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The California Questionnaire: Jessica Alba

The California Questionnaire: Jessica Alba

The multi-hyphenate California native shares her Golden State favorites

Movie star, TV star, entrepreneur, advocate, mom… the titles seem to stack up for Jessica Alba. The California native rose through the Hollywood ranks quickly and became a household name before turning 20. The 2000s cineplex belonged to her: Sin City, Fantastic Four, The Love Guru, Into the Blue, Good Luck Chuck, Little Fockers, Machete…she even played herself on Entourage—twice.

As her acting career blossomed, she graduated to increasingly high-profile projects, she got married, she started a family, and in what amounts to a hard left turn, she launched The Honest Company in 2012. The consumer products company is an intensely personal venture and a true passion project. The company’s backstory is the stuff of legend: In 2008 Alba broke out in a rash from baby detergent while washing onesies for her first child, Honor. Having suffered from allergies as a child, she began looking for more natural—and safer—options for her family. An idea sprung forth and after years of legwork, she turned her dream into a reality. In 2021, Alba became the youngest Latina ever to take a company public.We asked the multi-hyphenate California native to share some of her Golden State faves, and she delivered the goods.

Where do you live?

Los Angeles

Why there? 

You don't need to be self-conscious here because there are all kinds of people. There’s something for everyone.

Who or what is your greatest California love?

Anywhere on the coast—Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach are sort of these insanely quaint, adorable towns. Newport Beach too.

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? 

That we are all vegan yoga people. I mean, there's nothing wrong with amazing vegan food. And there's nothing wrong with a great yoga class. But those are just a couple of the many options here. Right?

What is the stereotype that most holds true? 

That we don't know how to drive in the rain. That’s true. Oh my God. People are so dramatic when it rains!

What is your favorite Golden State splurge? 

We are so fortunate to live in a place where indoor/outdoor flow can happen all year. If I were going to splurge on one big thing right now, it would be updating an indoor environment so that it incorporates an indoor-outdoor vibe at home and at the office.

Time for a road trip—where are you going?

Montecito. I love the Rosewood Miramar. It’s a short drive from L.A. and it’s such a family-friendly, relaxing, beautiful spot. It’s also really home-y, it gives chic-grandma-coastal-cottage vibes. And while you’re there, you have to go to Summerland to check out The Sacred Space. It’s a stunning oasis–they have a beautiful garden for meditating and it’s also the perfect place to pick up healing stones and herbs.

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be?

Farm-to-table Mexican fare. California is the OG when it comes to farm-to-table fresh cuisine with deep roots in authentic Mexican. Our rich soil and warm climate that allows for multiple growing seasons means we have access to fresh ingredients all year round and our cuisine showcases that beautifully. For the ultimate culinary experience, I envision a restaurant with a peaceful outdoor environment that serves really authentic and fresh Mexican food, using only ingredients that are grown in the restaurant’s garden or sourced locally from farmers nearby.

What does sustainability mean to you?

I grew up in California and was taught early on by my grandmother the importance of recycling and respecting this beautiful earth that we are so privileged to live on. That means being conscious about our everyday actions. I have always believed that it is our responsibility to do our part so that we can leave the world better than we found it. It’s part of the reason I created The Honest Company in the first place. I believe it is not only our individual responsibility, but the responsibility of our company, to find better ways of doing things that help protect our valuable natural resources.

Where would you go for the ultimate shopping spree in California?

I’d stay right here in Los Angeles. Start in East L.A. and move through the Pasadena flea market. (By the way, Torrance also has great flea markets and antiques.) Then, I’d go check out the thrift stores on Melrose Ave., followed by boutique shopping in Silver Lake and Highland Park and then head west. There are great shopping neighborhoods in downtown L.A. and Venice, and we also have amazing outdoor walking malls like The Grove, Westfield Century City, and Palisades Village. There are so many great places to shop. No matter your style, you can always find what you’re looking for here.

Best California song?

I can’t possibly choose one. The entire Beach Boys Pet Sounds album is the epitome of California and had such a huge influence on so many amazing artists–from the Beatles to Tom Petty… everyone. Also, “California Love” by Tupac; “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas & the Papas; “Hotel California” by the Eagles.

How would your California dream day unfold?

I would wake up early to meditate and then get my body moving with some tennis or pickleball. After that, I’d hit up one of the many farmers’ markets around town and then ride scooters or bikes along the beach. I’d end the day at home for a sunset barbecue and swim.

California Winery

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