Categoria: Interviews

Jessica Alba: How I (Try to) Discipline My Daughters

Having a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old under the same roof is a delicate balancing act — and one that proud mother Jessica Alba is just starting to truly appreciate.

“Their needs are a little different now,” the actress told PEOPLE of daughters Honor Marie and Haven Garner while attending the second annual Baby2Baby Gala. “They’re getting to an age where they play together and they do fight, which is funny.”

Funny in the sense that the sisters don’t engage in straight fisticuffs, rather they involve themselves in the age-old ritual of sibling rivalry merging with sibling revelry.

“They steal stuff from each other!” Alba shares. “They’re constantly snatching things out of the other one’s hand, destroying something that the other one’s building.”

For Alba, 32, who grew up with a sibling of her own, larceny and wanton demolition of property are par for the course. “It’s normal kid stuff,” she says with a laugh. “I did the same thing with my brother.”

What is still new for the Sin City star — despite having embraced her role as doting matriarch — is figuring out how to mete out appropriate discipline when met with, well, two adorable faces.

“So now it’s, ‘Stand in the corner and put your nose against the wall!’” Alba says. “My 2-year-old can last 15 seconds before she’s like, ‘Okay, I’m done!’, and then I’m like, ‘Wait, it’s not up to you!’ My 5-year-old can go for some time, like a minute or two.”

Though being the disciplinarian may not be her strong suit, Alba is certain of the one noble truth of being a parent.

“Every day I just want them to be happy and good and thoughtful,” she explains. “I just want them to be nice people.” – interviews Jessica Alba

How did The Honest Company begin?

It all started with a load of laundry that triggered a bad allergic reaction! When I was pregnant with my first daughter Honor, I washed her layette in THE “baby-safe” laundry detergent that everyone recommended. To my surprise, it caused me to break out in a terrible rash. So, I knew it couldn’t be good for my baby.

Worried about the use of toxic chemicals, I went into crazy, new parent research mode. I scoured the Internet and read books like Christopher Gavigan’s Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home, only to learn that many everyday household products — shampoos, cleaners, diapers, and furnishings — are filled with untested or unregulated chemicals. I then found it difficult to find safe and effective natural options that weren’t sold at a premium or at specialty stores. Frustrated about the lack of healthy and accessible options in the marketplace, I saw a void that needed to be filled.

I created The Honest Company with Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee, and Sean Kane because there needed to be a lifestyle brand where the average family could easily find and purchase safe, non-toxic products from one trusted source. At we offer high-performing, beautifully designed, natural products that are accessible and obviously don’t ever use harsh chemicals. Our ever-expanding line of baby, bath and body, cleaning, and health and wellness items not only stand out from the crowd for these reasons, but also because we’re completely transparent when it comes to what we do and don’t use in our formulations. Everything we do—from the people we partner with to the manufacturing processes we seek out—has to meet this standard of honesty and openness. Babies, adults, pets…no living thing should be exposed to toxic chemicals!

Your book is titled “The Honest Life.” Can you tell us what it means to live an honest life?

Embracing an “honest life” means living naturally and mindfully, but in a way that is authentic and reflects your personal needs, goals, and even style. It’s really about taking baby steps, doing what you can, and finding healthy alternatives that make the most sense for your family. It doesn’t require an extreme lifestyle overhaul!

How do you balance acting, your family, and the Honest company so well? What do you do to de-stress?

While I have lots of lists, schedules, and labels to organize my career, family life, and personal time, having a sense of humor and cutting myself some slack are essential to managing it all — because, quiet honestly, finding balance is always a work in progress. Now, five years into motherhood, it doesn’t bother me if some things occasionally slip through the cracks as long as my girls are happy and healthy. When they’re great, everything seems to fall into place. And, when they’re sleeping, I slip in some “me-time.” One night a week we get a babysitter and my husband Cash and I enjoy a date night or I sneak in a GNO with my girlfriends.

What are your top 3 essentials from The Honest Company?

I love them all, but if you’re going to make me choose…

I can’t live without the Healing Balm because it truly helps with everything from diaper rash to razor burn to scars to blemishes to dry skin. There’s no other way to describe it than a cure all!

