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'I Don’t Have A Fear Of Failure': Jessica Alba Opens Up About Her Childhood And Running Her Own Brand

Salma Ahmed - Author
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Aug. 4 2022, Published 10:09 a.m. ET

Jessica Alba is one of those Hollywood stars whose name you can’t forget even if they don’t act a lot. She owned this status, not through her beauty, it was a factor of course, but through her acting skills and her mentality as well.

The 41-year-old actress has appeared in many successful films and series, and most of us knew her from Fantastic Four. Alba didn't stop at acting and ventured into the business world and let us just say that she has proved herself.

In a recently released interview with Glamour magazine, Alba talked about her childhood, brand, and more.

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The Results Of Her Health Problems

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Alba disclosed in the interview how her health problems, while she was younger, were the reason behind her starting her own company named The Honest Company.

She talked about how she was “in the hospital a lot” as she had many health struggles as a child including chronic allergies, asthma, regular bouts of pneumonia, and partially collapsed lungs. The health problems didn't stop with Alba as her mother had cancer when she was 22-year-old.

The moment that made Alba think about starting her own company was when she had a severe allergic reaction to laundry detergent designed for babies; this was when she was pregnant in 2008.

The Beginning Of The Company

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Alba talked about what went through her head following this severe allergic reaction saying, “I was like, ‘There’s a child inside here, what if she is allergic to everything like I was? What could possibly cause a reaction? Because I was fine before I used this laundry detergent.’ And I learned that there [seemed to be] lots of untested, potentially harmful chemicals that are in detergents and beauty products, and personal-care products, and bath and body products. And we’re inundated with thousands of chemicals, actually every day, that we choose to put on us.”

These thoughts were followed by extensive research done by Alba as she wanted to find out how to protect her own family from these harmful chemicals that exist in several products.

“I really couldn’t shop around the problem, because I didn’t feel there was really one brand that made things with honesty, integrity, with ethics, with values that cared about human health. [I asked] can we have naturally derived, clean, safe products, including makeup? Makeup was a big deal for me because I was an actress. I mean, you had to go to, like, a university that studied chemicals to even understand the link to certain chemicals in human health! And I thought, ‘This is just too hard for people and it’s got to be easier.’ That’s where the idea came from,” she said.

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Starting The Brand

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All of these situations and thoughts made Alba reach out to subject experts and conduct her own research on the matter. And in 2012, Jessica created The Honest Company along with her three partners who are Brian Lee, Christopher Gavigan, and Sean Kane.

Of course, the change that happened to Alba’s life, as she entered the business world after spending years in Hollywood, wasn't an easy one. Her mentality helped her overcome this change as she said, “I don’t have a fear of failure. I have the opposite: I have a fear of, ‘If I didn’t try, [then] what’s the point?’”

We said before that Alba managed to prove herself as a brand owner. The biggest evidence regarding this is the fact that in 2015, Forbes magazine named Alba as one of the richest self-made women in the United States; her personal wealth at the time was $200 million.

Her Childhood

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Of course, Alba’s success is impressive, but what makes it even more impressive is what she went through during her childhood. She was born to very religious Catholic parents Catherine and Mark; he is of Mexican descent.

Alba and her brother, Joshua, had to move a lot with their family and this wasn't easy. Alba revealed how her life was when she was a child by saying, “I grew up in survival mode. It was almost sort of what I was born into. My parents didn’t have a safety net, they were living paycheck to paycheck. And so the mentality of ‘tomorrow’s not guaranteed’... For me, I was like, ‘I got to do everything I can to keep my head above water.’”

“I think because no one had any expectations that I would be successful, how could you fail? I wasn’t set up – no one was like, ‘Oh my God, you’re going to be…’ They were just like, ‘Here’s your life.’ And I was like, ‘This is some bullshit. I want a better life than that. I don’t want to be in survival mode all the time,’” Alba continued; this is what we meant when we talked about her mentality.

We absolutely love Alba even more now after hearing more about her and her ambitions. This is the true definition of a success story.

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