On becoming the next $1 billion African Fashion Brand: Lessons from Jessica Alba’s Honest Company

By now you may have seen the recent cover of Forbes Magazine with the feature story on how Jessica Alba joined the list of America’s richest self-made women with the valuation of her company, The Honest Company for $1billion.According to Forbes, “that figure means Alba, who owns between 15% and 20% of the company, according to a source with knowledge of her investment, is sitting on a fortune of $200 million.” So my question today is what if anything can any African Fashion Brand learn from Jessica Alba’s success.

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According to Forbes (read here for more details), Jessica and her team started The Honest Company to fulfill the need for eco-friendly, safe and nontoxic products for children. Safety sells… In 2012, its first year selling products, it hit $10 million in revenue. By last year it was $150 million, and industry insiders are predicting over $250 million this year. The company is focused on growth over profits, boasting a current valuation to match: $1 billion.

But beyond what you may have read by Forbes, it is important to visit The Honest Company’s website to learn what they are truly all about. You can start by simply going to their story page (here). I was struck by what the two founders of the company Jessica and Christopher represented-Family and Children. It makes so much sense given their passion for “thoughtfully designed, innovative, and safest products available.”

jessica-alba

Then there is their goal of delivering best family essentials to your doorstep to simplify your life and bring more delight to everyday. They seek to do so by re-defining “the family brand” and creating something they believe will be better for all families everywhere. But here is the kicker, you can expect honesty, peace of mind, social goodness (just sounds good) and delightful design. They also love to dream and dream big, and created the company to fulfill their big dreams with standards they regularly revisit and refine because they simply want to always try to be better. I applaud them. The principles developed from their vision are to:

1. Create a culture of honesty

2. Make Beautiful Things

3. Outperform

4. Provide exceptional services

5. Sustain Life

6. Be Accessible

7. Pay it Forward

8. Have Fun

These principles seems simple and straightforward and helped to create a $1billon company. The reviews and testimonials from people are super sincere like the following: “I received my first bundle of Diapers and Wipes yesterday, and I just have to say that I’m in love! They look super cute on my son’s tushie and they don’t turn his little legs rashy-red like mainstream diapers sometimes do. Thank you for great products, and I look forward to diapering my son and any future babies with your Diapers.” You can’t make honest comments like the one above up. Take a look at more testimonials (here).

So what will it take for you, me, and anyone out there to become the first $1billion African Fashion Brand? In a nutshell, Honesty. The Honest Company is successful because they pride themselves with being Honest with core principles such as making products as affordable as possible and a promise to openly listen to the people they serve. There is also their Honestly Free Guarantee where they simply and clearly state that “they do not use any health-compromising chemicals or compounds on any of their products.”

It is this honestly refreshing guarantee that has propelled the company to it’s $1billion valuation. It has certainly inspired me to become honest as I work to provide more credible and transparent content for Africa’s Fashion Industry that would ultimately lead to our very first $1billion brand in the near future.

Source: Forbes, The Honest Company

Image: Kuwalainc

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