I’m a ’90s teen so Jessica Alba was as important to my formative adolescence and college years as chatrooms, raves, and eyebrow piercings. But somewhere between Flipper and Sin City, Jess went from being the hottest babe on the planet to a friend, and then a celebrated wife and widely-respected mother – She also ended up igniting a revolution to improve the environment around both children and home. The name of that revolution was The Honest Company and it has become a global movement, a lifestyle and philosophy, and for many parents, somewhat of a personal religion.
The Honest Company is based in Santa Monica, California in a super design-y loft and warehouse space. The big key to everything you’re about to see is Jessica’s hands-on involvement, from aesthetic to functionality and company infrastructure.
We’ll get to the product design in a second, but aside from all their eco-friendly, healthful, and affordable homelife assortments, my favorite part of Honest is the design direction. From the color schemes to the type treatments to something as simple as the butterflies with perceived leaves as wings, the brand is unique in their respective space as it speaks of cleanliness, purity, and – well – honesty from start to finish.
The layout of the Honest offices is open and spacious, catering to a free-flowing of ideas I’m sure… but also lending itself to a company where everyone is on the same page, everyone has the same mission, and they’re all in it together: to provide babies and their families with only the best.
In fact, that’s Jessica’s desk right there in the middle of the floor:
This is the epicenter – from here, the company ripples outwards.
As a young mother, Jess was always focused and centered on only the finest and safest products for her babies. So when she met fellow parent Christopher Gavigan (former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World) at his book release on the same subject matter, great minds thunk alike and The Honest Company was born.
In one of the back rooms, Christopher still holds onto the rudimentary models Jessica pieced together to aid in selling the concept to potential investors.
For example, here, Jess was imagining a diaper packaging with a window whereby the parent could see the patterns. Something so simple, but different enough to be ingenious. One of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” sorta moments.
Fast forward to today. This is The Honest Company. (See what I was talking about with the smart and relevant design sense? How effectively it falls in line with the brand’s personality? Makes you wonder why all home products aren’t updated with today’s parent in mind)
And see how far those diaper packages with the windows have come…
Even within Honest packaging, they are continuing to evolve and improve on the generations before. The bathroom cleaner on the right was the original model, but they are moving to the new-and-improved bottle on the left. Reminds me more of a mountain-spring drinking water than a chemical-based mildew cleaner, …which is exactly why I would gravitate towards it for a safe and environmentally sound household cleaner.
Anyways, that’s today’s lesson, folks. You might be wondering why I’m writing a feature on a baby and home product line for a Street Culture web magazine, so how about this… Good design can draw the difference between communicating your story effectively and having it fall on deaf ears. A good idea can easily get lost in the wrong art and aesthetic. Selling your goods comes not just by a salesman’s pitch, but in how the product speaks for itself. A picture is worth a thousand words, shout them loud and clear.
And here’s the other lesson. You don’t gotta be a Golden Globe-nominated actress to create and build a successful brand and company. You just have to see a need, you’ve gotta fight to see that need explained and solved, and you got to work hard at spreading your gospel to as many people who are willing to listen as possible. And then one day you can have something like Honest — or The Hundreds — and it all started because you believed in something so deeply, that no one else in the world could ignore it.