American Made and Bethlehem Strong
Marisa Cerveris wanted a new name for her budding clothing business that reflected her key values of originality, durability, and community. Inspiration came one morning while walking along the towpath of the Little Lehigh near her home. Looming large in the distance was the recently repurposed Bethlehem Steel plant.
“You can see the blast furnaces of SteelStacks through the trees with an American Flag flying over it,” Marisa told me. “I took a picture and immediately sent it to my brother, who came up with the tagline ‘strength comes from within.’” With that, Marisa, a former New York City Ballet dancer, decided to name her lines of dance, fitness, and lifestyle clothing SteelCore.
“A steel core is more than a strong center; it’s about withstanding instability and imbalance in your life.” Bethlehem’s manufacturing industry was undergoing that kind of instability when Marisa started her business. Vital equipment was sent overseas, and local skilled craftsmen had no work. Known for going all-in with everything she does, Marisa began to impart a much needed sense of mission to both key industry leaders and underappreciated, underused artisan labor.
For Marisa, SteelCore is more than a clothing enterprise, it’s a philosophy she wants to share with her community. “Being a successful professional dancer required strength, stamina, faith and courage. No one can teach you that; you have to find that on your own.” Marisa’s successful labor of love reveals that strength does indeed come from within, and it’s hand-crafted, American-made, and Bethlehem strong.
Steve Neumann Fig Magazine February 2015