Alt Summit + Honest

January 30, 2013

By Gabrielle. Images by Brooke Dennis & Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit.

Okay. I’ve been home for 2 days. I’ve kind of sort of processed a little bit of what went down last week. And at Ralph and Maude’s request, I think the first thing we need to talk about is…

… meeting Jessica Alba!!!

The Honest Company, which Jessica founded, was one of the sponsors at Alt Summit this year. And on Thursday afternoon, Jessica came to the conference to host one-on-one interviews with attendees.

The weather was nuts on Thursday, and Jessica had spent the morning at Sundance doing publicity for a new movie. By the time she made it to the Grand America, I’m sure she was exhausted, but she made us feel like she had all the time in the world! She was just as gracious and lovely as you’d expect.

I believe I had the last interview of the day with her. And we basically talked shop — which is my favorite thing to do! I was super curious about how she decided to start a company and asked her if she came from entreprenurial genes. : ) It was easy to see she was really proud of her work with Honest — and with good reason. She’s creating amazing products that parents can trust. We talked about toxins and harsh chemicals and what it has taken for her to create safer products that families can afford. She’s really had to work hard to become an expert on these topics and she’s incredibly smart about all of it.

I came home with a few Honest goodies that I’m so pleased about. Training pants for June (it’s time for potty training!), a tube of healing balm to keep in my handbag, and a candle that smells divine.

After the interview, Jessica said hello to Ben Blair and we took a few photos. She was incredibly complimentary and it made my day! She said she’s been reading Design Mom even before she created The Honest Company, and that it’s one of her favorite blogs. That left me with a giant grin. She also said we should work on some sort of design collaboration for Honest — which I would be over the moon to do! Again, I couldn’t stop grinning. Smiles everywhere.

But the most fun of all: As I was waiting at the airport during my travel day, I took some time to catch up on Twitter. You can imagine my squeals of delight when I found this tweet & instagram:

Shut the front door.

Jessica Alba instagrammed me!

Tell me, Friends. Do you ever get star struck? Have any fun celebrity stories? I’d love to hear!

P.S. — To see more images from Thursday afternoon at Alt Summit, check out the set on Flickr.

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie January 30, 2013 at 8:33 am

Super cool! Admittedly I don’t know much about Jessica Alba, but I love it when I hear about the ‘other’ sides of actors…like when I found out that Courtney Cox renovates houses or that Daniel Day Lewis stopped acting in the 90s to become a cobbler. Love that!. However more importantly….HOW do you get your hair to do that? Do you straighten it and then use hot rollers? I must know your secret…very cute.


2 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 10:11 am

Hah! I had hair help for sure. I should probably do a whole post on it. But you guessed exactly right! I wore it straight on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then Casie of Lunatic Fringe curled with a 1-inch curling iron on Thursday and Friday.


3 ami January 30, 2013 at 8:47 am

Wow!! Looks like you had a great time!!


4 Jennifer Vallez January 30, 2013 at 8:47 am

So fun! I would be totally star struck too. She named my dolls as one of her favorite stocking stuffers & I was so excited! I need to get to Alt Summit in NYC this year. xx


5 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 10:11 am

What an honor, Jennifer!


6 Stella January 30, 2013 at 8:54 am

Fun!! She seems so genuinely nice. I would definitely have been star struck. And I’d be star struck too if I met you, Gabrielle!


7 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 10:12 am

Yes. I definitely found her to be genuinely nice. Just genuine overall, really.

And I hope you and I do get to meet some day, Stella!


8 Linnea January 30, 2013 at 9:38 am



9 Cathryn January 30, 2013 at 9:56 am

Fabulous. Utterly fabulous!!


10 Hilary Chandler January 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

Great post! I was star struck when I saw her and just kind of gawked. I was also star struck to see….YOU at ALT! I love your blog and it was my first experience at ALT. I was such a geek I didn’t even come up to say hi or introduce myself. Maybe next year. I did give your husband an “I SPEAK GEEK” sticker because I obviously do. Trying to be more gutsy like Sagmeister but it is hard! Thanks for an amazing conference, it was an inspiring event!


