Filed under: Inside Honest
DIY Tips From Our Showroom Designer Carrie Callaway

If you walked into our offices, we think you’d be impressed by the creativity of our beautiful eco-showroom and  kids’ play area. No detail was overlooked, from the reclaimed wood walls to the handmade lighting and accessories. Designer-Artist Carrie Callaway created this one-of-a-kind space for Honest with the help of co-founder Jessica Alba. Here, she tells us her inspiration and the how-tos for putting the showroom together.

Honest's showroom designer Carrie Callaway and her family

What type of design do you usually do?  What’s your background?

My background is in fine art. I received a bachelor’s from ULV in studio art, and an associates from FIDM in fashion design. I love everything having to do with art, design, textile, color theory, and composition. I find that most elements of good design span across the board and apply to every medium — from fashion, photography, interior design, fine art, graphic design, etc., which allows them to be intertwined. I have the most experience in fashion as a children’s wear designer and a screen print artist, as well as hand painting one-of-a-kind garments for an organic contemporary boutique. I’m always working on making, sewing, decorating, painting something in my spare time. It’s just what makes me tick.

When did you first connect with Jessica to discuss designing the showroom?

It was the end of June/early July [2013] when we met to discuss the design of the room. I fell in love with it when I saw it. That big space could be anything we imagined.

The Honest Company Kids' Play Area

What design ideas did you decide on?  What feel did you both want the showroom to feature?

Working with Jessica is really great because she has a super sense of style. I love designing for people who have ideas and an understanding of art, and she does. This showroom is really important to her, we were combining two important components into one collective area — a beautiful display of Honest products and a beautiful play area for children. It was like combining two things dear to her — her company and her girls. Jessica had a vision of a safe space for little ones to play in if they came to visit mommy or daddy at work, and an area where we could market the products artfully. Were they together? Were they separate spaces? How do we tie our design in with this industrial building? We had all kinds of ideas for the space, and collaborated with pictures and clippings to decide on where we were headed. The possibilities were virtually endless, but we knew we wanted it to be clean, hip, fresh, and well, honest.

Handmade Nursery Decor - Stars

What were the challenges in designing the space?

I would say the most difficult part was the dark red brick walls of the building itself. The lease would not allow us to paint the brick or the concrete floor, so we had to design around it.  We both loved the idea of covering the brick somehow, and I felt like we needed to bring in a natural element to soften and contrast the hard concrete, industrial lights, and exposed metal air ducts. I had my builders frame and attach a second wall to the brick made out of recycled pallets — many of which came from the Honest warehouse. The difficult part of this was making sure that outlets and safety panels are accessible, and that the wall met all electrical and safety codes for an industrial facility. (The pallet wall is an idea all over Pinterest, but you really have to know what you’re doing to pull this off safely.)  The pallet walls are 12 feet tall.  Then we stacked the darling Honest boxes on top of that, giving us over 16 feet of coverage, which leads your eye away from the brick, and also carries the Honest logo into the room.

DIY Nursery Decor -Handmade Cloud Pillow

We love those cloud pillows in our new crib — do you know where those are from?

Lol! I do — I made them! I made all the bedding in the crib. Everything was custom made for the showroom.

What are a few items you love in the space, where are they from?

My favorite thing is probably the fairy light tree. I love that tree. It evolved from being a chandelier to a little tree to a 24 foot monster tree! We were just obsessed with making it. I am proud to say that I designed/built/installed it myself—all 24 feet of it!  (Someone got power tools for her birthday.)

The Honest Tree

I also love the moon chair. I saw a photo of a crib display in a French boutique that was a moon, but it wasn’t functional. The overall urban look of our space needed some soft whimsical elements to tell a better story. This inspired me to design and build an actual reading chair in the three-dimensional shape of a moon. For this, I enlisted the help of an incredibly skilled master builder, my father-in-law. He helped me with several build projects for the showroom, bless his heart. If I was smart, I would have him teach me everything he knows.

Carrie Callaway 1And the playhouse is just so fun! Jessica saw a beautiful play structure with a geometric leaf pattern on the front that she adored, and from there we came up with this clean and simple design. It was custom built on site by my builders. Honor came to test drive it one day and said, “Mommy can it have a door on the front?”  Me: “Of course it can have a door!”  Jessica: “And maybe curtains too so the bottom level could be a clubhouse, or a store, or anything she could imagine.” The round lodge pole pine is from C & E Lumber Co. in Pomona, which happens to be owned by my husband.