Our Body Oil is also a staple in my beauty cabinet. My trick is to mix it with the Honest Face + Body lotion for an extra-moisturizing boost when I get out of the shower.

Because I do a lot of laundry with a family of four, our naturally non-toxic Detergent is in heavy use at our house. It leaves everything soft and fresh. And, of course, I never have to worry about breaking out in a rash or suffering an allergic reaction.

In your book you talk about how after having two gorgeous daughters, you felt as sexy and confident as ever, and it certainly shows. How did you regain that confidence?

During my second pregnancy, I didn’t overindulge in the bacon-inspired breakfasts my husband prepared on a daily basis the first time around. Instead, I focused on eating lean protein and filling up on tons of fresh produce and water. I didn’t deprive myself either — we enjoyed waffles, sweets, and other treats on the weekends. Everything in moderation! I also incorporated prenatal yoga into my routine to de-stress and stay relaxed. But I think the real reason I regained that confidence and loved my post-baby body is that I learned to be kind to and patient with myself — and I invested in a bright, non-toxic lipstick (Hourglass and Youngblood are faves).

What was your typical day-to-day look during your pregnancy?

My day-to-day pregnancy style layered structured blazers or cardigans over maxi-dresses or a flowing top with skinny jeans, finished off with flats or wedges (for balance!). When in doubt, I wore wrap dresses. They’re universally flattering, even with a growing bump!

What are your favorite children’s wear brands?

Bonpoint, Gap, Crew Cuts, H&M, Ralph Lauren Girls, Harajuku Lovers and Harajuku Mini, Peek, Dr. Martens.

You have one of the best bodies in the industry. How do you stay in such great shape? We also heard that you wore a double corset post pregnancy. Can you tell us about that?

It’s true that I essentially wore a girdle to offer abdominal support and bring my stomach back down faster following pregnancy, but it’s hot, sweaty, and not really that comfortable. So, I understand that this snap-back approach isn’t for everyone. I also made it a point to stay well hydrated (I carried a reusable bottle of water wherever I went), and I incorporated green smoothies made of cucumber, kale, celery, and apples into my daily breakfast routine. When I was ready, I started working out by gradually increasing my time on the treadmill, going on hikes, or hitting the gym with girlfriends.

Last but not least, what do you love most about being a mom?

I love everything — the nighttime reading and cuddles, their individual personalities and creativity, the giggles, joy, and happiness.

Photographed by David Mushegain at The Honest Company in Santa Monica. How To Decorate An Office With Jessica Alba

Jessica-Alba-how-to-decorate-an-office--large_newIn an exclusive, actress and The Honest Company founder Jessica Alba shows us how she decorates an office to feel more like home

Plenty of movie stars have offices. But Jessica Alba might be the only one who works from a fuchsia desk…in the middle of an open-plan work space. “I have my hands in everything,” she says, of her role as founder of The Honest Company. “From product to design to marketing, even some tech. Being confined to an office and expecting my team to constantly check in just doesn’t work for me as well.”

Alba invited us to a conference room at The Honest Company’s new headquarters to share her tips on making a workspace feel comfortable and stylish.

The Blank Slate

“I wanted to give my team many different spaces to work from so they didn’t feel like they were just at their desks all day,” Alba says. The furniture in this conference room is basic and functional, but the lack of color and flair leaves something to be desired—not just in terms of style, but for productivity as well. “I always have my best ideas when I’m at home—there’s less pressure. I want to recreate that environment for people and inspire them to thrive here.”

Step 1: Bring In Flowers

“Living in Southern California, we get to spend so much of our time outdoors,” says Alba. “I really wanted to bring some of that outdoors inside with flowers.” Try a few different colors and heights throughout the space to add visual interest.

Step 2: Pump Up The Color With Pillows And A Throw

“I find color stimulating,” says Alba, who brought in a host of red-toned accessories to the sofa. “And these orange-y reds look really good with teal, the company’s base color.” When it comes to patterns, try keeping them in the same color family, so the look is cohesive.

Step 3: Bring In Touches Of Home

“Since we’re a start-up, it’s nice for the office to have a home-y environment,” says Alba, who brought Honest candles and books to the space to help achieve that. “I wanted to recreate a cozy feel knowing that people are logging so many hours here.”

