After a good friend was diagnosed with skin cancer, Holly Thaggard set out to create products that made applying SPF as much of a daily no-brainer as brushing your teeth. The woman has gumption. We already loved Supergoop! And after chatting with Holly, we love them even more. Read on for more about this CEO’s enviable Saturday morning ritual, safe skincare, and why “no” is the best answer you can get.
Name+ occupation: Holly Thaggard, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Supergoop!.
Where did the name Supergoop! come from? I referred to our first samples from the lab as “goop” because they were in nameless jars. After almost a year of working with our chemists, I whole-heartedly believed that our first approved formula was “super.” I put the two together one evening and quickly realized we had the fun, playful and spirited brand name that would appeal to both kids and adults—Supergoop! Even today, it’s difficult to say without smiling, which in my book is a huge win when you’re talking about SPF.
Talk to us about why you started Supergoop! When I was 29, my close friend was diagnosed with melanoma. The reality that skin cancer is the most common (but yet preventable!) cancer in the United States, with one in five people diagnosed in their lifetime, tells us that we have a serious problem. Understanding that healthy habits always start early in life, I set out to create a brand that would appeal to both children and adults with an end goal of making SPF application in the home as common and frequently practiced as washing your hands, brushing your teeth and putting on your seatbelt.
Biggest pinch me moment so far? My first huge moment was seeing Sephora light up on my cell phone at a little before midnight one night. It was my future first merchant, Kim Holt. Soon after we were planning our launch date.
A few years later I had another big pinch me moment, also in San Francisco. I was standing in line at the airport with my cute Supergoop! bag in tow and the couple in front of me pointed to my bag and pulled a tube of Supergoop! out of their bag. Then, the family in line behind me noticed and pulled out one of our Supergoop! travel totes and lip balms. They were also huge fans. I was so flattered.
Favorite product in your collection? (One of our staffers is OBSESSED with your Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen…and found it when, like your friend, she had a melanoma diagnosis at age 29.) That is so scary. 29 is so young to be put through the experience of melanoma. Our Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen is a favorite in our house too, because it is so calming and gentle and for a mineral product it doesn’t leave behind a white cast. That said, right now I can’t get enough of our Forever Young Body Butter SPF 40. It’s rich and luxurious but not in the least bit greasy or heavy on the skin.
What’s a typical day like for you (if there is such a thing?) I split my time between our New York office and our office in San Antonio where I live with my husband and two kiddos. When in NY, I wake up early and head to SoulCycle to get the day off to a good start but when I’m at home (and on central time) I can only fit in about 25-30 minutes of burning calories before I start to feel anxious about making sure our kiddos are up, a healthy breakfast is offered and everything is running on time for school. Once every one is out the door, I make a crushed iced coffee and tackle the hard things first.
We’ve come a long way when it comes to awareness around the importance of sunscreen. What’s the biggest skincare mistake you still see women making? Thinking that the SPF in their tinted SPF 15 moisturizer or foundation is enough. It’s just not. Also, the lips, eyelids and top of hands are often overlooked. Our skin is thinner in these places, making it more vulnerable to sun damage and aging. These are all places that dermatologists first look for skin cancer.
Three things you’re most passionate about:
Family traditions. I have the greatest husband and kiddos who are all so incredibly supportive and just plain fun to be around. Because I’m in New York so much, keeping our family close and nurturing family traditions is incredibly important to me so that our kids know what to expect next. Fun Friday is always a night of pizza making and bongo board balancing. Every Saturday morning my son makes homemade French toast for everyone. Every time I notice a happy pattern in our home, I declare it a tradition. We have a lot now!
My health. Keeping calm and taking time to meditate, relax, exercise, de-stress and model healthy habits for my family is super important to me—especially with all of our family traditions built around being in the kitchen and eating great food together!
My work. I am incredibly passionate about building a brand, within the beauty industry, that has a bigger purpose and a reason for being. Building a mission-driven brand is something I am super passionate about.
