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Don't be fooled by Jessica Alba's kind smile and her down-to-earth demeanor on the red carpet. She can be a scary boss.
In a new interview with More magazine, Alba reveals that she's not always easy to please at the Honest Company. The eco-friendly brand of home and baby products that she founded in 2012 is now valued at nearly $1 billion.
"Sometimes I'm a little more iron fist than velvet glove," Alba confesses. "I'm straight to the point. I've made people cry. I have to say, 'This isn't personal. This is what needs to get done, and it's just as simple as that. And... we're not crying anymore.' I'm learning to tone myself down."
In fact, Alba's mom, Cathy, has called her 33-year-old daughter "a workaholic control freak" when it comes to her company, which is based in Santa Monica, California.
"Being an actress is like a vacation; business is relentless," Alba explains. "People work hard here. It's nice to be around people who are so committed."
The Sin City star appears in five movies this year, but the Honest Company is not just a side hustle. She has serious goals for the e-commerce site, which already offers diapers, soaps, and many more products — some even at grocery stores. In the future, Alba says customers can buy even more honestly, including tampons with a plant-based applicator, hair care, mattresses, and paint. Thinking small is just not how she rolls.
"You're not really going to make a big difference in the world if you're playing in a niche marketplace," she tells the magazine.
Not that it's going to be easy. Alba admits that, as a woman working primarily with men, she faces challenges.
"My [business] partners are men," Alba notes. "Whenever I say something that's kind of against their intuition, they go back and talk to their wives. And then their wives usually agree with me. So that's how we get stuff done over here."
Alba and her husband, Cash Warren, must get stuff done at home, too. They share two daughters, 6-year-old Honor and Haven, 3, when she's not, you know, making people cry. And, of course, as working moms always are, Alba's asked about how she balances her time at work and with her family.
"You don't really know how [your career] is affecting [your kids] until they're adults and they say, 'You ruined my life, Mom!'" she says. "Maybe they want me to be a stay-at-home mother who bakes chocolate-chip muffins all day. Nah. I'd probably want to start a chocolate-chip-muffin company. Ya know?"
Sounds like someone is a fan of Hillary Clinton.
Read Alba's full interview with the May issue of More, on newsstands now.