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.
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.