The Honest Company Play Area

Oh, and the “HONEST” marquee lights look even more amazing than I dreamed they would. Those were a labor of love.

Handmade Honest Marquee

What would most people be surprised to know about designing this showroom?

Merchandising is an integral part of designing for a public space. Product placement evolved several times within the project, and eventually we ended up with wall mounted modular boxes that featured the Honest products. The wood worked as a natural backdrop for the corrugated galvanized metal walls I constructed — this tied the two ends of the large industrial room together. I custom made the wooden boxes and outsourced some custom fabricated acrylic boxes as well. The magical Jenny Berkley is a merchandising and product display genius! She arranged and placed all the product for us and was instrumental in helping with the design and arrangement of the displays — she has a very artful eye.

Custom Modular Product Display

What are some basic decorating concepts to keep in mind when designing a nursery or any kind of space?

“If it looks beautiful to you, chances are it will look beautiful to someone else.”  Diane Von Furstenberg said this to me in a meet-and-greet when I was in college. I think about it every single time I work on a project, no matter what kind it is. I would also tell people not to be afraid of color and of mixing patterns and prints. Don’t always do the same thing, step out of your own box once in a while. Don’t go with what is ultra-trendy at the time — those things tend to change quickly, plus your work will look like everyone else’s. Spend your money on timeless well-made furniture, fixtures, and wall treatments — the rest can be done on a budget with a little ingenuity and a DIY attitude. Plus, you can change it around later on when you want to freshen up the look of a room, or decorate seasonally.

Details of The Honest Company Play Area

What decorating advice do you give to your best friends?

First, choose the overall look and feel of your room — make a design board to collect all your ideas. It’s the most logical and clear approach, especially for those who aren’t designers. On the board you can put snippets of color, texture, pictures of window treatments, lighting, decor, furniture, carpet, rugs, etc. Evolve that into a second board of what you have to work with in real life, and go from there. Getting inspired by what you love really helps to create a space you enjoy. Sometimes you can work with what you have, and other times you change it, every space is different.

Anything else you think we should know?

The coffee machine at The Honest Company is amazing.

To learn more about Carrie and her work, visit her site Scarlet Harlow and follow her on Pinterest.

Thanks, Carrie! Share your favorite DIY tips for overcoming design challenges and share pictures, too! #HonestDIY

Meet Sr. Ruby Developer Michelle Yung

Meet Honest Sr. Ruby Developer - Michelle Yung

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned while working at Honest?

It’s so refreshing working for a company that is hyper-focused on their mission of healthy living and giving back to the community. When you work for Honest, it’s so hard to not be educated on living more sustainably and healthily. Inevitably you find yourself adopting better eating habits, working out more, and making health-conscious choices. I think this type of environment, coupled with all the charity work that Honest does, breeds an atmosphere of goodwill in the workplace. I love the people I work with, and love coming in to work everyday knowing that our brand is making a difference in people’s lives.

What is your favorite product?

That’s a tough question! I use all the Honest products, but if I had to choose just one, I’d have to go with the Honest Shampoo + Body Wash. It’s really gentle and versatile as a wash. And I’ve actually found an unconventional use for it! I use it on knits and sweaters that have shrunk in the dryer. I find that if I handwash it in Honest Shampoo + Body Wash and allow it to air-dry, my clothing will be restored to its pre-shrunken state. I’ve used it in this manner for so many articles of clothing and it has yet to fail me!

What is your most memorable Honest moment?

The most memorable Honest moment has to be the non-traditional Thanksgiving canned food drive. Our company got split up into 10 teams competing for “donation dollars,” with each team trying to outdo the other in team spirit and best tower of stacked Thanksgiving food. All the festivities really put a highlight on the Honest’s charitable donations: every team’s charity of choice received a cash donation and 160 Thanksgiving meal boxes were distributed to local families in need.

How do you embrace the Honest lifestyle at home?

A few months after I started my job here, I took the Honest challenge and haven’t looked back! I threw out all my name brand cleaners and replaced them all with Honest products. They are so effective and give me peace of mind. I can’t live without my Honest Dishwasher Pods or Honest Stain Remover Spray.