11 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

Next time, please do say Hello, Hilary! I love meeting everyone I possibly can at Alt Summit. Ben Blair loves his I speak geek sticker. : )


12 Hilary Chandler January 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I will thanks! MOM 2.0 is on our radar.


13 Barchbo January 30, 2013 at 10:04 am

Jessica Alba has great taste!

I used to work the front door at a restaurant that got lots of celebrities – all the Dallas Cowboys, every NHL team, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Tommy Hilfiger (!), Jean Claude van Damme, Chuck Norris, and lots of other random actors. Nobody really cared until Lisa Whelchel – Blair! From Facts of Life! – came in and everybody went crazy! Blair is here! Please don’t put Blair in my section – I would be too nervous! Blair! OMG – it’s Blair! I still think that’s really funny that is the only person who made people starstruck.


14 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 10:14 am

That is a fantastic story, Barchbo! I wonder what it is about the stars of our youth.


15 Joan January 30, 2013 at 10:05 am

I live in LA, so celebrity sightings are pretty commonplace. That said, I ran into the guys from “Top Gear” at Gare de Lyon last summer and got a full-on case of the stupids. They helped lift my mom’s luggage onto the train! Swoon.


16 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 10:18 am

I love that they were helpful!


17 Meg January 30, 2013 at 10:07 am

I love that she could be blogging the same thing about you!!

You new media dahling, you!

Congrats on the success and growth of Alt! I hope to make it to a Summit one day…


18 Natalie January 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

I’m so jealous! She is so cute, and I’m glad to hear she is just as sweet!


19 Kinga January 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

woaw! congrats! know how you feel, I felt the same when I’ve seen you at the Hive last year! :)))


20 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 10:20 am

Are you going to attend The Hive again? It was so much fun!


21 Lindsey January 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

shut.up. WOW! Looks like you two were meant to meet =)


22 Louise January 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

Love this! I love that she was star-struck meeting you, too! (as we all would be!)

My claim to fame is that Joan Collins once accused me of being ‘the other woman’!! She did! I planned her hen party for her fifth wedding, and her now-husband was on the phone to me every day discussing arrangements for the wedding guests (I worked at a hotel in London at the time). So when we met that night, she was introduced to me, looked me up and down and then delivered that line! I was 22, she was 60-something – and I couldn’t hold a candle to her!!


23 Deborah January 30, 2013 at 10:24 am

Living in L.A. I tend to run into celebrities at grocery stores and just as I’m about to say hello and give them a big bear hug(recognizing them must mean I know them, right?), I realize “you don’t know them Deborah, step away from the cabbage”. :)

But one cool story was when my mom found a wallet in her Target shopping cart, low and behold it was Adam Sandler’s wallet. Fortunately I knew what studio he had his production office in, so I called and had to persuade the receptionist I was not some crazy stalker, and she can ask him for herself if he went to the Target in Culver City that day. A few minutes later she got back on the phone and was very happy to accept the wallet. The next day we received a gorgeous flower arrangement with a card from Adam stating that it’s nice to know there’s still honest people out there. :)

Another goodie was on our last trip to Hawaii, my daughter and Toby Maguire’s daughter Ruby are the same age, and we were on the same flight not just going to Hawaii, but also returning as well with the whole family. Our little girls made fast friends as they walked up and down the aisle, over and over and over again as toddlers often like to do on long flights.


24 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm

That’s exactly how I want to think of Adam Sandler. Glad to hear your story!


25 trina January 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

super great! i saw that she instagrammed you! i loved the opportunity to meet her too…she is all around lovely! xo . trina


26 Jaime January 30, 2013 at 11:02 am

So neat! My celebrity story is this: whilst compiling our genealogy several years ago my aunt realized that we were (actually fairly closely – second cousins) related to the singer Tori Amos. She happened to be coming through town for a show and since my aunt had been in contact with her father, he arranged tickets for us to see the show and meet and talk to Tori beforehand. She was very gracious and lovely in person, and put on an amazing concert!


