Self made and self paid!

Thanks to her new business, ‘The Honest Company,’ actress Jessica Alba landed a top spot on FORBES’ “America’s Richest Self-Made Women,” list …and not for the money earned from her acting career!

In 2008, Jessica launched ‘The Honest Company,’ an organic and eco-friendly line of baby and household products. Her decision to develop the organic products came after she experienced an outbreak of redness and welts on her skin during her pregnancy as a direct reaction to her laundry detergent which contained chemical-based ingredients.

Now, 3 years since the company first started selling product, ‘The Honest Company’ went from hitting $10 million in annual revenue in 2012, to an insane estimated $250 million this year (80% of revenue comes from its monthly subscription service), and it’s now worth almost a billion dollars.  During Forbes Women’s Summit this week, Jessica opened up about her success, saying:

People just saw me as this girl in a bikini in movies kicking butt — maybe not the brightest bulb. It took 3 and half years of lots of condescending nods and lots of pats on the back like, ‘good luck,’ like, ‘You idiot. How are you going to do this? Go back to endorsing things. Go do a perfume!’

I needed more people to tell me no. I needed people to not get it and look at me cross eyed for me to really figure out exactly what I was going to do and how I was going to do it.

It’s something I had to learn as a woman in business. To ask for help and to not be afraid of criticism. And when you don’t know what to do, to be okay with not knowing [but learning]. And to not be defined by your mistakes. There are challenges, there are roadblocks, there are mountains. And you just have to figure it out. You just have to be malleable and surround yourself around really smart people. And I didn’t think I was smart for a really long time.

Do you think you’re smart now?

Yes. I think I’m [ok]. I’m not the smartest, but I try. I’m here at the FORBES summit and I’m talking to you ladies. And I’m on the cover of FORBES.

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