Step 4: Candy is Key

“Candy makes me happy,” Alba tells us. “I put it in every conference room and meeting space—really on every surface I can. I know sugar might not be the healthiest thing, but a handful of jelly beans is just delightful.” Her tips for choosing the right office treats: Anything colorful—that doesn’t melt. Skittles, Starburst, and jelly beans are favorites.

Step 5: Find The Right Amount Of Photos For Your Space

“You can definitely go overboard with photos,” says Alba, who only placed a few in key spots throughout the office. “Remember, you’re aiming for cozy, not cluttered. The idea is to make sure your space is still functional for work.”

Step 6: Try Non-Traditional Seating

“I like the multifunctional purpose of the poof,” says Alba. “People like sitting at different heights, and the poof adds another option to the couch and the chairs. Plus, it can act as a little side table.”

The Finished Product

The newly dressed-up conference room is decidedly warmer and more stylish with only a few key changes.

Jessica Alba Promotes Honest Company on ‘Acting Disruptive’

Jessica was recently interviewed on the new web-series Acting Disruptive by host Max Lugavere to chat about her baby products company. The new series includes a chat with “notable stars and goes behind the scenes of each business, giving fans an all-access look into these innovative companies and the famous faces behind them.” – JJ interview Jessica Alba‘s Jared Eng caught up with Jess at the 2013 Variety Power of Women event to chat about The Honest Company, her business that provides natural, safe, and effective products for the family and home.

Just Jared: Congrats on all the success of The Honest Company! What are some of your hottest products right now?

Jessica Alba: People love our bundles, so we do a diapers and wipes bundle. So it’s $20 a week to get an unlimited supply of diapers and wipes, and you get to pick out your own designs. Parents love that because it’s also delivered straight to your door. They get the cutest ones out there and our diapers perform more than 35 percent better than any other diaper on the market.

JJ: Which products do you use the most?

JA: I use everything! I have kids and dogs, so laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, body wash, everything. I should just send you a box of stuff! We have the best-smelling bathroom and floor cleaners. I did all the scents. Christopher [Gavigan, co-founder] thinks I’m crazy, but I love essential oils, so I wanted it to smell like aroma therapy.

JJ: What originally made your start the company?

JA: I looked around the marketplace and I was a new mom, and I had an allergic reaction to a baby laundry detergent. I found out that there are all these untested chemicals in baby products, even a numbing chemical that numbs a baby’s eye in baby shampoo. There are chemicals in diapers that can burn your baby and they get these burns that permanently scar. I did not want my kids to be exposed to any of that stuff. I was trying to find better quality products and it was really hard to find a company that I could trust. So I was like, “It would be so much easier if there were a company that did all the hard work and provided everything I needed, was affordable, and easy to get.” So that’s why we initially started online and our price point is super competitive.

JJ: What is Honest’s biggest milestone to-date?

JA: I feel like every day we’re hitting these huge milestones, but one of the things that I’m most proud of is we have a non-profit called Baby2Baby.Org that’s incorporated into our business model. We’ve given 20,000 units of product. We’ve given time and money to Baby2Baby and that’s huge for a start-up.

JJ: How do you intend to grow the brand?

JA: Expanding our product line. Our customers want us to have more adult products like deorderant and shaving oil, so we’re working on that. And then maybe we’ll go into hard goods and soft goods. It’s just about what our customers want.

JJ: Are there any other business ventures you’re interested in?

JA: I really think the beauty space is interesting and I’ve been looking into it for quite a while. I also think kids and extra-curricular acitivities, and food and nutrition, is a big deal. So I’m looking into that space as well.

You can check out The Honest Company’s website or pick up their products at select locations of Gelson’s, Nordstrom, Costco, and various baby boutiques! – Just Jared interviews Jessica Alba

Alba600-600x347Inspired Mom of the Month: Jessica Alba

The LA mom is fighting for (and creating) safer baby products

For our third installment of Inspired Moms, brought to you by ViaCord, we are tipping our hats to Jessica Alba. Recently, the mother of two has become nearly as famous for her line of non-toxic diapers and family essentials as she is for her Hollywood roles. We caught up with Jessica about the work she’s doing to affect change in the way chemical ingredients are handled in the US—plus her own scary parenting moments, what’s next for The Honest Company (deodorant!), and her favorite back-to-school items.

