Community Spotlight—Tara Jo Thomas
Louisville native Tara Jo Thomas embraces and supports everything she loves with her whole being, her husband, her children, UofL, Moms Run This Town, Peloton, the Kentucky Derby Festival races, Thomas Woodworking KY, and Ponya Bands, to name a few. As Tara Jo says, "I love to work hard and play hard so Ponya helps with my lifestyle tremendously!"
If you’ve talked to Tara Jo for more than a few minutes, she’s probably mentioned at least three things on that list. You’ve also experienced her energy, enthusiasm, and faith. She does nothing by half measures and treasures her family above all.
Tara Jo discovered running before children, but she treasures the stroller running years, which her two are now grown out of. She founded the Louisville MRTT Stroller Crew in 2018 and started a tradition that is still going strong, with other stroller moms taking over. She’s been Kentucky Derby Festival Race Ambassador for the past few years and got to show her UofL love by completing the Cardinal Sprint Tri in 2018.
She discovered Ponya Bands through friends and a race. "My friends Karin and Michelle’s gifted me a Ponya band when we had a girls trip to Indianapolis for the Indy Womens Half in 2018," she explained. "I have very thick hair with a lot of postpartum flyaway breakage. Ponya is the ONLY band I’ve ever had that doesn’t slip- at all- during miles and miles of running."
After being gifted that Bamboo Terry Lined Sweatband, Tara Jo discovered the Non-Slip Headbands. "I love the non-slip headbands," she stated. "I have a large head and these don’t grip my head too hard and hurt like other bands I’ve had in the past."
As an army wife, Tara Jo has learned to balance a lot over the years. Peloton fit in with her stay-at-home mom lifestyle with two young children. Robin is one of her favorite instructors, and it has kept her fit and sane. She will preach the gospel of Peloton any time!
One of her biggest recent roles (other than homeschooling her two children throughout the pandemic) has been helping Thomas Woodworking KY grow. A veteran owned and ran business, her father-in-law and husband founded the business in 2017 and craft anything you can think of out of bourbon barrels. From earrings and Christmas ornaments to custom medal displays, they can make it.
In the past two years, business has boomed and Tara Jo has stepped up. She is the woman-of-all-trades handling social media, marketing, invoices, and even finishing some of the pieces. She represents the family business at farmer’s markets and trade shows, letting her father-in-law and husband concentrate on their craftsmanship.
No matter what she’s doing, whether she’s riding with Robin, chasing her kids, lending a hand to Thomas Woodworking KY, or writing for Louisville Mom Collective, she’s wearing Ponya Bands! "Whether I’m training or I’m in the woodshop, Ponya keeps my hair in place so I can focus on the task at hand," said Tara Jo.
Tara Jo's short term goals are to settle in her new home with her husband and kids (hello DIY projects). For her long term goals she has the Chicago Marathon coming up this fall. As she said, "Ponya will be used a lot!"