If you weren’t at work, what would you be doing?

This year I really started getting into cooking! I’m a total novice, but I’m trying to commit to cooking 3-5 dinners a week and bringing my own lunch everyday. So I guess if I weren’t at work, I’d be trying my hand at a new recipe. I find it so satisfying when the dish turns out delicious and I’m definitely comforted knowing each ingredient that went into it. I’m slowly learning how to make my own adjustments to dishes, such as halving the sugar or butter, or making healthier substitutions for certain ingredients.

Most impressive thing I’ve made so far? For a St. Patrick’s day dinner party, I made homemade basil ice cream and it turned out amazing!

Meet Client Services Representative Stefania V’Soske

Meet Honest Client Services Representative - Stefania V’Soske

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned while working at Honest?

Working at The Honest Company is an experience like no other! I don’t think I knew what the true definition of “company culture” was until I started working here. We have karaoke nights, summer barbecues, and ping pong tournaments—it doesn’t get much better than that! Everyone at Honest is so positive, enthusiastic, and passionate. I am so fortunate to come into work every day and be surrounded by people that I truly consider my friends. Also, I can’t say that I mind the fridge and cabinets that are stocked with snacks on a weekly basis.

What is your favorite product?

This is such a hard question! I love the hand sanitizer spray! It works and smells amazing! It is so convenient that it comes with two bottles—I keep one at my desk at work and keep the other one in my purse! Before Honest, hand sanitizer was a product that I would not get near. I disliked the harsh chemicals and drying agents that are in typical hand sanitizers. With our hand sanitizer spray, I swear my hands feel so soft and moisturized after every use! I love that I can feel safe about using the product as well. I can’t tell you how many people I have turned onto this product. My friends and family are hooked!

What is your most memorable Honest moment?

Halloween! There was SO much laughter at work that day! You know you have great company culture when 100% of your coworkers dress up for Halloween! It was so fun seeing people dress up in groups competing to win our costume contest. There were people dressed up as Disney characters, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and much more. My group dressed up as Honest diaper patterns. We didn’t win but we had a great time!

How do you embrace the Honest lifestyle at home?

I’ve struggled with asthma for majority of my life so cleaning products have always been something that I have been very sensitive to. I remember the first time I used the multi-surface cleaner I was amazed! I did not have the need to open up any windows or doors in order for me to breathe properly. Now I have completely converted all of my cleaning products to Honest. I even have turned my roommates onto Honest!

If you weren’t at work, what would you be doing?

I grew up in the Bay Area and am fairly new to Los Angeles so I enjoy spending my time off exploring all that SoCal has to offer. The weather is absolutely perfect and there is seriously so much to do! We are so fortunate in California. Los Angeles is so cool because it has such close proximity to so many awesome places. I love going on spontaneous weekend trips to Santa Barbara (go Gauchos!), San Diego, and Palm Springs. With spring right around the corner, I am looking forward to spending a lot more time outside. I love going on beach runs, boating, and hiking. Also, I can never say no to a Disneyland trip, country concert, or a Sunday barbecue.

Meet Client Services Representative Natalie Marte

Meet Honest Client Services Representative - Natalie Marte

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned while working at Honest?

Something unexpected that I discovered when I began working at Honest is what a truly unique workplace it really is. I was prepared for the “startup lifestyle” and how non-traditional things may be, but Honest takes it to a whole new level. Beyond that, having all business components under one roof makes for a really remarkable experience. Everyone is so driven and focused on doing good, not only in their own department but all across the board. Which, in a way, stems directly from the passion that ignited the company in the first place. Having bosses that you can also call your role models, mentors, and friends is definitely something you don’t find everywhere.

What is your favorite product?

Having to choose a favorite product is like asking a parent to choose their favorite child — I love them all in their own way! But a hands-down favorite has got to be the Organic Lip Balm Trio (specifically the lavender mint flavor). Anyone that knows me is aware that I am a lip balm addict, but it was not until I started working for Honest that I was finally able to ditch my usual cherry flavored tube. And my lips have never been happier! The Healing Balm is also a miracle worker, and my roommates are hooked on the Stain Remover as we’ve learned that red wine and white carpet do not mix well.

