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