Multitasking Mom Jessica Biel Is Using Her Star Power for Good

Jessica Biel may very well have dropped off your pop-culture radar. Her last appearance in a big-budget hit movie was in 2012's Total Recall. She’s picked up a few acting credits since then -- but the truth is, she’s been focused on other things. Lots of other things. It’s because of this wide variety of work -- for charity, business, and family -- that we celebrate Jessica Biel this month as part of our #MomsWhoInspire series. She exemplifies the busy working mom by juggling a myriad of projects with grace and her trademark goofy sense of humor. And somehow she manages it all while sharing a spotlight with her pop icon husband, Justin Timberlake. 

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Of course, she puts her own spin on doing it all. It’s a time-honored tradition for big-name celebs to partner with established fashion and fragrance brands to put out their own eponymous line. Biel bucks that trend by going the family route -- and supporting her baby brother’s upstart project Bare.

 

In 2013, Jessica partnered with her younger brother Justin and his best friend from childhood Grason Ratowsky to launch a line of socially responsible, eco-conscious bags using repurposed burlap sacks as raw materials. The label, Bare, creates handbags, totes, portfolios, and backpacks in limited runs at a small factory in Colorado, where the creators grew up. 

As she told Vogue, she carries one of the totes as a set bag: "It has all my scripts, all my stuff, all of my character stuff, it comes with me every day to work." What a way to be a great big sister! (But with bags this cute, who wouldn't be supportive?!) 

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Another socially conscious project she’s added her considerable star power to is the nonprofit Woman Care Global. The "Then Who Will?" initiative is a video series that aims to help women become comfortable talking about their bodies and seeking education about their own reproductive health. In the short videos, Biel chats with actress Joy Bryant and comedian Whitney Cummings about their personal experiences with sex ed and common misconceptions or myths about sex -- all with a frank, funny, nothing's-off-limits attitude. As she told Good Morning America, "We want to take it out of the shadows. We don’t want women’s reproductive health issues to be hidden under stigma or taboos anymore."

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Following another time-honored celebrity tradition, Biel partnered with a group of investors to open a restaurant in Los Angeles -- but Au Fudge aims to be a posh eatery that both adults and kids will enjoy. The food is "organic, all-natural and dye-free," and an au pair can be hired for child supervision in the Anthropologie-decorated kids play room. Craft kits and art classes make the "creative space" more than just a jungle gym tacked on to a café. Originally thinking she'd contribute to the baking element of the business, Biel told People, "I realized I’m not a baker ... [the restaurant] evolved from there."

Jessica sure knows how to keep busy -- and I’m sure her son Silas (who just turned 1 year old last month) helps keep her moving. She shared this adorbs photo via Instagram on Mother’s Day, saying:

Happy Mother's Day to you, Mom. I only, just now, understand what you did for me.

When E! asked her if Justin sings to baby Silas, she replied that while he usually doesn’t, she gives it a go. Her song of choice: the classic tune "Over the Rainbow." How sweet!

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You just might see Jessica back in the movie news these days, though. Continuing to expand her off-camera ventures, she tried on the producer hat for the new film The Devil and Deep Blue Sea, starring Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams. The drama premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and was picked up for distribution later this year. Again, Jessica kept the family theme going and hired her husband to create the score for the film. Her short role in the film as the pregnant wife to Sudeikis's character happily coincided with her own pregnancy -- making the film a true Timberlake family affair.

Clearly, Jessica Biel is a force of nature. Her ability to balance family with business, creativity, and practicality -- and maintain her sense of humor through it all -- is an inspiration. While she's not doing it all alone, she's not sitting back and letting anyone tell her what her life should be. And that, truly, makes her a mom who inspires. 

 

Main image via Johns PKI/Splash News; design by Anne Meadows; film still via C+ Pictures/Iron Ocean 

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