Celebrating National Volunteer Week Together

As part of our commitment to National Volunteer Week, over 50 Honest employees joined Food Forward in the Huntington Gardens to harvest oranges for a local food receiving agency. In total, we picked over 3,200 pounds of fresh fruit to serve to Los Angeles families in need.

Celebrating National Volunteer Week

As a volunteer-based organization, Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste and connects this abundance with agencies across Los Angeles county. From backyard harvesting to farmers’ market recovery, Food Forward recently celebrated their 2 millionth pound of food recovered and served in Southern California.

Join Food Forward and Make a Difference

The Honest Company Joins National Volunteer Week

Because National Volunteer Week celebrates the collective power of giving back, we also want to honor your contributions by sharing your #HonestCares stories. See how your fellow community members got involved in their neighborhoods:

#HonestCares Volunteer Stories

Thank you for working together to make it better!

Inspired to do more? Let us know how you hope to volunteer this year.

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

Monday Meditation: Native American Proverb Reminds Us to Protect Earth

Monday Meditation Native American

3 Family Trips That Connect You With Nature

Eco Outdoor Vacations

Fresh air, beautiful scenery, and maybe even some wild animal sightings — the great outdoors offers the most exciting playground ever. Getting back to nature is rejuvenating for adults and a wonderful learning experience for kids that benefits their overall well-being.

Kids today may not get enough outside time as they should. A three-year study out of the UK showed that only 21% of children ages 8-12 were “connected to nature,” with girls more likely than boys to have outdoor experiences. A study from 2009 even suggested that spending time in nature makes people “more caring.”

Numerous groups including The Conservation Fund, Children & Nature Network, and the World Wildlife Fund actively encourage families to experience nature with their kids and enjoy what it has to offer. And it offers a lot of fun!

Check out these three unforgettable trips that will bring your family together and reconnect you with the world outside.

The Ground and Trails - Hotel Belmar

Hotel Belmar, adjacent to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica

Want to experience something you’ll never forget with your family? The eco-friendly Hotel Belmar in Costa Rica sits on nine acres, next to the nearly 26,000 acre Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Spend the day hiking the property, enjoying the spring water pond, waterfall, and private trails. Or take a tour of the nearby forest led by the hotel’s on-staff naturalist. Just in the area, your family can also visit the bat jungle, the butterfly garden, and local coffee and chocolate farms. The outdoor activities in this area are endless—zip lining, horseback riding, biking, and all sorts of guided tours (one at night).

Geyser Viewing at Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park

One quintessential American family vacation is visiting Yellowstone National Park. Spread throughout three states, the park contains the largest collection of geysers, plus stunning views, wildlife, and sulfur pools. Bring your gear and camp, or stay at the one of the lodges in the park.

Out-n-About Treesort

Out’n’About Treesort in Oregon

Sleep among the trees at Out’n’About Treesort in Oregon. Choose from more than a dozen tree-top cabins or closer-to-the-ground wooden structures. The Swiss Family Robinson Complex is the stuff of kid vacation dreams — two on-the-ground treehouses connect by a swinging bridge. You can rent this for $180 for up to four people. Activities at the tree house camp include zip lining in the treetops, horseback riding, river rafting, and arts and crafts.

If a vacation’s not possible right now, hold a family camping night in your own backyard! Sleep under the stars and institute a no-gadgets policy for one evening. Play games, tell stories, roast marshmallows, and enjoy the fresh air!

Even backyard camping can teach your kids about the great outdoors. Incorporate nature in a fun craft project, making things from leaves, sticks, pinecones, and other foliage you find outside (just make sure the plants aren’t poisonous if you have young children).

What is your favorite family vacation? Tell us how you enjoy the great outdoors.

Images via Hotel Belmar, Yellowstone, and Out’n'About Treesort.

Gluten Free & Vegan Coconut Pear Parfait

Gluten Free and Vegan Coconut Pear Parfait

Perfect for a festive brunch or a simple Sunday at home, this gluten free, dairy free, and vegan parfait will start your day on a sunny note. The recipe for four is easy to whip up, and its ingredients have anti-inflammatory benefits — promoting an internal reset for your body.

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe organic pears, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 cups coconut milk yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan Parfait

Directions

1.     In a medium-sized bowl, combine pears, orange juice, and orange zest. Set aside for 20 minutes.

2.     Spoon yogurt into four serving bowls; top with pear mixture, coconut flakes, and ground flax seeds.

3.     Serve chilled.

Bon appétit!

- Amie Valpone of  TheHealthyApple.com