How Karen Perez Empowers Women to Find Their Inner Confidence With Fashion Brand Second Wind

Take one look at Second Wind stylish apparel and accessories, and it's immediately clear that the brand is all about unique, innovative pieces that make you feel like a million bucks.

It's no wonder, then, that everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been spotted wearing the brand, and that their pieces perfectly suited their individual power as some of the fiercest ladies out there. That was precisely Karen Perez's intention when she founded the brand, and we got the chance to learn all about her work as a stylist and entrepreneur in the interview below.

Name: Karen Perez

IG handle: @bysecondwind

Hometown: Paterson, New Jersey

Zodiac sign: Leo


1. Karen discovered her deep love for fashion when she was just 5 years old.

"I used to look at fashion magazines when I was little and wanted to do whatever I saw in the pictures. I also loved picking out the outfits for my sisters and me. Little did I know, that was styling."

-Karen Perez

Karen perez portrait

(Image courtesy of Karen Perez)

2. The name Second Wind came to Karen around the start of the pandemic.

"The true definition of Second Wind means new energy, new strength or being able to breathe freely. Second Wind gave me new energy to start a passion project and breathe again after feeling helpless, like so many were feeling."

-Karen Perez

3. Second Wind's mission is to empower confidence with their pieces, with the intention of helping customers discover their own unique senses of style.

"Our aesthetic is culturally influenced while also being modern and timeless. Great quality and sustainable designs are the cornerstones of our brand. We're proudly made in the U.S., and designed by women, for women."

-Karen Perez

Second Wind tina mask with chunky chain

(via Second Wind)


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4. Second Wind is among the 3% of U.S. brands manufacturing in New York City, and one of the less than 1% owned, operated and made by women of color.

"We understand what women want and need to build a closet full of forever pieces."

-Karen Perez

5. Her must-have accessory for going out is a pair of gold hoop earrings.

"They are timeless and perfect for day to night and will always elevate your look."

-Karen Perez

Second Wind the Dani Hoop earrings

(via Second Wind)


6. Her mom gave her the best piece of advice she's ever received.

"Always be hardworking, independent and make your own money, because the only one you can depend on is yourself ."

-Karen Perez


Also read about: How Family—and Being a Twin—Inspired Joann Zehenni's Skincare Brand, Gemini Beauty


7. She writes in a gratitude journal every day, and that's helped her a lot in doing what she needs to do to run a successful business.

"It helps me stay grounded, motivated, and focused."

-Karen Perez

8. Karen says that as a stylist, the most rewarding thing about her work is being able to help others feel more confident and grounded.

"Style is self-expression and highly vibrational. When you operate in high vibrations, you take better care of yourself, which is self-love. Most people feel lost and unsure or intimidated by what their personal style is and where to begin. When you become confident, you are more open to being expressive and open to things you never thought of.

I love guiding and bringing out confidence in people. I also feel I do the same as a designer. We create modern and timeless pieces that can be translated into your own style of self-expression."

-Karen Perez

Second Wind full body style shot

(via Second Wind)


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9. Karen's Latina culture means everything to her.

"It's how I speak, live, eat and create. Because of my culture, I wouldn't be where I am today. My hard work and hustle."

-Karen Perez

10. She also wants people to understand that she had plenty of her own disappointments and setbacks in her 20s and early 30s before enjoying the success she has today.

"After all my hard work and lessons learned, I had to believe in myself. Because if I didn't, no one else would."

-Karen Perez

Second Wind rings over gloves

(via Second Wind)


Loved discovering Karen's story? Be sure to also click HERE to learn all about vibemade founder Grace Alvarez.