StrollerTraffic: We’re so impressed with how quickly you and Christopher Gavigan have begun to influence the parenting sphere—in a very real way. Tell us about your company, The Honest Company, and how you got started.
Jessica Alba: Believe it or not, it all started with one load of laundry. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I washed her clothes in the popular “baby-safe” laundry detergent that my mom recommended and I broke out in a terrible rash. If I had such a bad allergic reaction, I knew it couldn’t be good for a new baby. So, I set out to educate myself, scoured the Internet, and read the book, Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home by Christopher Gavigan (whom I soon thereafter met) and learned about untested toxic chemicals in conventional products like baby shampoo, diapers, home furnishings, and household cleaners.

ST: What was the first thing you did after the eye-opening?
JA: I spent more money on the products in the beige packaging with pictures of nature, only to get home and find out the supposedly natural alternatives I just bought still had ingredients in them I was trying to avoid. It turned out that many of the leading “eco” brands were focused on sustainable packaging and the health of the planet, rather than the health of people. I had such trouble finding reliable healthy products here in the United States. So, I ended up shopping online, buying non-toxic products from Australia and Europe, or from different health stores just to clean my house and bathe my child. It was too time consuming and so expensive.

ST: Yeah. Not exactly practical.
JA: I was frustrated that the average family couldn’t easily find or purchase safe everyday products at a reasonable price. So, I created The Honest Company with Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee, and Sean Kane. As concerned parents, we felt it was our mission to make healthy, non-toxic products accessible for children and families everywhere.

ST: Everyone raves about the Honest diapers—especially their super-absorbent quality. Were leaky diapers a problem you had dealt with as a mom?
JA: Leaky diapers weren’t the only problem I experienced as a new mom; I used diapers that literally exploded! When Honor was 6 months old, I went to get her from sleeping only to find her “eating” a diaper. Her face, skin, and crib sheets were covered with absorbent gel beads after her overly full conventional diaper exploded. Worried about toxic chemicals, I ran to find the diaper package and couldn’t believe it didn’t even list ingredients. I called the product hotline, my mom, and the pediatrician—I was that worried!

ST: That is a uniquely horrifying story. (Shudder.) The other Honest Company products seem to be getting an amazing response from parents as well: the hand soap, lotion, detergent, balm . . . . How did you so successfully pinpoint what other moms needed? 
JA: I’m all about convenience and practicality. My day-to-day life as a mom truly inspires my ideas for product design and functionality. For example, some people on the team weren’t big fans of the idea for transparent bottles, but I knew life would be easier if parents could see how much product was left in the bottle. I also didn’t want moms to have to furiously shake and spin the bottle to get out the last drop of shampoo, so I created a bottle that could stand up on both sides.

ST: Great instincts. We love the Honest packaging—for both of those reasons.
JA: What also makes Honest unique is that we make everything in small, quality batches in response to what our customers say they want and need. We think all companies should have a real dialogue and connection with the people they serve and be able to iterate on their product based on the feedback they receive.

ST: We also understand a big part of your message is transparency in baby products. Can you talk a little about that—what it means to your brand?
JA: Everything we do—from the people we partner with to the manufacturing processes we seek out—has to meet this standard of honesty and openness. For our company, it means being authentic and willing to humbly admit when we can do better (for example, we reformulated our wipes within six months of launching Honest because they fell short of customers’ expectations—and ours).

ST: You certainly have our respect for that. How are you crusading for this transparency, beyond creating and marketing your own baby products? Do you contact companies? Do you campaign? Do you blog about it to raise awareness, speak at events?
JA: We write blog posts discussing our product formulations to keep an open dialogue about our development process with our customers, so they can weigh in. And because we want to see transparency become the standard, we’ve also worked with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families to advocate for regulatory reform since 2011. Currently, the chemical industry in the United States is essentially unregulated and there are many untested ingredients in everyday household items—the last major law passed was the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976. Since then, more than 80,000 chemicals have been produced and used in the United States. Over the last the 37 years, the EPA has only required testing on 200 of the 62,000 chemicals that were “grandfathered” in under the TSCA. Only five of those chemicals have been restricted. For example, asbestos isn’t banned in the United States and we all know how toxic that is!
So, I’ve lobbied for the passage of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act to put common sense limits on the use of chemicals in consumer goods. I’ve made Public Service Announcements to raise awareness about the importance of overhauling the TSCA.

