By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Working mom Jessica Alba is adding entrepreneur to her many titles, shifting from movie star to businesswoman with a venture that provides parents easy access to eco-friendly natural products for babies and homes.
Alba, who wed husband Cash Warren in 2008, has taken motherhood to heart, and mind, focusing on being a hands-on parent to her two daughters, 4-year-old Honor and newborn Haven.
"Motherhood has affected me greatly and in so many ways," the "Fantastic Four" actress told Reuters.
"I didn't know that I would feel so comfortable and so at ease and so natural. When I became a mother, I felt the most comfortable in my own skin than I had ever felt in my life."
While preparing for motherhood four years ago, the 30-year-old actress found her biggest challenge, was trying to find eco-friendly natural products for her baby and her home.
"There are a lot of toxic chemicals in baby products, and these toxic chemicals are linked to not just allergies and asthma, but also autism and ADHD and lots of childhood cancers, and I was horrified that products that were made for babies and children would have these toxic chemicals," said the actress.
Alba founded The Honest Company along with Christopher Gavigan, former CEO of non-profit group Healthy Child Healthy World, after discovering that toxic chemicals were often disguised as "fragrances" on product labels and finding that not all eco-friendly and natural products worked efficiently.
Together, they came up with an online business model to launch an eco-friendly range of baby and household products, tried and tested by themselves and their own babies. They are toxin-free and aesthetically pleasing, and can be delivered straight to your door.
"I really wanted to make a company that was for parents, by parents," said Alba, adding that Honest Co. was "one company parents could go to that had household products and products to clean your kid with, and also fulfill diapering needs."
The actress took her fight against toxic products to Washington D.C. in May 2011 while pregnant with her second child to lobby on behalf of the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition that supported the Safe Chemicals Act.
"Even government officials aren't aware that chemical companies don't have to test their chemicals before they sell them to product companies. They can just put them in there, and we are the guinea pigs," said the actress.
While Alba's energies are focused on her children and new business, her fans will be glad to know she has no plans to retire from acting. She voices a role in animated film "Escape from Planet Earth" due out next year.
"I'm excited to get back into movies and I feel more adult and more grown up and ready to get back into it. And my mentality is different," she said.
(Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)