Jessica Alba (Founder, Chair of the Board, and Chief Creative Officer) and Nick Vlahos (CEO)
By Eric Liaw, Dennis Phelps, and Becca Faust
IVP is thrilled to congratulate Jessica Alba, Nick Vlahos, and the entire team at The Honest Company on their IPO (Nasdaq: HNST). Today’s public offering represents an important milestone in the company’s journey to create a category-defining brand that embraces and embodies consciousness, transparency, and compassion. Its name, The Honest Company, reflects its essence.
The Honest Journey
As Jessica wrote in her S-1 Founder Letter, she created The Honest Company to fulfill her own unmet need for a brand that put human health and the environment at its fore. Driven by her childhood experiences with chronic illness, severe asthma, and allergies, and Jessica’s desire that her children and others not suffer a similar fate, she sought out clean, natural products free of the harmful chemicals present in so many household items. When finding such products proved challenging, Jessica set out to create her own.
That was ten years ago. Over the past decade, Jessica and the team have brought her vision to life, building a company that does rigorous research and testing, so consumers don’t have to. IVP believed in Jessica’s vision from its earliest days, writing our first check in 2011, before the company’s public launch. We’ve been proud to partner with the Honest team as it has pioneered the clean lifestyle movement by creating products that protect consumer health while not compromising on effectiveness.
This decade-long journey has not, however, been without its challenges. With rapid growth came unexpected product, supply chain, and marketing-related obstacles, requiring the company to re-evaluate its strategy and devise new solutions to fulfill its mission. In 2017, Nick joined us as CEO, and his experience at Clorox coupled with his deep appreciation for and commitment to Honest’s mission has proved invaluable. Under Nick’s leadership and backed by a team of seasoned executives, The Honest Company has made significant strides in bringing safe, clean products to millions of customers around the world. The company brought its laboratories and research and development team in-house, narrowed its portfolio to focus on differentiated products, and transitioned from DTC to omnichannel, expanding the brand’s reach. Working together, the team formulated new initiatives with a fresh approach. The Honest Company emerged from this period of transition better equipped to bring Jessica’s vision to life than ever before, culminating (for a moment) in today’s IPO.
Prioritizing Diversity & Inclusion
Perhaps most exciting, the Honest Company is among the most diverse public companies in the world. As of the end of 2020, people of color represented nearly half of the company’s workforce, and women represented 68% of employees and more than half of The Honest Company’s leadership. Jessica is the youngest-ever Latina founder to take a company public. We wholeheartedly endorse Honest’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and its focus on building a workforce that reflects the consumers it serves.
Honest Is the Best Policy
We believe that this is just the beginning. As the team continues to drive innovation and make Honest products available to more consumers around the globe, we are excited to watch The Honest Company disrupt the CPG industry, while always keeping safety, integrity, and sustainability top of mind. Because let’s be honest, providing consumers with healthy and effective products is the right thing to do.
Eric Liaw, Dennis Phelps, and Becca Faust are Investors at IVP, a later-stage venture capital firm.