Thann founder Tony Suppattranont tells us how the brand went from obscure to having a global presence with a spa resort.
It has 60 stores worldwide and, in September last year, opened its Singapore flagship at Paragon. The store offers skincare, bodycare, haircare and home aromatherapy products, and also has a facial cabin.
Plus, it’s used in five-star hotel spas and the business class areas of airlines such as ANA and new boutique luxury carrier Starlux. Last October, it opened its first wellness resort in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Things are a far cry from Thann’s beginnings in the craft sections of Bangkok department stores.
“Studying for my MBA in Australia in 1996, I came across many lovely handmade beauty products at farmers’ markets.
I thought Thailand has a lot to offer in terms of natural ingredients too,” says Thann founder, Tony Suppattranont.
As a child, he watched masseuses carry out traditional massages on his grandparents, infusing his home with scents of lemongrass and herbs. And his mother and aunts would whip up body and facial scrubs using shredded coconut and oatmeal.
Combining this familiarity with his experience in international marketing (he’s an engineering graduate, but has never worked as one), he launched a collection of body scrubs and massage oils in 2002 based on natural ingredients such as rice bran oil and thyme.
The brand soon gained traction among tourists drawn by its sleek packaging and spa-like offerings. Many gave the same suggestion: since you already have the products, why not open a spa?
The bestsellers (from left):
Aromatic Wood Bath & Massage Oil, $45,
Shiso Revitalizing Face Mask, $50 for three-piece set,
Oil-Free Facial Sunscreen SPF30/PA+++, $45,
Rice Extract Moisturizing Cream, $55
Suppattranont says he designed Thann as a unisex brand he’d want to use himself. This genderneutral image helped it crack the travel and hospitality market.
And that’s what he did, in 2004, with a store cum spa in Bangkok’s trendy Siam Discovery mall. There are now 21 Thann spas globally.
The brand’s latest milestone is its 10-hectare wellness resort in Ayutthaya (pictured above). Set in lush surrounds, the all-inclusive resort has only 46 guest rooms, but a huge spa complex with 15 treatment rooms. Guests enjoy exercise classes, plus three meals (hotel-quality nosh, he says) and a massage daily.
“We want our guests to spend time in nature. People are more stressed in their daily lives, so it’s important for the brand to be more holistic as well.”