ST: As moms ourselves, we’re grateful for (and inspired by) your efforts, Jessica. Tell us about your new book, The Honest Life. What can new moms learn from reading your book?
JA: I wrote The Honest Life because I wish I had a guide like this when I was a new mom. I wanted to share everything I learned from trial-and-error as a parent, launching The Honest Company, and the experts I consulted along the way with all busy women looking for easy-to-understand information on how to live naturally. In the book, I include tips that cover everything from my favorite eco-friendly beauty products; easy DIY baby food recipes; how to put together a safe, fun, and functional nursery; how to clean and decorate your home with healthy, non-toxic materials; and lots more.

ST: We noticed that Honest Company works closely with Baby2Baby in LA. Tell us about that relationship, and why you chose Baby2Baby as your initial partner.
JA: When building this dream into a company, it was important to me to that The Honest Company have a cause component as part of its DNA. As part of our overall social goodness program, Honest donates products, money, and time to our charitable partner This worthy non-profit supplies local families in need with essential baby gear and clothing for children up to age 12, reaching over 50,000 kids per year. I’m proud to say we’ve donated 106,537 total units of product to date. Each family gets about five products, so we’ve helped over 21,000 families in need during the last year and a half!

ST: Bravo! So, what’s next for The Honest Company?
JA: I’m excited to announce—and you’re hearing it first—we’re expanding our personal care line with a suite of maternity and post-partum products. Be on the look out for nipple and belly balm! Also, we’re going to have many more seasonal diaper prints to choose from in the next few months. I can’t wait. And because our customers asked, we’re happy to answer by launching deodorant in the near future. What other products would you love to see us make? We’d love to hear from StrollerTraffic readers!

ST: Fantastic news! We’ll definitely ask our Facebook fans to weigh in. In the meantime, are you and the girls gearing up for Back to School?
JA: Haven isn’t heading to nursery school quite yet…thankfully! I am trying to delay it as long as humanly possible because I saw how fast Honor grew (it feels like she’s on her way to adolescence already). I know Haven will eventually be potty trained and speak in full sentences, but I’m happy to relish the baby stage right now.

ST: We hear you. It all goes so painfully fast. But before we let you go, we’ve gotta ask: do you have your eye on any cute gear or first-day-of-school outfits for Honor yet?
JA: When looking for back-to-school outfits for Honor, I gravitate towards clothes that are functional and fun. I like to pair skirts with leggings or shorts underneath. I pick out durable sneakers in funky colors. We’re big fans of Skip Hop’s backpacks and So Young lunchboxes (I even steal Honor’s to take my food to work!). And, of course, The Honest Company hand sanitizer and travel wipes are a must for tucking into her bags to make cleaning hands easy before eating or after a messy art project.

ST: Thank you, Jessica. We wish you continued success with The Honest Company!

Jessica Alba covers Health Magazine’s October 2013 issue

jessica-alba-300x200There’s a new Jessica Alba in town. The screen star is still here, of course—this fall she appears in two major films, the comedy A.C.O.D. and the action movie Machete Kills. But the mother of two daughters (Honor, 5, and Haven, 2, with her husband, Cash Warren) is also an entrepreneur, who saw a need for more natural products for new moms and made it happen. A year after launching The Honest Company—which sells everything from nontoxic diapers to body wash—she has written a handbook to clean living, The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You, and is in the process of moving the company into new headquarters in Santa Monica. It’s a bright, skylit space, where one wall is peppered with positive mantras. Among the painters and movers shuffling through, Jessica, 32, fits right in: She’s wearing denim overalls and a black-and-white-striped tank top, her hair up in a topknot. It’s a style inspired by “um, hammering things?” she says, laughing. “It doesn’t get done unless I do it!”

