Conversation with Joanne

This is a repost of an interview I did with Tara Gentile who at the time was writing the Handmade PA blog.  She has since moved on to Scoutie Girl.  If you have not read her blogs I suggest you do.  She is very bright and has a passion for hand craft.

Originally posted on August 18th, 2009

IMG_2925What is your training in art & design?

I have a degree in Textile Design from The Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. Dennis has a degree in Art from Tyler.

When & how did you begin Steel Pony?

Our actual start year was 1992. I had been a Design Director for a Large Company and had been traveling something like 8 months out of the year and was very burnt out so I left to start an small import company doing private label programs. While I was building that I met Dennis and he was looking to do something creative. We started as a t-shirt company doing screen prints of our paintings and quickly ran out of money so we started hand painting other people’s shirts. Since my background was design it was a natural progression. For me working with Fiber is not a choice but a necessity. It is truly my passion so I am constantly trying new techniques.


What signifigance does the name “Steel Pony” have?

In the old days a Steel Pony was another way of saying a sewing machine. Because they were made of Steel and they had to work like a horse.

Describe the woman you envision wearing Steel Pony clothing.

Our Clothing has always been more a lifestyle and a state of mind rather then an age oriented product. Generally our customers are creative themselves, they are other artists, people who work in the arts in some way. They are women who are very individualistic and secure in who they are.

steelponyoutfitWhat are you goals for the future of Steel Pony?

Goals are a hard thing to define. We have never had a business plan and kind of always had a go with the flow attitude. We will continue to experiment with new techniques and reach out to all age groups. The Pony Project is a particular passion for me right now. It is the most creative part of my work and my assistants work. My goal there is to spread the word on that so it will grow and blossom into something really worthwile.

If you weren’t creating & designing full-time, what other passion would you pursue full-time?

That is a really good question and I ask myself that on a daily basis but I keep coming back to working with fiber. I guess I would be running around to do workshops on fiber and traveling to the places I have not yet been.

I have been doing interviews for Handmade Philly and would love to profile you.  Please e-mail me if you would like to be featured at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s