If you were in Central, Hong Kong, on June 1, you’d have noticed diehard Jessica Alba fans milling around Landmark’s atrium waiting for their idol to show.
The American mother, actress and businesswoman was in town for Landmark’s campaign, “A Year of Something New”, in which the brand aims to inspire its customers with refreshing and innovative ideas and perspectives.
“We will be introducing new voices that encourage both healthy and empowered lifestyles, examining the opportunities for more sustainable ways of living, bringing new ideas through discovery and experience,” says Raymond Chow, Hongkong Land’s executive director.
Jessica Alba, as founder of the health-conscious brand The Honest Company, is one of the campaign’s “New Voices”.
We sat down with her for a one-on-one chat about her vision, her thoughts on motherhood, as well as her hopes for the future.
On her first impressions of Hong Kong:
I have to say that just seeing how much growth and development is coming out of here, and how this really is one of the more international cities and everyone’s in such close quarters, I think you can't help but be creative and inspired in coming up with new ideas.
It seems that a lot of thought leaders are here trying to make a difference in business and that’s where it starts.
Her thoughts about Gen Z:
I feel like Gen Z is much more open minded about gender fluidity and ideals around beauty. And I think this next generation gives me hope.
While I don’t see race or colour because I have a global mindset and I’ve been living in the world and working in the world for so long, other people do.
And that’s the only time I’m challenged because I remember that there are people out there that think that way. But luckily the younger generation [is different].
What her company says about her and her values:
"When she was born, I wanted her to have clean, healthy things, so my husband and I looked into Honest. The subscription was super easy, it's made my life a lot easier. We use the diapers and they're super cute, the shampoo + conditioner, the lotion...I love everything. This is what I was supposed to be, I was supposed to be a mom." Get to know Honest mama, Karley, and her daughter, Finnley, at the link in our bio.
A post shared by The Honest Company (@honest) on Mar 10, 2018 at 9:08am PST
I’m brutally honest in everything that I do. I believe in transparency. I’m always trying to do better and evolve as a person. With Honest, [its core values] are things that I can align myself and my own character with.
About Honest’s make-up line:
A post shared by Honest Beauty (@honest_beauty) on Feb 1, 2018 at 12:22pm PST
In building our beauty company, it was important to me that people feel represented.
When I launched, with the shade range and the women that I photographed for my foundation, I made sure that it felt multicultural and global. So I do have a consciousness around that.
On juggling motherhood, entrepreneurship and acting:
How do I make space in my life for the different careers? Gosh I have no idea. I’m a pretty creative person, I like challenges and I’m curious.
Starting a company not really knowing anything about business [was certainly challenging].
By surrounding myself with people who are experts in areas where I’m not [experienced] allowed me to grow and learn a lot as I was going [along].
As we celebrate #InternationalWomensDay, bringing a discussion of paid maternity leave to the forefront is one very important and deeply personal way that I #PressforProgress. The link in my bio shares more of my thoughts. Join me! | #repost @honest_beauty Stronger together.
A post shared by Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba) on Mar 8, 2018 at 1:48pm PST
I think the time that was the toughest for me when it came to my business was probably before I launched the company.
I spent three years trying to launch it. It was the hardest thing because it started from just this idea and [how I wanted it to] be something; that was when I definitely felt like giving up or that maybe it wasn’t going to happen.
But after launch after launch, I was excited because I really felt like it hit a nerve with people and their needs.
I wake up and look at my kids and I see that they’re pretty happy and fun kids; I walk into my office and see an environment of folks that are challenging themselves and trying to do better and make their impact on the world. I am very proud of that.
My life as an actress really allowed for all of this to happen, it all just kind of built on itself.
A post shared by Honest Beauty (@honest_beauty) on Jun 3, 2018 at 5:19pm PDT
I definitely have to prioritise time. When I’m on a [film] set obviously I’m not taking care of that much business.
So I just try to cram in all my business decisions into a couple of phone calls and then free my myself up so that I can work on the set.
I do bring my baby with me on set so I do get a little family cuddle time at lunch at least.
How parenthood was one of the key factors in her brand’s global relevance:
A post shared by The Honest Company (@honest) on Mar 21, 2018 at 5:00pm PDT
I think anyone who wants to live a healthy life and wants their children to grow up healthy knows that they can make better choices.
That’s a global consciousness that I think all new parents have. When I was pregnant, it was the first time I ever really read a label – when my doctor said, “You can’t eat this”.
It was the first time I really questioned what was in and around my environment that can affect my baby’s health as well as my health.
Because once you have the baby you know you want to be around for a long time and watch your baby grow.
You also start thinking about your own health choices. Once you have that consciousness, I think that that isn’t just an American thing – it’s a European thing, a South American thing, an Asian thing.
I think everybody in the world cares about their kids and cares about themselves.
Have a question? You’re in luck. From ‘How do I Bundle?’ to ‘Is this product right for me?’, we answered all of your Honest questions. Head to Stories to get all of your answers! | Photo via @danibrubaker_
A post shared by The Honest Company (@honest) on Apr 18, 2018 at 5:00pm PDT
These are some of the pillars around Honest, and then of course social goodness.
We donate a percentage of sales to families in need. We also invest in research on finding out which chemicals you’re exposed to when you’re pregnant and how that can affect the baby’s health when the baby comes out, not to mention when the baby develops, because we know exposure to these chemicals can lead to autism.
We can go to the government and we can push for more legislation that makes people safer and forces companies to use better ingredients when they’re building products that can affect human health.
I make these products so that once you have the knowledge [of what’s in them], you can make better choices.
On trying to better ourselves without getting overwhelmed:
I'm going to try and be a little bit more consistent with my fitness because I’m really inconsistent. I have definitely made it a point to be home with my kids three nights a week because I could work a lot, but getting home for bed time and bath time [is important to me].
I think with trying new things it’s [all about] baby steps. I know what I’m going to be able to stick to, realistically.
And I think if you go to [an] extreme, [you] wouldn’t do well.
If I had to be vegan and work out seven days a week, for example, and drink two litres of water a day and whatever else there is, I wouldn’t be able to do that.
But what I can do is get to the gym three times a week, maybe four. And I definitely won’t be able to be vegan 100 per cent, but I try and incorporate a more vegetarian diet for lunch, say, a couple times a week.
So I think it’s just knowing where you can make an impact on your life that feels more long term, and not just like a fad.