Best habit–beauty or otherwise: Head to toe SPF, rain or shine, 365 days a year 🙂
Worst habit–beauty or otherwise: Waking up and looking at my iPhone. I’m committed in 2016 to completely break this habit. I still have 4 months to go though!
First thing you do when you wake up: Look at my iphone 🙂
What’s your typical hair/beauty routine? I owe a big thank you to Living Proof for my healthy, shiny, hydrated hair. Years ago I received a sample of the leave-in conditioner from Sephora. My hair is super fine and everything ends up weighing it down as the day goes on but this formula is lightweight, and it quickly detangles my hair too. I don’t know how it does what it does but I love it!
Of course, I’m most loyal to Supergoop! for my daytime skincare. Our City Sunscreen Serum is the holy grail of multifunction and it makes my skin feel so soft. It’s nice to know the protection from the environment is built in too and it makes a great primer for our CC Cream. Supergoop! CC Cream is next in the routine. What I love is that it not only immediately evens skin tone, it reduces the inflammation that causes uneven skin tone too–all while receiving the highest clinical rating for UVA and UVB protection.
In the evening I wash my face with Caudalie cleansing oil and then I apply Caudalie detox oil. My daughter Emery loves the smell of the detox oil so I love it when I go to tuck her in at night and she tells me I smell pretty!
Oh—and the Fresh Sake Bath is definitely in my evening routine. I love products that are soft and delicate on the skin, yet have a wonderful and memorable scent.
How often do you wash your hair? Once a day, in the morning. I apply the Living Proof leave-in conditioner before I comb through. On the weekends, I rely completely on the Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo for daytime and usually wait until early evening to wash, if at all. I love the way Living Proof’s Dry Shampoo smells.
Biggest hair regret: Well, I did grow up in the 80’s…so there’s that.
One thing you would never do to your hair: Change colors. I’m way too traditional.
How long have you been going to your stylist? When we moved to San Antonio from Dallas, I stayed loyal to Kurt Anderson at Stanley Korshak for over two years, traveling back and forth. But it just became too difficult. I found a fabulous stylist in San Antonio and have a standing appointment on Friday at 10am, every sixth week.
Who is your role model? I have several role models that inspire me in different ways, but the most influential are definitely my mother and father. My father is a very half glass full kind of guy. He has a way of making everything—good or bad—A-OK, which translated into a very happy childhood. As an adult it has made me a super positive person. There is nothing that can’t be turned around or fixed.
My mother instilled in all of us the mindset of “without change there would be no butterflies.” She changed everything, all the time. This really opened up my mind to think about various different ways to do things. For my birthday last year she and our two kiddo’s painted a huge butterfly. The painting now hangs in the entry to Supergoop!.
What about your Woman Crush? Name yours. Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I very much admire what she did for building awareness around breast cancer. I often ask people if they can imagine how popular a lotion that you can rub on your breasts would be if it prevented breast cancer. Skin cancer is 16x more frequently diagnosed than breast cancer and yet we have a lotion that can primarily prevent it–it’s called SPF!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? My father is to thank for instilling each of us with so much grit. As a child he taught me in sales that every “no” only made me that much closer to hearing “yes.” No’s still today don’t phase me. I usually just think I’ve asked the wrong person.
How do you act confident (even when you don’t feel confident)? I wear heels or wedges. I’m 5’11” but for some reason I don’t feel confident unless I have heels on! It drives my husband crazy.
Most life-changing innovation: The Sonos. I love music so having different songs, in different rooms, at different volumes, all controlled by my iphone is awesome. I have everyone in our family hooked so when I visit my parents, in-laws or brother I can easily turn up the music in their home too!
Favorite inventor/gamechanger (living or dead): Elon Musk. The Tesla is a definite game changer.
What do you wish someone would invent next? A way to travel from NY to TX faster!
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