P.MAI Pioneer: Beau Wangtrakuldee
Beau Wangtrakuldee is the founder & CEO of AmorSui, the first safety-certified workwear designed for women from eco-friendly fabrics and processes. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been sheltering in place at my apartment in Philadelphia with her husband Craig and dog (Corgi) Butters.
How has the pandemic impacted you personally?
I actually feel like the impact of the pandemic to my health and work-life balance has been positive. AmorSui is a virtual company, so our team is efficient at working remotely. If anything, my commute to meetings has decreased significantly in the past few months, which I’ve enjoyed. Driving from one location to another can feel like wasted time, so being able to solely run the business from the comfort of my home has allowed me to get more things done and get more sleep. In addition, I am a homebody introvert by nature who enjoy binge watching TV on the couch in my spare time. Being stuck indoors have served me well.
What are you doing (or not doing) to personally weather the storm?
Personally, the challenges I have struggled with during the lockdown are not gettingenough sun and fresh air, and not being active enough. My husband and I make efforts to drive out to parks once a week to go for long hikes. I have also been incorporating online workout classes into my routine, which has been key in keeping my morale up during this time.
How has it impacted you professionally?
As I mentioned, AmorSui operates virtually, so I am used to back-to-back online meetings. However, I have seen myself working longer hours with fewer breaks while being stuck inside. Because of this, I have made a conscious effort to schedule breaks for lunch, exercise, and personal time. I also have this big water bottle that I fill daily to make sure I drink enough water each day.
How are you evolving your small business to meet changing demand? Why is it relevant right now?
There is a growing concern that standard PPE, which often has a unisex design, doesn’t always fit women properly. In a hospital where over 77% of staff are women, only 29% wear PPE designed for women, and 57% say that such PPE hampers their work. AmorSui has broadened our product lines to address this gap for female essential frontline workers, creating masks, eye protection, and gowns in women’s forms and sizes. Our products are also made using eco-friendly fabrics and processes. Their antimicrobial and antiviral properties are active after washes, or in some cases for the lifetime of the garment, like this face mask that kills up to 99% of well-known microbes and viruses for up to 75 washes. The world has generated over 240 tons of waste from disposable PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are on a mission to provide alternative options that are sustainable, well-fitted, and comfortable.
What widespread societal or economical changes do you foresee post pandemic?
With the global shortage of PPE during COVID-19, the world has relied on disposable PPE options to prevent infections, generating over 240 tons of waste. With a potential second surge of COVID-19 in the fall and winter and businesses reopening, we anticipate renewed demand for high-quality PPE. This time around, I believe corporations and manufacturers should consider buying and producing eco-friendly and reusable options to mitigate the creation of more medical waste. AmorSui is contributing to this solution by using our textile technology, design expertise, and manufacturing capacity to create reusable PPE products, that are just as effective if not more.
Any resources that have been particularly useful to you?
For me, sustaining my health, both physical and mental, is important to me. I have leveraged online classes using Classpass and Headspace to incorporate these essential activities into my routine.
Thanks for sharing Beau! You can learn more about her company AmorSui at: AmorSuiclothing.com
Shop With Stacy London
We're so excited to share our products will be featured on Dough's Block Party, hosted by Stacy London, former co-host of What Not to Wear, and Brandon Holley, former editor in chief at Lucky Magazine. Stacy & Brandon will be live styling callers with products from women-owned brands and boutiques across the country, including P.MAI. Join us via Zoom on Thursday at 7:30PM EST. RSVP here: https://bit.ly/stacylondonpmai
We'll be in the inspiring company of women-owned brands including, 337 Brand, 84 Gem, Bagtazo, Coco's Musings, daph., Fool's Gold, Jam+Rico, Kitty & Vibe, Koko Celeste, LeftEdit, Lordess, Majas, Meyari Jewelry, Neva Opet, Norie Shoes, Olori, Ora Ana, Softwear, Tribe Alive, Wildfang, Hi Wildflower, Winifred Taylor, and more.
Meet Violet - Ultraviolet light that kills 99.99% of bacteria
Things are uncertain and unprecedented times. Even as parts of the world start to "open up", we will continue to practice safe hygiene and take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. This pandemic has and will continue to change how we behave and industries from healthcare systems to sports and entertainment are forever changed.
If you're like me, you may be a little OCD when it comes to cleaning and wiping down all the things you touch. When I enter the doorway, I immediately take off my shoes and throw my clothes in the laundry. I used to disinfectant my phone, keys, doorknobs, and anything else I might have touch. But using a cleaning wipe every time felt wasteful and also, hard to come by in stores.
Enter the Violet Clean Kit.
I decided to launch this clean kit to help prevent the spread of bacteria and common germs that thrive on everyday objects we touch—from TV remotes to our wallets. It uses 12 powerful ultraviolet LED lights to kill 99.99% of bacteria in just 3 minutes.
