Holly ThaggardSupergoop!

A teacher and mother, Holly Thaggard was inspired to add entrepreneur to her resume when a close friend was diagnosed with skin cancer. Holly realized that daily SPF application was one of the most effective ways to prevent this disease, so she made it her mission to develop sun protection products that people would eagerly slather on every day.

What drove you to start your own brand? I was inspired to start Supergoop! when a friend of mine was diagnosed with skin cancer in our 20s. Another friend, who was doing her residency in dermatology at the time, taught me that the sun damage our skin gets at an early age can lead to this type of damage over time––and that the key to staying protected was SPF.

This was all happening 15+ years ago, and there was so much white space in the sunscreen industry; it was a super sleepy category, and all the sunscreens out there were icky, sticky and smelly. And people only thought to wear them during the summer months or while they were at the beach. All of that really worked to my advantage, and I set out to create an SPF that would change everyone’s perception of SPF––one that was clean, feel-good and innovative, and one that people would want to wear Every. Single. Day.
" I set out to create an SPF that would change everyone’s perception of SPF––one that was clean, feel-good and innovative, and one that people would want to wear Every. Single. Day."

What’s your favorite product in the line? It’s always hard for me to pick a favorite, but Sheerscreen is one that we just introduced, and I love it. To put it simply, it’s the closest thing to invisible as a 100% mineral SPF is going to get. (By nature, mineral SPF actives are dense, white particles, and they can never, ever become fully invisible!) I love the texture––I’ve been telling people that it’s sheer and almost veil-like, kind of like your favorite whisper-thin white t-shirt. And I also love that it acts as a makeup-gripping primer, for a little bit of double-duty action.

In terms of its creation backstory, our mission at Supergoop! has always revolved around creating both clean chemical and 100% mineral options—there’s just no such thing as a one-size-fits-all SPF! When we were evaluating our line, we realized we were missing a mineral SPF that would work nicely on those with darker skin tones, who really wanted or needed something mineral. So we partnered with our chemists to develop something to allow us to be able to do this, and the result was SheerMatrix Technology, a technology that sort of spreads out the mineral actives, making them sheerer, while remaining just as effective. Because of this, Sheerscreen SPF 30 was born!

What’s your morning and evening routine? The first thing I do is splash cold water on my face, and then brush my teeth. (Marvis toothpaste is my absolute favorite!) Next, I’m quickly out the door for a one-hour Pilates or weight-training session.

Before going to sleep, I always try to carve out time for a bath (with one of my favorite Nest New York candles lit!). It’s the perfect way for me to relax and unwind after a busy day and before bed.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? A lot of people are surprised to know that I was a professional harpist before Supergoop!, but here’s something even more surprising than that! I was fortunate enough to get to play the backup harp with Aretha Franklin. It was totally one of those pinch-me moments. What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? I always tell people that passion is everything. Be so passionate about whatever your business idea is that you literally can’t sleep at night because you’re too busy thinking about it. It’s this passion that will also get you through the highs and—most importantly—the lows.
Molly Thaggard of Supergoop!
The Founders Series
Learn how some of the beauty industry’s most dynamic entrepreneurs find inspiration and develop must-have products as they share their advice for aspiring business moguls and much more