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Soon Hee Han

Soon Hee Han, a South Korean entrepreneur and CEO of Amakos da Amazônia, has faced several challenges in her life and career, including a serious illness – which she overcame – and the sale of a spa chain. Today, she is a reference in the research and development of clean beauty products with Amazonian actives.

How did your career start? My career as an entrepreneur, specialist in Wellness Innovation, including the development of clean beauty products free of toxicities, natural and high-performance, began after experiencing a serious illness, which sparked my interest in traditional, preventive, and natural knowledge. I have been on this journey for almost three decades. The experience in entrepreneurship and academic training in Research Methodology were very important for me to become a reference in beauty and wellness services and products in a short time.

How is Amakos da Amazônia's business model structured? Amakos da Amazônia is a Brazilian company created to minimize current global climate challenges. Rooted in the Amazon Priority Bioeconomy Program (PPBio), it develops exceptional products in the segments of clean beauty cosmetics, high botanical perfumery, and phytonutrition, which combine socio-sustainable practices of maintaining and regenerating the “Standing Forest” with green science technology, recent research on the properties of botanical inputs from the Amazon biome, as well as their traditional use by indigenous peoples. We started as a startup and are currently in the traction stage; our business model encompasses both national and international markets. In Brazil, we operate with the Omnichannel concept, having a digital presence through e-commerce, marketplaces, etc., which are enhanced by the presence of our products in dermatological clinics and stores specializing in clean beauty. The internationalization of the AMAKOS da Amazônia brand is in partnership with Apex – Brasil, chambers of commerce, and international distributors. AMAKOS da Amazônia has its facilities, R&D laboratory, and factory in Manaus (AM), in the heart of the Amazon biome, with its products genuinely developed and produced in the Amazon.

What was the most challenging moment of your career? In a long and diverse career like mine, I have had several difficult moments. But I believe that for an entrepreneur of my profile, very focused on innovation, impact, and scalability, the moment you realize that the venture you created and developed can reach its peak under the leadership of others is always a very difficult moment. This happened to me in 2015 when I decided to sell the spa chain so that it could reach its full potential as a business project in all aspects.

How do you balance your personal life with your corporate and entrepreneurial life? It is a complex balance, but in addition to the practices acquired through the profession I exercise, I practice meditation, self-care, like daily skincare with Amakos products… I have two concepts that inspire me a lot, one is what I call being a “Renaissance Person” or a “Polymath,” which by definition means a person whose knowledge is not restricted to a single area. A polymath can refer to someone who has relevant knowledge in various subjects. Many of the ancient scientists were polymaths, according to current standards the most well-known is Leonardo da Vinci, architect, engineer, artist, etc. The other concept I call hyperlink, which is the ability to mix and converge these diverse knowledge areas to solve or seek answers for life and business situations. With this, I mean that corporate life is also a creative personal life and meets a desire I have to be a polymath and implement the hyperlink method. I also have an incredible network of personal and professional support. But really for fundamental balance is a mindset of patience and resilience. There are many 8 or 80 moments, moments of total concentration on entrepreneurial life where life balance boils down to sleeping and eating well, in others, I disconnect from entrepreneurial life and take sabbatical periods for new research and disconnect from daily business activities. But, most of the time, balance is an oscillation, and it requires super discipline combined with passionate interests that help disconnect and never, never forget the dream that started the venture.

What is your biggest dream? It is to see a human awakening, to see humans apply intelligence and knowledge to life, the life of humanity, the life of the planet, the life of nature… We have so much technology, the ability to create art, to go to space, but we need a consciousness upgrade to perceive this great gift that is life.

What is your greatest achievement? Waking up every day with the drive to achieve my dreams.

Book, movie, and woman you admire? Book: Man and His Symbols – Carl G. Jung. Movie: All Star Wars. Woman you admire: all those who overcome and break barriers.


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