Collaborations between individuals and brands are nothing new these days and it's truly great to see creatives from all walks of life come together to produce special collections. As the Founder of Protect My Shoes, when I was searching for our next collaborator, Amanda Perna kept popping up in my mind. Having been a fan of her work for quite some time, I felt that something magical would come out of this synergy. 

So, on one early spring morning, after both dropping off our kids at school and texting each other that we would be a few minutes late, we met for coffee and a chat. Quite frankly, I wanted to see if we clicked before pitching the idea of us working together on a limited-edition capsule collection. Well, with Amanda, it clicked ever so effortlessly. We connected over motherhood, our entrepreneurial journeys, love for volunteering in the community and simply the ups and downs that life brings.

Amanda is one of the most genuine, authentic, real, super talented (there is nothing she can't do) and kind humans I have ever met. The obvious outcome from that first meeting is the Protect My Shoes x Amanda Perna collection, but what I cherish even more is the friendship that we formed while working together. The entire experience couldn't have been easier and more seamless. We talked through mini production obstacles and found so much joy in the creative process. 

With this long intro (which could go even longer), read on to learn more about the super fabulous Amanda Perna!

What is your favorite quote or life motto?

Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons

Tell us a bit about you.

I wear a lot of hats and love it that way. Most importantly, I am a Mom of an incredible 6 year old. I am a fashion designer for the House of Perna, co-owner of A Little Wyld, an Author and a content creator. I love spreading bright colors and joy and do it in as many mediums as possible. 

When did you discover your love for fashion and talent?

I have always loved fashion and  as a kid was always making clothes for my dolls, redesigning my clothes and making jewelry. I didn’t realize until college that I really wanted it to be my career.

What inspires you as a creator?

I love seeing smiles on the faces of others. I get really excited to create pieces that are part of a special moment in someone’s life.

What is it that you love most about what you do?

I love getting to meet new people and seeing what I imagine come to life.

You’ve accomplished so much already, but to date, what would you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?

You are too kind, thank you!! Its not the most valorous thing I've done, but the most important. It was making videos and giving away my pattern that helped millions of people make face masks, and donating hundreds of thousands of masks to others in need.

What are some future goals that you have for your brand?

I want to build a strong lifestyle brand where I can design in different categories. I would love to do home goods like pillows, wallpaper and plates.

What is one fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

I performed at Disney and Carnegie Hall while in high school.

Project Runway looks so daunting from a viewer’s perspective, how was the experience for you? What was the biggest takeaway from being on that show?

It definitely isn’t for the faint of heart to be on reality tv that’s for sure. I learned a lot about myself as a creative person, and I learned that no matter what you make, there will be people that love it and hate it, but focus on your client. She’s the only one who’s opinion really matters.

Being mom to a beautiful young daughter, how do you balance family and work? Does balance even exist?

Balance DOES NOT exist. It is a juggling act, and balls will drop and it's ok. Somedays I am focused more on my daughter, and others on business, but I try to make lists and cross things off. I know I won’t cross it all off, but if I have done my best, then that is enough.

What’s the one life lesson/words of wisdom you hope to instill in your daughter?

To find joy in the little things. There will always be challenges and obstacles, but finding the joy, even when there may only be a glimmer of sparkle, helps you get through it.

Now let’s talk fashion! How would you describe your personal style?

I am definitely a maximalist. I love bright colors, mixed patterns and pieces that are unique.

If you could dress any celebrity/personality, who would it be?

Lady Gaga for sure! She loves to push the envelope with her fashion choices and also recognizes that fashion truly is an art form.

What’s your go-to outfit when you’re pressed for time?

Cute sneakers, a fun skirt, tee shirt and a layering piece like a jacket or blazer.

What’s your fashion or beauty indulgence?

Shoes! Always shoes!

Favorite shoe style/shoe brand?

OOh I don’t think I can pick just one! I have a lot of Miu Miu, Gucci, and Sophia Webster.

Which cocktail best describes your personality?

An Espresso Martini. I always am peppy but do my best work in the evening.

If you could have dinner with three special guests, who would they be?

Iris Apfel, Jenna Lyons & Christian Lacroix.

Follow Amanda on her colorful journey!

Instagram: @theamandaperna @alittlewyld @thehouseofperna

Pinterest: @theamandaperna

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