- Beau Wangtrakuldee, Ph.D. founded AmorSui to provide PPE designed for women
- A chemical burn caused by inadequate equipment inspired Wangtrakuldee to crowdfund and launch the company
- AmorSui branched out during the pandemic with health care apparel and a mobile app
Beau Wangtrakuldee, Ph.D. comes from a family of entrepreneurs, but she is, at her core, a scientist. Originally from Thailand, Wangtrakuldee came to the United States in 2006 to complete her undergraduate education. Fiercely ambitious, she subsequently went on to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D., both in Chemistry.
An epiphany in the lab
It was during her quest for her Ph.D. that a startling event planted an idea in her mind. While working in the lab one summer, she suffered a chemical spill that left a temporary burn on her legs. She had been wearing a lab coat when it happened, yet it had not adequately protected her.
“That experience opened my eyes to a couple of things. One thing was that the current PPE is not good enough to protect me. I was scared to death to go back to work,” Wangtrakuldee said. “And when I was looking for additional protection for myself, I just found that gender inclusive products are limited. There are much less options for women’s sizes, aesthetics and things that make a woman feel comfortable.”
The experience stuck with her. She began to ask other women scientists if they had also felt inadequately protected by their PPE. She found that many women shared her safety concerns. Wangtrakuldee decided to take matters into her own hands. She turned to crowdfunding as a way to test the waters and see if there was a market for PPE for women. After raising $16,000 for the first round of production, she realized the idea had merit.
“I think there was a spark when [I spoke with 100 people] and every single one of them had this problem,” Wangtrakuldee said. “But what really convinced me to pursue this business idea was when we actually raised money. I feel like when someone is paying for it, it is definitely a confirmation that people would actually buy.”
Providing PPE for all
In 2018, she officially founded AmorSui, the first PPE brand specifically designed for women. As CEO, Wangtrakuldee oversees the design and production of face masks, dresses, shirts, pants, medical gowns, gloves and even hijabs. The brand currently offers sustainable, gender-inclusive and size-inclusive PPE for people of all genders. AmorSui products are also American-made, reusable and abide by FDA and OSHA safety standards. The materials can be repurposed. The products aim to look stylish, reduce waste and ensure protection.
AmorSui has provided PPE to universities, pharmaceutical companies and chemical companies.
PPE in the pandemic era
The needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted the company to branch out. “Like many businesses, we have had to pivot because our original line of product was only fire resistant, chemical resistant and antimicrobial apparel, which has nothing to do with the PPE that sold a lot last year,” Wangtrakuldee said. “We also expanded our line from just being in the laboratory to health care.” Though the worst part of the pandemic is (hopefully) coming to a close, Wangtrakuldee plans to continue making products specifically for health care workers.
In addition to manufacturing apparel for health care workers, AmorSui also launched a mobile app in 2020. Created in partnership with Harvard University, the app helps users monitor the number of times their medical gowns are washed before they should dispose of them. The app also provides users with usage and sustainability data that allows them to see how much money and waste they are saving.
“I think that our reusable recyclable gown system platform…could help not only in the long run, save money for hospitals, but [also] make them reduce their carbon footprint in a big and impactful way,” Wangtrakuldee said. Moving forward, she hopes to “increase brand awareness to dental clinics,” in addition to hospitals and labs.
Taking the first step
Wangtrakuldee advised other aspiring entrepreneurs to take the plunge. “A lot of women will keep [a business idea] in their own head,” she said. “Either they’re scared to share their ideas with someone or they’re scared that someone else is going to take their idea and do something with it. And that’s not a productive way to think about it, because nothing became a business until…there was a customer, a buyer, an investor, and advisors around you. So I would try as much as possible to build a team or to build resources around [you], even early on.”
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