As she sips a green drink she brought from home, the down-to-earth star chats with Health about how she got her brand off the ground, which healthy change helped her allergies the most and what it took for her to finally wear a short skirt in public.

When you started this company, you were already a movie star. Was it daunting to try something completely new?

There were certainly moments when it was scary. The day we launched, I was like, Is anyone even going to go to our website []? Our distribution is mainly the Internet. It took me about three years of people telling me I was crazy and that there’s no way it could ever happen before I found the partners who could balance my weaknesses.

What is it with people feeling the need to tell you it will never happen?

Well, because it’s so untraditional, in a space that’s dominated by big, big players. But at the end of the day, when you’re so big, it’s hard to be malleable; it’s hard to have a soul. We never entered thinking we were taking on the big guys. We just knew that there was an opportunity to do something cool for families. We all have young children here, and all the choices we make are really dictated by what would make our lives better as parents, versus solely relying on market research. Of course people were like, “I’ve never heard of that.” Because it didn’t exist; there was no template.

Well, like your mantra downstairs says, “Dive in to the deep end…” What’s your mantra of the moment?

Breathe. I swear. It’s been so hectic. And I’ve been doing more work in movies and on television lately.

Is the fulfillment you get through your company different from what you get through acting?

Oh, yeah. My decisions here affect more than just me. It’s a lot of pressure. This is intense. This is important. This is time-consuming. When I do a movie or a television show, I have control over so little of it. So I’ve found, lately, that it’s so much more fulfilling to be a lot more risky with my acting choices.

What are you drawn to these days?

My choices used to be about pleasing other people. And you have to be the opposite, I think, to get the most out of your experience as an actress. So now I don’t feel the pressure to be that girl. It’s also part of getting older and being a mom. So it’s a nice balance, because this business can really wear you down, especially being in it as long as I have. This year, I’ve acted for 20 years. That’s so messed up! How did I do anything for 20 years? [Laughs] Now I don’t work just to work. To me, doing two or three days on a movie with a cool director is more important than spending my life on a set. – Health Magazine


1This past week, while the rest of us were sweating our way around Lincoln Center, Jessica Alba was staying calm, cool, and collected. The style icon and businesswoman has been showing off the enviable outfits she’s known for, and asserting her place in the front row of the hottest shows. But, that’s her M.O. — no matter the occasion, she always manages to look amazing (and, more importantly, like she feels amazing). Nowadays, she’s got her plate more than full, what with running her own business, The Honest Company, keeping up an enviable movie career, and playing mom to two adorable daughters — all while staying one step ahead in the style department.

We caught up with the star towards the end of her jam-packed Fashion Week, while she took on yet another project as Guest Editor over at Piperlime. She stopped by the pop-up store to pick out her favorite looks, and to chat with a few lucky editors (that’s us!) about her musings on life and fashion. Read on to find out what trends Alba fell victim to in the past, what she’s into now, and what you can do to live more of the honest life.

DVF is one of your mentors — what are some of the most important things that you’ve learned from her?
“Perseverance. She’s pretty incredible. She’s also such a champion for women, and an advocate for supporting women in business. When I first talked to her about my idea to start The Honest Company, and the challenges I was facing with getting into conversations about raising money and venture capital, I was the only woman there in those rooms. I put the business together, I brought all my partners in, and she was the same way with her company. So, it’s nice just to have someone who’s been there and done that, to guide me through the process whenever I was like ‘Ahhh!'”

What was your style like as a kid?
“Very tomboy and very practical, mixed with moments of Punky Brewster influence, moments of Clueless, The Craft, and then Nirvana for sure. I’m sort of doing a version of that now, actually — kind of the rebel.”

What trends are you obsessed with right now, and what do you hope never comes back into style?
“Oh, I’m into crop tops. But, I’m not into full-baring. I’ve done that, that was the No Doubt style back in the day when we did the full midriff. My grandmother was constantly pulling my Pepe Jeans up and my shirt down. And, then I would get vintage baby tees — remember baby tees? — when raves started. I went to raves, don’t worry about it. I’m actually into the way the platform tennis shoe has evolved, the way Isabel Marant made it, I think it’s cute in that chunky way.”

