Amanda Perna, founder of The House of Perna, headquartered at Delray Beach’s Arts Warehouse, responded to the fashion industry fallout during the pandemic the best way she knew how: seated at her sewing machine with a gleam of creativity and a heart to help.
“It all started with me sewing masks at home alone, with a goal of 100, trying to help frontline workers,” Perna shares. “Now we’re working seven days a week to get masks out as quickly as possible. I’ve been able to keep my team working and provide jobs for 12 other seamstresses who were furloughed or laid off because fashion virtually shut down due to the pandemic.”
Perna donates a mask for each one purchased; within weeks, her team had put 5,000 machine-washable fabric face masks into the hands of first responders and shipped orders to every state—and even as far as Abu Dhabi. Her colorful creations can be spotted on medical professionals from Jupiter Medical to Wellington Regional to West Boca.
To further extend mask access, Perna partnered with Good Housekeeping magazine to create how-to videos for making masks at home, including a no-sew version, which have quickly garnered more than a million views and empowered people worldwide to protect themselves and others.