We all have our share of essentials that we hoard in our desk drawers to get us through the work day (dry shampoo and flats, anyone?). But if you're Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company and Honest Beauty, your go-to products have to work just as hard as you do. Alba recently gave Mode.com an exclusive peek inside her desk at The Honest Company's Santa Monica headquarters and chatted about her favorite staples. Watch the video above to steal her tricks for freshening up in between meetings and giving your hair a lift before date night. Then, read our interview below to snag her tips for killing it in the biz.
Who is your own role model for success?
I grew up with two women, my grandmother and my mother, who were incredibly resourceful. They ran the house, they both worked multiple jobs each and supported the family, as well as, you know, cooking the food. And still being fabulous and beautiful, and chic and all of that. The word "no" was never really an option. Whenever I met any sort of resistance in pursuing my dreams, it sort of gave me fuel to prove that person wrong.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
That you really can’t achieve anything in life unless you put the work in.
What inspired the aesthetic for your office space?
I worked with architects and designers to create a space that’s very collaborative. I wanted a clean, modern feel, but I also love the eclecticness of integrating something old. You also need function. Function is big. So that’s why we all have these little seats, so we can have impromptu meetings, but also storage.
How has being a mom influenced your career?
When I became a mom almost eight years ago now, it really was a moment where, for the first time, I wasn’t just thinking about myself. And it was the first time I actually kind of felt mortal, and I felt like there was something bigger out there that I was doing, or I was a part of, and that was my little baby’s life. And when I looked around at the world and what options families really had out there, I really didn’t feel that there was a company that could give them, and deliver the promise of, quality ingredients at an affordable price, delivered conveniently to your door, and beautiful design. Those things are important to me, and so that’s why I created The Honest Company.
Do you have any words of encouragement for girls going through a hard time?
I don’t know if a lot of people know this about me, but I was very sick when I was a kid, and I moved around a lot. My dad was in the military, and he got out when I was nine, so I lived on different bases, and then I lived in my grandparents’ house in a place called La Verne in California. I came from a place called Del Rio, Texas and I had a thick Southern accent, and was made fun of left and right. I had a terrible lisp, I was pigeon-toed, one of my eyes crossed in a little bit. Awkward is really the word to describe me.
And then I sort of just grew up, and by the time I was 11, I realized I wanted to be an actress. I never quite fit in with the kids, and so I got bullied; I got made fun of. They would tear open my backpack when I was walking and everything would fall out, or they would like kick dirt in my lunch, and just really rude things like that, so I went to multiple junior highs and elementary schools to kind of avoid them. But the one thing I can say to anyone who’s going through that stuff, is they’re not going to be around when you’re an adult. All this drama feels like it’s so important, but literally the day you turn 18, you’ll never have to see them again. And you just have to know that time heals.