With The Honest Company, you teach how to be eco-friendly and healthy. What is one thing that we can all be doing to incorporate that philosophy into our lifestyle?
“You know, I have a lot of items like that incorporated in my book, because I’m not an extreme version of what you should be to be super-eco. I approach it from just a very practical, healthy viewpoint: I don’t want my kids to be poisoned, so how do I do that? I think the most basic thing is just read labels. Know what you’re bringing into your home, and then you can choose to not have this or have that. It’s up to you after that. And, take your shoes off at the door, because then all of that stuff you’re stepping on all day comes in the house, and it gets into your air and affects your air quality.”

What should every woman have in her closet this fall?
“Probably a good boot. I know the thigh-high boots are big, but I can’t get down with that. It cuts off your circulation — or if it doesn’t, it looks so bulky. And, you can’t help but look like a girl with a different kind of job, who you might not want to look like if you know what I mean. Unless that’s your job, then that’s fine. But, yah, a good boot. I think a nice, warm scarf that you can kind of throw over anything. And, a good motorcycle jacket. Sometimes it’s just annoying if you have a floral dress, and pumps, it can look girly, so it can be nice to have something to make it a little cuter and younger.”

You’re photographed a lot, even if you’re taking your kids somewhere. Does that influence the way you dress, or change your decision to wear sweats or something similar?
“You know, every time I do that, I feel so schlubby. It just makes you feel so much more self-conscious to know people are watching. But, if you’re going to the gym, you’re going to the gym. It’s weird, it’s a strange thing to happen every day. I’m not complaining about it; I understand it’s part of the deal, but I have not gotten used to it.”

What types of back-to-school trends have you noticed with your kids?
“I have no idea. Are there trends for kids?! I feel like so much of what’s out there for kids is so tacky. I feel like I’m editing or eliminating more than anything, because a lot of it is just crazy. They try to make your children look like working girls sometimes. I just think, ‘Are you kidding me?’ My husband is always saying ‘That is a shirt, that is not a skirt,’ and I just don’t know what to say. So, we put leggings with everything, and we taught our daughter how to compose herself, like walk and sit in dresses and skirts. So, age-appropriate is a big thing. And, at my kid’s school, they have this rule that there’s no sandals and no boots, only sneakers. I’m into sneakers, I love sneakers, but I’m a little upset that she can’t wear her Docs.”

How many bags and shoes do you think you own?
“I actually can’t even talk about either, it’s a problem. My husband, it comes up in conversation at least once a week. He always wants to know if it’s really necessary to have another bag. But, you know, a lot of it is people are very generous, and I’ve gone to so many premieres and press days and all these things, so people have gifted me a lot of stuff. And, to be quite honest, 99% of my closet is about that, so I’m very lucky that that’s the case. And, then there’s a nice story that comes with everything you own.”

Do you ever give your husband style advice? Has his style evolved since you’ve been together?
“I’ve been trying! I got him into the more tapered leg, it took about four years. But, he feels comfortable in it now. I think, when Jay Z embraces, something then Cash thinks it has to be alright, since he’s kind of the ultimate icon. I’ve been trying to get him to wear boots, but he’s such a sneaker or a loafer guy, and the loafers are fine, but he might need to break into another zone. So, this will be our third season where I’m trying to get him to wear a boot. Let’s see what happens.” –

E! goes inside Jessica Alba’s New Office at The Honest Company Alba‘s getting a makeover, of her office, that is! The Honest Company cofounder recently gave E!’s own Catt Sadler an exclusive tour of the eco-friendly brand’s bright, new Los Angeles-area headquarters.

The space—which was originally a toy factory—has been converted into a chic office that features a staircase with the brand’s inspirational manifesto painted on each steps and a Polaroid picture tree.

But the faux plant isn’t the only greenery in the earth-friendly digs, there are tons of fresh-cut flowers adorning desks and even a wall of boxed plants.

And for coffee breaks or brainstorming sessions, made all the more inspiring thanks to decor by CB2, there is a collection of neon couches—complete with a hot pink coffee table.

