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The CEO of Jessica Alba’s Honest Company Has a New Startup on the Side

The startup is working on a shopping app that will sell the type of stuff found in dollar stores.

The Honest Co.
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Brian Lee has started three companies, and he’s still running one of them, Honest Company, as CEO. That hasn’t stopped him from helping to start a fourth.

The serial entrepreneur has helped raise around $5 million for a new shopping app that multiple sources describe as a digital incarnation of a dollar store. The startup has been going by the name of Hollar, though it’s not clear if that will be its name at launch. A trademark filing refers to the company as an “online retail services” company that will sell everything from party supplies to toys to snacks.

The CEO and co-founder is David Yeom, a former VP at Honest.

While Lee co-developed the idea for Hollar, according to Yeom, and is an investor and board member, he won’t have the title of co-founder. He also won’t be involved in the day-to-day operations and will remain as CEO of Honest Company, the diaper and bath and beauty products company he started with actress Jessica Alba.

Honest Company recently raised $100 million that valued it at $1.7 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal, and is said to be prepping for an eventual IPO. It began by selling non-toxic, eco-friendly diapers and baby wipes and has since expanded into baby formula, soaps, shampoos and sunscreens as well.

Prior to Honest, Lee founded LegalZoom and later ShoeDazzle, a subscription shoe-selling site that grew quickly before fading and being acquired by competitor JustFab.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Lee as a co-founder of Hollar. While Lee co-developed the idea for Hollar, he is not taking the title of co-founder, he told Re/code after publication. The story has been updated throughout to make this clear.

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