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There are common threads through each of Bell’s business ventures, which include This Saves Lives snack bars and Happy Dance CBD body products. They’re affordable, responsibly sourced and made, and give back to causes. “I have a pretty strong moral compass and wanted to be at the table steering the companies to make the best choices possible for the consumers, the product, the production line and the Earth,” says Bell, adding that she believes a for-profit-for-good model is the future of business.
At least when it comes to her brands, she seems to be right. Hello Bello will soon open its own diaper manufacturing facility in Waco, Texas, to help keep costs low and quality high, and it donated more than 1 million diapers to dozens of nonprofits in 2020. Meanwhile, Happy Dance is now sold in nearly 1,000 Ulta stores nationwide, and 1 percent of all profits is donated to A New Way of Life Reentry Project, which helps women who are rebuilding their lives after prison. And This Saves Lives has expanded into kids snacks like oatmeal and granola and provides nutrient-dense food packets to children facing acute malnutrition.
Hello Bello president Erica Buxton says having a distribution partnership with Walmart starting from the launch in February 2019 helped “create a brand that offers high-quality ingredients at affordable prices.” She says Bell’s involvement in decision-making reinforces the company’s focus “on plant-derived ingredients, sustainable packaging and our environmental footprint” and she “is a huge driver of our engaged, passionate community.” Bell says creating a community around Hello Bello, which she co-founded with husband Dax Shepard and three business partners, has been one of her proudest accomplishments.
“We started the company because parenting isn’t equal for everyone,” she says. “No one should have to choose between their baby and their budget.” Bell adds, “As a new mom, I felt less-than so often. I wanted to remind parents and caregivers that they are not alone, and that it’s OK to laugh at how hard it is to raise tiny humans!”
Jillian DiIorio, chief sales and giving officer of This Saves Lives, says Bell, along with fellow founders and actors Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell and Ravi Patel, is actively involved in its operations. “She’s in the loop on all the major decisions and new product launches,” says Dilorio. “We have additional investors, but the founders are definitely the voice of the brand.”
The same is true of Hello Bello and Happy Dance, the latter of which is a partnership with CBD brand Lord Jones. “She reviews and advises on all of our product formulations,” says general manager Summer Frein, who notes Bell also uses her creativity to make videos like the one addressing the common question, “Will CBD get me high?” (It won’t.) “Kristen has the ability to explain things in a way that that’s intriguing and interesting, and you feel reassured. Our mission is to destigmatize the plant, and for Kristen to lock arms with us and do that is really special.”
As for the future, Bell says she isn’t “counting anything out” when it comes to new ventures, but at the moment her hands are full with projects she’s passionate about. She tells THR that she takes seriously the trust that more than 17 million followers across Instagram and Twitter have in her: “I have a responsibility to make sure I’m promoting only things I trust and would use myself. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I didn’t.”
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Shop Kristen Bell’s Happy Dance, Hello Bello and This Saves Lives
Happy Dance CBD + CBG Soul Reviving Hand Cream
Hello Bello Bathroom Booty Wet Wipes
This Bar Saves Lives Chewy Granola Bars
Hello Bello Squeaky Clean Kiddo Set
Happy Dance CBD Look Alive Face Moisturizer
A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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