How Ultraviolet light (UV-C) works
Ultraviolet light kills or inactivates microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA and RNA—making it impossible to replicate or reproduce. The light acts like molecular scissors that cut the genetic material. The Clean Kit effectively kills 99.99% of common bacteria, including E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans.
UV is used today in hospitals and labs to sterilize facilities. It has been historically used for sanitization since the mid-20th century. UV-C light has been proven effective against coronaviruses such as SARS and even tuberculosis bacteria. While it hasn't been confirmed against COVID-19 yet, UV-C does have that potential.
Goodbye wipes. Hello sanity.
Now when I get home, I just throw my stuff inside the kit, turn it on, and have the peace of mind of knowing my personal items have been sterilized. It's so simple and easy to use. Germaphobes unite! Perfect gift for parents with young kids or elderly folks who may be more vulnerable.
To Die For Blueberry Muffins
Like the rest of the world, we've been baking up storm during the lockdown and have started to covet flour like gold. For us, baking feels like equal parts science, art, and therapy. We've done all the testing for you and have landed on this ultimate blueberry muffin recipe. With a moist interior and crunchy cinnamon crumble on top, each bite is a sweet adventure. Don't judge us if we ate a muffin or two for lunch...
(Makes 8 large muffins)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk, or more as needed
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup frozen butter, grated
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- Pour vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup. Add the egg and add enough milk to reach the 1-cup mark. Mix this into the flour mixture.
- Fold in blueberries until evenly mixed.
- Fill muffin cups to the top. (Should make approximately 8 muffins.)
- Crumble Topping: In a separate bow, mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Grate frozen butter into the mix. Work the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs form. (Use hands to press the butter into pea size shapes, or use a pastry cutter or fork.)
- Sprinkle crumble topping over muffins before baking.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
Making a work-friendly space
With the recent COVID19 crisis upon us, many companies have implemented new work from home (WFH) policies. This has disrupted our normal routines and presented with new realities—from balancing family-work demands and dividing shared spaces, to allowing us to appreciate human connection more than ever. While our commutes have been reduced to the distance between our bed and our laptops, WFH can be difficult with the onslaught of distractions and, in our case, abundance of snacks present.
That's why we've rounded up some easy tips to help you organize and optimize your workspace. With a little effort, it's possible to stay calm and productive during these trying times.
1. LOCATION MATTERS
Choose a dedicated place in your home solely for working. Avoid working from your where you sleep, as a clear physical separation will also help you compartmentalize mentally. Drawing clear boundaries between work and personal life is important for one's well-being. Use a nook, corner, balcony, kitchen table or whatever you have available. If space is limited, then try not to work from the bed itself.
2. THINK GREEN
Researchers at the University of Essex proved the positive effects of nature on human mental health. The experience of simply by being outside restores the mind from mental fatigue and thereby improves cognitive performance. Can't get outside? Bring the green inside. Consider having plants and succulents around your house and workspace. Indoor plants can improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15%)!
Don't have a green thumb? You can even fake it. Using technology to create digital nature also has its benefits. For example, a study found a plasma TV displaying nature scenes was more mentally restorative compared to blank walls.
3. LIGHT IT UP
According to NVision Center, the best kinds of lighting to work with include warm light sources, such as natural light. Your windows can filter and block the UV light from the sun and allow natural warm light in during the day. Here are some more tips by them:
- Use multiple light sources in a room to increase the amount of light without using super bright bulbs.
- Consider warm light bulbs over cool light fixtures and bulbs. Combing different types of light to get as close to a natural feel as possible.
- Use lamps with directed light for tasks like reading and writing.
- Work in areas that are well-lit to decrease potential eye strain related to dim lighting.
- Try to minimize glare by positioning lights and screens appropriately.
- Open blinds and curtains, and allow as much natural light into your home and workspace as possible.
4. SPICK AND SPAN
There are many benefits to having a clean and clear workspace. If you know you'll be on video calls often, it's a good idea to tidy up your workspace. Cleaning up your space can be a cathartic way to stay productive.
- Less clutter means less stress. When your work area gets messy, it can naturally make you feel drained and induce stress. Now is the time to get rid of the clutter and piles of papers laying around. Place items into neat drawers and labeled trays to save you time later by knowing where things are located.
- Gain confidence. A clean work environments give the impression of professionalism, while enabling you to feel pride in your efficient space. When you feel good about your space, this boosts your spirit as well as your productivity.
- Prioritize. Having an organized space allows you to remember what important tasks need to get done. This allows you to work more efficiently and better focus on tasks, projects and priorities.
Do you have tips on how you balance work-life while working from home? Leave us a comment below!