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Jessica Alba Takes on New Role: Internet Entrepreneur

Jessica Alba Launches Honest.com
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Jessica Alba Launches Honest.com

Jessica Alba's not just a movie and TV star - now she's also an Internet entrepreneur, testing out her new role at the Montgomery Tech Conferencewhere she pitched her business model to investors and the other 190 startups here.

She co-founded The Honest Company, (honest.com) a subscription service for non-toxic baby supplies, like diapers, wipes, bubble bath and detergent, which launched in January.

Alba decided she wanted to create a new line of baby products when she discovered that many of the supposedly kid-friendly products she used on her now four-year-old were full of dangerous chemicals. She told me she couldn't believe how expensive truly non-toxic products are, and how hard it is to find them.

She teamed with serial entrepreneur Brian Lee, co-founder of LegalZoom, who suggested making it a subscription service. That allows the company to avoid the hassle of dealing with retailers, while making it easier to manage inventory. Alba liked the fact that the direct-to-consumer model allows her to keep prices down - she wants to build a truly mainstream baby brand.

As CEO of Honest, Lee is building on his success with subscription retail as well as celebrities. He's a co-founder of monthly subscription service ShoeDazzle, along with Kim Kardashian, who's also the company's chief style guru. That monthly shoe service, which also allows consumers to opt-out whenever they want, is bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and the buzz here at Montgomery is that ShoeDazzle is headed to an IPO in the next year or so.

Alba's venture just launched in January, but with her star power helping spread the word, Lee hopes Honest will grow just as fast.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.