Of course, what we couldn’t wait to see was the actress’s office, which did not disappoint. The star’s fuchsia desk wasn’t tucked away in some VIP area on another floor. Nope, she’s smack dab in the middle of everyone.

“When you’re here you’re active, hands-on all the time!” she explained of the spacing.

To take the full tour of The Honest Comany’s HQ, watch Alba’s interview with Catt below. – E! – Jessica Alba on Her New Book and Her Future as an Actress

When we started our phone conversation with Jessica Alba last week—she from nearby her Beverly Hills home, Shop Around from our DC office—we felt like we were talking to a girlfriend. She was nice, down-to-earth, disarmingly real, and pretty damn funny, which was refreshing because that’s how we felt about her new book, The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You.

Unlike most celebrity lifestyle how-to tomes, Alba’s is surprisingly helpful, well-written, resourceful, and realistic. The 31-year-old mom of two offers tips and insight into creating an eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle for herself and her family—and does it in a way that doesn’t make us roll our eyes at the sheer impossibility of it all (ahem, Gwyneth Paltrow). We meant to talk clothes and trends with Alba, since she’ll be in Bethesda on Friday signing copies of her book at the Front Row fashion extravaganza, but she was so fun to talk to about her writing process and her future in acting that we didn’t get a chance. Plus we already know the girl can dress.

Your new book seems really well-researched and thoughtful—how did you become an expert in this sort of eco-friendly lifestyle realm?

Well, I wouldn’t call myself an expert, necessarily. I gathered the information over five years, and then it took about one year to format it and turn it into a book. And it was so difficult to gather [the information], which I did along the way as things affected me throughout my own life and personal experiences.

But you were able to dissect it and filter it into a book that is really easy to read, even for those of us who aren’t familiar with these sorts of toxic versus non-toxic issues.

The information is pretty dense, and unless you’re a scientist, you’re going to be like, “What the heck are you talking about?” But I knew there were things that weren’t good and that I wanted to avoid that touched parts of my life, from beauty to food to materials for my home. So it was such a daunting process to decipher it all, but I felt it was super-necessary. I mean, I wish I had this handbook and guidebook when I was learning and a new mom.

We also like that we could find what we needed quickly—moms often have limited time and patience for a book loaded with data.

It’s meant to be very useful and user-friendly—you can pick up a chapter that you care about and that’s relevant to you. I wanted all the charts to be color-coded, and all the chapters with an icon to identify them; it’s easier for me, so I figure it’s easier for everyone else. The enhanced e-book is even more user-friendly—all the charts pop up as you click on them, and I created little videos for each chapter; the still photos come to life, and that’s kind of fun. I asked the publisher if we could do more than the normal digital version of a book. I wanted a more robust experience.

You’ve been building this lifestyle brand, the Honest Company, for a few years now. Does that mean you’re transitioning away from being an actress?

It’s funny, because it wasn’t a conscious decision, it sort of just happened this way. I’m still so passionate about acting and having that as a creative outlet, and it’s a big part of who I am; I’ll never stop acting. But it’s my time, and where I was in my life, this business was a priority and a passion of mine over going to auditions and trying to get roles. I’m still doing movies; I’m about to start another at the end of this month, a period piece set in the ’60s. [Having my kids] was the best time of my life. I love it—I feel more fearless as an actress after becoming a mother, which is quite liberating. I’m ready to take on heavier roles, where before I was nitpicky and afraid of so many things. I don’t have that filter anymore. I think as you go into a new, different phase, things do change, and that’s influenced who I am and my choices. It happened organically.

So are you plotting to be the Martha Stewart of your generation? Any more books in the works?

I think if I was going to do any more in a series, naturally it would be something I can do easily, that I’m passionate about. A cookbook would be good, and probably not as time consuming. That would be a process where I just say, “I’m going to spend three months, rent a house somewhere, and just bang it out.” Something that would encompass baby to toddler to family, make a more robust book—that’s something I could totally do, about healthier food choices and recipes that aren’t so scary and daunting.

Jessica Alba will be signing copies of The Honest Life in front of Redwood restaurant on Bethesda Lane from 5 to 6:30 on Friday. For more information, visit the Front Row website.