27 Anneliese January 30, 2013 at 11:36 am

How awesome! She seems like such an honestly (pun intended) fabulous person and mom. I have tried her Honest products and love them. Sounds like you two were equally starstruck–so fun!


28 Stephanie@GlassPeacock January 30, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Oh that’s super awesome! I hope you do get to do some design work with her!


29 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Wouldn’t that be amazing?


30 tere January 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Star and acting talent aside, she seems like a really nice and down to earth person, a mom making something great for others!! Like you!


31 Emily January 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Jessica Alba is such a breath of fresh air and a wonderful role model! So happy to see that she played a role in Alt!


32 Franca Bollo January 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Oh, I think I’d be star struck if I met you.


33 Valerie January 30, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Speaking of starstruck, when you were in Provo last summer I saw you and your lovely family! Your daughters walked into the Bath and Body works at University mall where I was a manager and I got to help them try on some lotions before they returned to the rest of your family in the hall. I didn’t want to freak them out by calling them by name, so I just played it cool. And I was far too nervous to walk out and say hello to you!


34 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I just read your comment aloud to Ben Blair and we got such a kick out of imagining you greeting the kids by name and having them look up amazed! : )

Olive is our big Bath & Body Works fan. Their products were her only request for her last birthday. Too funny!


35 betsy January 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Omg!!! Amazing! Says a lot about her!


36 Giselle January 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I love your blog and love Jessica Alba and follow both on Instagram and got so excited when I saw her pic of the 2 of you! I would geek out on both of you…can’t wait for a DesignMom/Honest collaboration


37 Jennifer January 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm

That is so flippin’ cool!!!!!

I have a few celebrity stories, but none THAT awesome.

She looks like she is such a natural beauty, even more gorgeous in person I am sure! I’m going to check out the Honest Cmpany!


38 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm

For sure. She’s beautiful as can be.


39 ~j. January 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm

How wonderful! I love to hear when celebrities are kind.

Meeting celebrities was a little bit of a theme for me last year (and this year when I met some long-time favorite comedians at Sundance). My favorite, hands down, was meeting Tim Gunn in Manhattan last September. I even wrote a post in December about how Tim Gunn changed my life. He’s magical.


40 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Tim Gunn! I would love to meet him. I have such respect for him.


41 ~j. January 31, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I can say with all sincerity that he would love you meet you, too.


42 Miggy January 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

That’s awesome…I’d be pretty star struck too.

I’ve seen a number of celebrities–Vince Vaughn, Steven Speilburg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Will from Will and Grace, Gayle King (Oprah’s bestie), Jon Stewart …but the best was the time I met Ryan Gosling. Shook hands and met. At the museum of natural history in NYC. I was completely cool when I met him, but somehow geeked out and flipped my lid when I saw Gayle King walking in my neighborhood in the Heights…funny.


43 Design Mom January 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Did you see the comment above about everyone flipping out when they saw Blair from the Facts of Life? So interesting who we feel starstruck by.


44 G at willowday January 30, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Cool on every level!


45 Kira January 30, 2013 at 2:39 pm

That is awesome! I love what she is doing with Honest and I’m sure you were over the moon when she said that she reads your blog :)


46 Bridget January 30, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Shut the front door is one of my favorite phrases. :)

This isn’t about meeting a celebrity, but it’s still a funny story…


47 Tasha January 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Very funny…I adore them too!


48 hollee thornton January 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Dear Design Mom,
I loved meeting you at alt and was totally star struck- I think your work with Alt is wonderful- you are so generous with your time and a desire to help others! It must be awesome to walk into a room with so many women waiting to learn- so satisfying to bring speakers that are inspiring and generous with their experiences so that others might find success- and to know that you created it all! I don’t see and email contact here, but I wanted to remind you that I am the one who geeked out meeting you:) and asked about the house hunters international contact info?!?! Eagerly awaiting your reply- # 1 fan!


