i applaud ms. alba’s business success especially at a time when well-paid celebrities are stomping for equal pay. ms. alba shows us how to get it done. i remember once hiring a temp for our busy IB department. In waddles a woman eight months pregnant. I didn’t think anything of it until I told her something she had done needed to be redone since it was not up to standards. I did not yell or even roll my eyes but a second later I looked back and she was sobbing. I was shocked. I didn’t give her anything for the rest of the morning even though I desperately needed the help. After lunch we had a conversation which culminated in my asking her if she needed the money. she said no. I told her I was going to call the agency and tell then to send someone else for the next day. The work place is no place for sobbing women, even though it happens. especially at that time of the month. when you’re running a business sometimes you have to knock some heads together. Criticism should be based on performance and never a personal affront. But some people will cry anyway, even boys. 🙂

  40. Lorraine says:

    “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? ”

    Wow what an awful comment towards men.