What is your most memorable Honest moment?

I could probably think of a favorite moment from each week of working here. We’ve got an unmatched sense of culture and definitely know what it means to work hard and play hard. Professionally, a favorite experience has been getting to help out with the DIY portion of the Honest Blog for the past four months or so by filling in and creating the bi-weekly project posts. It’s been fun tapping back into my artistic side, and also having the opportunity to interact with our members in a different way that I typically get to.

How do you embrace the Honest lifestyle at home?

In college I majored in environmental science, so living sustainably has always been a priority for me. Once I started working at Honest, I broadened my scope to incorporate this from a health standpoint as well, by replacing all of my traditional cleaning supplies with Honest ones and trying more diligently to reduce exposure to environmental toxins. Now, I’m working on getting all of my family and friends hooked as well! It’s rare to find low impact products, that are safe, affordable, AND beautifully designed, so it’s exciting to get to be a part of this and to share it with others.

If you weren’t at work, what would you be doing?

Well, I’m lucky to have really awesome parents who instilled the importance of travel in my twin brother and me at a very young age, so I am all about going new places and experiencing different cultures. As a SoCal native I also love the sunshine, so I try to be outside and at the beach as much as possible. Come September you’ll find me back in the stands, cheering on Jim Mora and the UCLA Bruins on their quest for the Natty! As part of a strong Alumni group, my friends and I try to make it out to as many games as we can. We’re currently working on our travel arrangements for the game against Texas at Cowboys Stadium — should be quite the experience.

Honest Digs The Garden School Foundation

Garden 1

To celebrate our one-year anniversary of working with The Garden School Foundation, Honest joined in a new garden-building project at 24th Street Elementary School near Downtown Los Angeles.

Garden 2

 

Garden 10

Garden 7

 

As best told in the words of our Honest team, here were some of the highlights from the day:

  • “It was cool to watch the kids’ reactions when they found bugs. The garden was awesome. This was the first school I have seen with a big garden space dedicated and organized to help educate the children. I personally loved that my daughter enjoyed helping in the volunteer activities and that I was able to spend one-on-one time with her.” – Lucy C
  • “I love the Garden School Foundation! I helped with some leveling to create an outdoor classroom and it is a lot harder than it sounds! It was so neat to transform this rough terrain and piles of mulch with my co-workers into a beautiful surface that will act as an incredible space for students to perform and learn — I want to go back to see the final outcome.” – Hannah H.

Garden 3

  • “I spent the day pick axing (pick axing!!) a rock hard 10′ x 30′ square to level it out for an outdoor classroom space with coworkers and friends, and had a blast. I love how we always put as much into these events as we would when developing a new product or speaking with our members.” – Courtney H.
  • “I loved being able to start the day working hard and trying to pull out weeds, and then ending the day with painting animals and watching all the kids creating their own.” – Allison L.

Garden 6

  • “It was awesome to partner with the Garden School Foundation. They have beautiful gardens that are bringing people of different communities back to the earth with programs that help people live healthier more sustainable lives.” – Mike B.
  • “I loved how excited and grateful they were (The Garden School Foundation) to have us participate. When I was checking in, a volunteer expressed how impressed she was with how many excited and enthusiastic Honest employees were there.” – Courtney H.
  • “My favorite part was watching the children and parents participate in the activities that the garden areas have to offer.” – Lucy C.

Garden 4

Even Honest employees learned a thing or two about gardening!

  • “I learned that palm trees — even the very little ones (3 inches) — have deep roots (8 inches) and are very difficult to remove.” – Mike B.
  • “I had no idea rose bushes were so hard to up-root!” – Allison L.
  • “It was warm day and those weeds did not want us to pull them out of the ground, it seemed as if they were putting our strength to the test.” – Lucy C.
  • “Gardening and leveling is an awesome workout!” – Hannah H

Garden 5

About The Garden School Foundation: The Garden School Foundation (GSF) is dedicated to providing an interdisciplinary program of education through garden-based learning in outdoor living classrooms. Turning asphalt into ecosystems, they teach standards-based lessons and cooking classes in the garden classroom and provide educators the tools they need to make school gardens thrive. 24th street Elementary School is the prototype for this program and GSF is currently working to expand this approach to other underserved schools throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Garden 8