Jessica and her boys

Born to Make Waves

California Baby founder Jessica Iclisoy is a woman who has long been ahead of her time. It was while pregnant with her first child more than two decades ago that she began a dive deep into research about how to live the healthiest, most natural life possible. She changed everything from the foods she ate to the sheets on her bed, but it was after picking up a chemical dictionary at a library one day that her life changed. She took it home and used it to research the ingredients in baby shampoo. Shocked to discover carcinogens in a product for a newborn, she knew there had to be a better option. When there wasn’t, she became obsessed with creating one. With no intention of starting a business but driven by an absolute determination to change the status quo, she found replacements for unsafe cleansing and fragrance ingredients and made what would be the first California Baby product—a calming, shampoo and body wash.

Answering the New Baby Wake-up Call

Armed with information and a product she knew was better than what was available, Jessica marched into the nearest health food store and explained to the buyer why her product was exceptional—and also why it had to be more expensive than the products currently on the shelves. The store told the determined mother and fledging businesswoman they would carry it but that she would have to educate the consumer. Driven by a passion for doing things the right way and an absolute refusal to take no for an answer, Jessica spent the next eight years rotating between the chain’s various stores (all now owned by Whole Foods), talking to shoppers and explaining to them why her product was better for their child or children—and for them.

Jessica Iclisoy

The Story of California Baby Begins

Soon after, Jessica created a bubble bath, lotion and sunscreen, and before she knew it, she had launched a natural-products company, years before the word “organic” was part of common vernacular. In these early years of her California Baby, almost everyone told Jessica that what she wanted to do was impossible. A woman in a man’s business world, she refused to be deterred—the more people told her no, the harder she forged on.

With a mission to examine each baby product on the market and figure out a way to make it better—no matter what it took—she grew California Baby exponentially over the next decade, proving all of her detractors wrong. She proved that mothers would pay more for a cleaner item; she proved that a woman knows what other women want; and she proved that a woman could create it, no matter what the men around her said.

Today, some 20 years later, there are approximately 90 products in the California Baby range, which now also includes kids (all of the products also work for adults with sensitive skin). Jessica single-handedly helped create the baby category in Whole Foods, and made California Baby the first natural brand to go mass by selling in Target, even helping create the giant retailer’s premium category. Today, California Baby is also sold on massive ecommerce sites including Diapers.com, Amazon and Drugstore.com. Additionally, California Baby pet and home-goods lines both launch within the next several months.

A true pioneer in her industry, Jessica continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in natural products. California Baby’s manufacturing plant in Culver City, California, is an FDA-registered, certified organic, eco-friendly facility run on solar panels. Jessica even bought a farm in Santa Barbara where she grows the flowers used for extractions in her products. Never one to settle, she works directly with suppliers to create brand-new ingredients specifically made for California Baby in an effort to continually push the natural, sustainable and biodegradable footprint forward, a movement she insists is still in its infancy. She is on a constant, unrelenting search for innovation, fueled by a determination to change things for the better. Jessica is not content with the way things are until they are absolutely, 100 percent perfect. She is a person who is always breaking down walls, and once she does, immediately looking around for the next wall to demolish. It is that drive that led Jessica to help create a category that 20 years ago didn’t exist and that puts California Baby–a certified woman-owned company–squarely in its own class in the sustainable market. With every passing day, Jessica makes the world a safer place for our babies and children.

California Baby Calming Shampoo Bodywash
California Baby Women Owned Certified

California Baby® Officially Powered by Women

At California Baby®, we’re constantly challenging the status quo. Whether that means buying our own organic growing fields to ensure the best ingredients or nurturing, empowering and promoting women to make sure women’s voices are heard in a male-dominated industry. That’s why we’re beyond thrilled to be WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise / WOMEN OWNED™ by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The organization has officially validated that California Baby® is owned, controlled, operated and managed by a woman.


2013 NAWBO Leadership Award Honoree

2013 NAWBO Leadership Award

I'm proud to have been recently recognized by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) with a Leadership Award. The organization selects exemplary women entrepreneurs who are leaders and role models within their industry and community.

The award specifically honed in on what we at California Baby have done to go "outside the box," taking risks, creating and then leading the market to ever higher standards for purity and sustainability in both ingredients and processes. It was indeed a great honor.

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