Jessica Alba who last year starred as stripper Nancy Callahan in Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For is also a co-founder of The Honest Company. And according to their website:
We created this company because we care passionately about helping families and giving all children their best and healthiest start in life. There are 2.2 billion children in the world, and 75 million in the United States, and through our Social Goodness work, we believe it is our job to make a difference in the lives of all families. That is why your product purchases helps us fuel a movement of philanthropic change and impact that will result in greater health and safety for all children.
Can a woman who portrays a stripper in the movies run a successful family-friendly business?
According to a Forbes article, “How Jessica Alba Built A $1 Billion Company, And $200 Million Fortune, Selling Parents Peace Of Mind:”
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. She’s on her way to earning a spot on FORBES’ new ranking of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, just $50 million shy of Beyoncé and Judge Judy, who are tied at number 49.
In 2008 Alba was newly engaged to Cash Warren and pregnant with their first child Honor. During her pregnancy, Alba broke out in hives from an allergic reaction to a laundry detergent. This combined with a history of childhood illnesses inspired Alba to research household products. What she found terrified her: petrochemicals, formaldehydes and flame retardants in everyday household products from floor cleaners to mattresses. Some were listed on the ingredients label plain as day, with others disguised under the catchall of “fragrance,” which is entirely legal.
Based on need to bring non-toxic household products to the marketplace, The Honest Company was launched in 2011. And as of November 2014, the company had 275 employees and was projected to do $150 million in sales.
This brings us to an important point made by Justine Musk, the first wife of Elon Musk, the CEO of Telsa Motors and SpaceX. Justine was married to the billionaire CEO for eight years and she recently posted a response to a Quora thread asking: “Will I become a billionaire if I am determined to be one and put in all the necessary work required?”
Her answer is “no,” though she says the Quora reader is asking the wrong question:
Shift your focus away from what you want (a billion dollars) and get deeply, intensely curious about what the world wants and needs…. The world doesn’t throw a billion dollars at a person because the person wants it or works so hard they feel they deserve it. (The world does not care what you want or deserve.) The world gives you money in exchange for something it perceives to be of equal or greater value: something that transforms an aspect of the culture, reworks a familiar story or introduces a new one, alters the way people think about the category and make use of it in daily life.
Sara Blakely is the founder and owner of Spanx and a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks. She is listed #17 on Forbes America’s Richest Self-Made Women with an estimated net worth of $1.07 Billion.
After her short stint at Disney, Sara Blakely accepted a job with office supply company Danka, where she sold fax machines door-to-door.She was quite successful in sales and was promoted to national sales trainer at the age of 25. Forced to wear pantyhose in the hot Floridian climate for her sales role, Blakeley disliked the appearance of the seamed foot while wearing open-toed shoes, but liked the way that the control-top model eliminated panty lines and made her body appear firmer. She experimented by cutting off the feet of her pantyhose while wearing them under a new pair of slacks and found that the pantyhose continuously rolled up her legs, but she also achieved the desired result.
At age 27, Blakely relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, and while still working at Danka, spent the next two years and $5,000 savings researching and developing her hosiery idea. During this research and development, she found that there were no female patent lawyers operating in the entire state of Georgia. Unwilling to spend the $3,000-$5,000 quoted in legal fees, she instead wrote her own patent after purchasing a textbook from Barnes & Noble.
Blakely then drove to the state of North Carolina, the location of most of America’s hosiery mills to present her idea but was turned away by every representative. Used to dealing with established companies, they did not see the value of her idea. Two weeks after arriving home from her North Carolina trip, Blakely received a call from a male mill operator based in Asheboro, North Carolina who offered to support Blakely’s concept, as he had received strong encouragement from his two daughters. Blakely further explained in 2011 that the experience of developing her idea also revealed to her that the hosiery manufacturing industry was overseen solely by males who were not using the products they were producing.
Elizabeth Holmes is the founder and CEO of Theranos. She is listed #1 on Forbes America’s Richest Self-Made Women with an estimated net worth of $4.5 Billion.
At age 31, Elizabeth Holmes is the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. Her uncle’s death from cancer moved her to develop a way to detect diseases earlier. She dropped out of Stanford University her sophomore year and founded Theranos in 2003 to make cheaper, easier-to-use blood tests. With a virtually painless prick of the finger and a few drops of blood, her labs can quickly run a multitude of tests at a fraction of the price of commercial labs.
Zhou Qunfei, school dropout (by economic necessity), former factory worker — and founder and CEO of Lens Technologies, the world’s leading manufacturer of touch screens for companies like Apple and Samsung.
Zhou, 45, who grew up in a tiny village in China, lost her mother at age 5. Her father was nearly blind after an industrial accident. She dropped out of school at age 16, rose through the ranks at work, and ultimately launched her own glass-refining company, which went public earlier this year.
An article in The Guardian tells us:
The Big Bang Theory, a California-based comedy that follows two young physicists, is being credited with consolidating the growing appetite among teenagers for the once unfashionable subject of physics.
Academy Award winner Geena Davis has appeared in several roles that became cultural landmarks, including portraying the first female President of the United States in ABC’s Commander in Chief. She is the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media made for children.
At the Makers Conference, Davis discussed the lack of parity in media and its effect on young girls. “The more hours of TV a girl watches, the fewer options she thinks she has in life.”
She asked the MAKERS Conference, “What if unconscious gender bias is a much deeper problem than we’ve ever imagined?” and showed the challenges women face in media. The ratios of male to female characters has been exactly the same since 1946. In movies, of the characters holding jobs, 81% are male.