Imperfectly perfect. Jessica Alba opened up to Us Weekly exclusively at her private fireside chat with pal Will.i.am about how she’s learned to embrace imperfection thanks to a Japanese philosophy that she lives by, one that’s quite fitting for the busy business owner and mother of two. During a candid Monday, February 13, conversation at the Honest Company headquarters in Los Angeles, the duo discussed life, their entrepreneurial journeys and how their paths crossed for this partnership along the way.
“I am an earthy person and I’m a tactile person. There’s this Japanese philosophy called ‘wabi-sabi’ that I sort of live by,” the Honest Company cofounder and CEO, 35, shares. “It’s enjoying and embracing the imperfections of real life.”
Alba has been rigorous in making sure that her billion-dollar company creates the best products available using as many nontoxic ingredients as possible. She acknowledged that she isn’t so “au naturel” as to call herself a tree-hugger. “I’m not, like, a ‘let everything grow out, wear patchouli,’ I’m not that person! I wash every day!” she said. But as a mother of her two daughters, Honor, 8, and Haven, 5, the actress has found the secret to welcoming everything life brings her way, even if it’s messy.
The Honest Company just recently wrapped its first comprehensive ad campaign, Moments, in collaboration with Will.i.am, focusing on real moments in real people’s lives. For the campaign, the longtime friends embraced the concept of wabi-sabi, aspiring for simplicity and intimacy, as they sought inspiration in natural elements.
Tasked with scoring the music for the campaign, the Black Eyed Peas rapper told Us how organic, real sounds inspired his work because of the company’s zeal for chemical-free products. “Organic instruments are synonymous with organic ingredients,” he said, “Synthesizers are synonymous with chemicals. To use, like, wood pianos, wood bass, bows and real brass, not some synthesized horn, like a guy breathing, and hands playing, fingers on strings, it’s synonymous with their product and beauty and earth and nurture, babies, mothers …”
Alba chimed in with agreement, proud that her philosophy could be incorporated in her company. “Real wood or this [carpet] being a little bit off or things not being perfect because it has that human touch, it has that natural touch, are things that, to me, are the most beautiful. Where I like to dance and have fun to anything, I probably have the most fun when they’re just drums that someone’s pounding on, in the moment,” she said.
The Sin City actress also shared why she wanted to team up with the musician for her company’s first big ad campaign. “I have been working for 20 years, so I feel like I’ve been around the block. I haven’t met very many people that I connect with spiritually and creatively like I’ve connected with Will.”