How Success Happened for Holly Thaggard, Founder of Supergoop

Thaggard changed how the world thinks about sunscreen.

learn more about Robert Tuchman

By Robert Tuchman

Holly Thaggard

Growing up, Holly Thaggard always wanted to be a teacher, but what she didn't realize after just one year in the classroom was that it could take on a very different, nontraditional meaning for herself and her career when she created Supergoop.

Related: How Success Happened for Nick Brown, Co-Founder of Imaginary Ventures

A little over two decades ago, Thaggard was shocked to find out that her close friend was diagnosed with skin cancer at age 29. She spent countless sleepless nights researching how this could happen at such a young age, and she consulted another close friend who was doing her residency in dermatology at the time. She confirmed what Thaggard herself was learning: The sun exposure we get daily, starting at a young age, can impact your skin health later in life. Thaggard was stunned, and she was determined to spread the word.

The one antidote to all of this — SPF — left a lot to be desired back then. Similar to how she approached teaching third grade for a brief year out of college, Thaggard knew that it would be easier to inspire change in consumer behavior through wonderful, feel-good, game-changing product innovation rather than through traditional scare tactics around the word cancer. So, she got to work.

Related: How Success Happened for Kaylin Marcotte, Founder and CEO of JIGGY Puzzles

Thaggard likes to say that what happened in 2006 with the launch of Supergoop wasn't just a reinvention of SPF ⁠— it was the creation of an entirely new consumer category. And she's right. She put SPF on the map.

In addition to being an impressive educator on her entrepreneurial journey, Thaggard has an airtight mission — to change the way the world thinks about sunscreen — that keeps her focused. She also knows the importance of asking for help from her team when she needs it.

When it comes to product, her philosophy is simple: Anything with Supergoop's name on it has to be clean, feel-good and innovative. For SPF, it can be tricky to check all the boxes, yet she's managed to do so. She launched the brand with the world's first-ever oxybenzone-free SPF, and today, its formulas nourish the skin while also providing full-spectrum protection from UV rays, blue light, infrared radiation and more.

It's no wonder that her vision has led to numerous personal awards and accolades, and Supergoop itself is soaring. The brand has increased revenue 20 times in the last five years (its DTC business alone doubled in size in 2020), while also leading the global conversation around the importance of wearing sunscreen every single day.

Today, Thaggard remains focused on product innovation and development, and acts as a vocal advocate for sun and skin health on Capitol Hill. And, as she often likes to say, she "can't stop, won't stop" anytime soon.

Related: How Success Happened for Sung Cho, CEO of Chartmetric
Robert Tuchman

Entrepreneur Staff

Host of How Success Happens

Robert Tuchman is the host of Entrepreneur's How Success Happens podcast and founder of Amaze Media Labs the largest business creating podcasts for companies and brands. He built and sold two Inc.500 companies: TSE Sports and Entertainment and Goviva acquired by Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.

Business News

I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony.

I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.

Business News

American Airlines Sued After Teen Dies of Heart Attack Onboard Flight to Miami

Kevin Greenridge was traveling from Honduras to Miami on June 4, 2022, on AA Flight 614 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious mid-flight.

Thought Leaders

The Collapse of Credit Suisse: A Cautionary Tale of Resistance to Hybrid Work

This cautionary tale serves as a reminder for business leaders to adapt to the changing world of work and prioritize their workforce's needs and preferences.

Business Solutions

Learn to Build a ChatGPT Bot for Only $30

If you want to see what AI can do for your business, grab this course bundle today.