Nat­u­ral Pro­gres­sion

Life hasn’t al­ways been a bed of roses for Thann skin­care founder Thi­ti­pat Su­pa­p­a­tra­nont, dis­cov­ers Ploy­lada Suchar­i­tachan­dra

Thailand Tatler - - FACES -

uild­ing a beauty em­pire may not have been a dream of THANN skin­care and Thann Sanc­tu­ary spa founder Thi­ti­pat Su­pa­p­a­tra­nont, but, look­ing back, it def­i­nitely links back to one of his child­hood in­ter­ests— na­ture. “I re­mem­ber how I used to en­joy plant­ing seeds and watch­ing them grow,” rem­i­nisces the 46-year-old. He had al­ways felt a deep-seated con­nec­tion with na­ture. “I used to spend a lot of time out­side Bangkok with my aunt in Phayao. In the morn­ing, I would ride my bi­cy­cle to the lake and just sit there for the whole day fish­ing. Whether we caught any­thing or not didn’t mat­ter—just to be there in the open space with such stun­ning scenery was enough to make me feel good.”

Early on in his adult life, Thi­ti­pat went through the mo­tions, pur­su­ing a de­gree in industrial en­gi­neer­ing at Chu­la­longkorn Univer­sity. “De­spite ex­celling as a stu­dent, I knew I wouldn’t en­joy be­ing an en­gi­neer, so I de­cided not to go col­lect my li­cense,” he laughs. Later, he tried mar­ket­ing, with stints at ma­jor food com­pa­nies such as United Food and Cere­bos Thai­land. Af­ter ac­quir­ing an MBA from Aus­tralia, he stayed there for four years work­ing as an in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing man­ager. It was dur­ing that spell that he started to no­tice a growth in lo­cal ap­pre­ci­a­tion of nat­u­ral cos­met­ics and well­ness. “At the time I felt that it could pos­si­bly be­come a trend in Asia in the next few years,” he shares. And he be­lieved, from day one, that he could make THANN go beyond the Thai mar­ket.

When was the brand’s turn­ing point? “The day we opened a store at La Porte Aoyama shop­ping mall in Tokyo,” he says. “It was a proud ac­com­plish­ment—it’s not easy to ex­port prod­ucts to Ja­pan.” To date, THANN has more than 70 shops and 20 spas in 17 coun­tries. The brand also sup­plies bath prod­ucts and amenity kits to many top ho­tels, in­clud­ing over 400 Mar­riotts across three con­ti­nents, and ma­jor air­lines. He also re­cently opened an of­fice in Los An­ge­les with a view to ex­pand­ing re­tail op­er­a­tions in the United States. And as if his sched­ule was not al­ready packed enough, the for­mer chair­man of the De­sign and Ob­ject As­so­ci­a­tion has also launched his own jew­ellery brand, Satiwa. With a flag­ship store at Gaysorn, this also takes in­spi­ra­tion from na­ture. “With THANN, I pre­sent the ben­e­fits of na­ture through botan­i­cal ex­tracts and es­sen­tial oils. But with jew­ellery, I turn its beauty into sil­hou­ettes.”

Thi­ti­pat used to be a se­ri­ous worka­holic, un­til a health scare seven years ago forced him to re­assess his work-life bal­ance. One day he forced him­self to go to work de­spite a high fever, and the next day, he re­calls, “My fam­ily found me col­lapsed on the floor. Luck­ily, it was just a mi­nor stroke.” He was 39 years old at the time, with no se­ri­ous health is­sues— his body was just ex­hausted. “If I could turn back time, I would tell my younger self that I’m not a hero, that I have to learn how to say no. Health is like a glass ball. Once you drop it, you ei­ther crack it or break it, but it will never be the same,” he says. While he still puts in the work hours, the gent now ex­er­cises four days a week with a per­sonal trainer who has over­seen his fit­ness regime for the past 10 years.

To­day, he strives for spir­i­tual bal­ance in his life. On his time off, the art en­thu­si­ast en­joys vis­it­ing new coun­tries and places to seek fresh de­sign in­spi­ra­tions for his new stores and spas. His lat­est ob­ses­sion, how­ever, is a young schnau­zer. He takes lit­tle Kem to swim­ming classes every Satur­day, cre­ates new menus for the picky pup and even looks for glu­te­nand preser­va­tive-free snacks for him while trav­el­ling. “I’ve been spend­ing quite a lot of time re­cently ob­serv­ing how he grows and try­ing to un­der­stand him,” he laughs.

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