49 Design Mom January 31, 2013 at 8:09 am

Just saw your email, Hollee! Will respond today. Loved meeting you!


50 Morgan January 30, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Oh man, I MUST make ALT next year! It sounds absolutely fabulous and I need to shed that shy bone that keeps me from going year after year… lovely write up!


51 stephanie January 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

How cool is that!!


52 Suzanne January 30, 2013 at 7:51 pm

This is my first time commenting on your blog, after having been a huge admirer in the wings for so long. Congratulations on what sounds like another super successful Alt Summit and on a well-deserved potential design collaboration with Honest Company ! And please forgive this less than profound inquiry, particularly as a first-time commenter, but where can I find your fabulous green dress? It looks stunning on you and very Parisian! I plan to spend a month in Paris in June with my family and this seems like the perfect travel wardrobe staple…


53 Design Mom January 31, 2013 at 8:11 am

I’m such a fan of the green dress! I bought it at a store called COS. It’s a company created by the same people that gave us H&M, but it’s a smaller shop with higher end stuff. Everything they carry feels interesting and special.


54 Jenny January 30, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Wow – how cool for you! Sounds like an incredibly exciting conference…and the potential collaboration opportunity would have put me over the moon too. Can’t wait to hear about those details down the road!


55 Kristen E January 31, 2013 at 10:29 am

Wow, how cool! She seems like such an interesting person. And I’d never heard of Honest – thanks so much for sharing it! I really like the sound of her mission with the company. I hope you get to work with her – that would be amazing!


56 Sandra January 31, 2013 at 10:51 am

wow! Lucky you, would love to meet her too!


57 Annalee Waddell January 31, 2013 at 5:27 pm

How about Jessica Alba “Living with Kids”? (my personal favorite periodical on designmom)


58 Patty S January 31, 2013 at 7:11 pm

I’m a long time reader of your blog but this is my first time commenting. I just had to say what an awesome experience for you! Congrats!!


59 abdulaziz January 31, 2013 at 10:39 pm



60 My Traveling Troop February 1, 2013 at 8:02 am

Awww! How exciting to meet Jessica! I heart the idea of her Honest products. Safe products for kiddos?! I need to get my hands on that! :)



61 Lattin Clan February 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Very Fun and Very Cool! I am glad you had an great Alt-Summit!


62 Stephanie February 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I’ve been meaning to try Honest products! Thanks for the reminder.

P.S. I do wish Honest had a diaper cream product in their baby line. Do you have any recommendations in that category?


63 Kelleyn February 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm

I have met a few stars. Tom Brokaw held the door for me in the airport in Montana. At first I couldn’t place the face and then later it dawned on me.

When I was 8 I met David Copperfield.

I was also on stage with David Henning. He was a magican. I did the ring trick with him. I was over the moon.

When I was 17 I talked with the Prince of Monaco while he ate a piece of cake. I didn’t know he was until later on when my co-workers thought it was so hilarious.

I love the design on her products. I will have to give them a try.


64 helen February 5, 2013 at 6:41 am

I’m starstruck for you!! Meeting and chatting with Jess Alba would have been such an amazing experience – well done! And tops for scoring the Honest Co as a sponsor for Alt. It’s the first time I’ve come across Alt this year and it sounds like such a phenomenal event – fingers crossed I’m on that side of the world one day to experience it! x


65 greta February 5, 2013 at 8:23 am

You are so cute and totally worthy to be Instagrammed!
And I would be star struck to me YOU!
Love from,


66 Sorcika February 6, 2013 at 7:26 am

Hello Gabrielle,
it must have been awesome to meet Ms. Alba!
But Honest does not ship to France for the moment. Did you discuss this, by any chance?


67 Nicki Traikos February 12, 2013 at 9:11 am

Very cool!
I recently discovered ALT and I am excited to attend the NYC summit!
Great blog!


68 Rea July 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm

This is soooo cool, I love Jessica Alba and I love your website too! :)


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