MEET A MOM – Jacki Smathers Owner of Sing Sing Sing!
Where are you originally from, and how long have you lived in Pittsburgh?
I am originally from Pittsburgh and have lived here my whole life with the exception of my twenties, most of which I lived in NYC.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have 3 wonderful children! Rome, 20, a sophomore at Pitt, Olivia, 18, a freshman at Georgetown, and Lindsey, 16, a junior at Oakland Catholic.
What do you love about living in Pittsburgh?
I absolutely love how accessible everything is. We live in the Mars suburb but, can easily and quickly drive into town for a fabulous dinner out or for a variety of cultural events.
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in Pittsburgh?
That’s a tough question because I have many ‘favorites’! Close to home, I love heading out to Il Pizzaiolo in Warrendale or the Calla Lilly Cafe in Gibsonia. When heading downtown, my husband I tend to gravitate to one of the many fabulous steakhouses.
I’m a total shopaholic and love street shopping experiences with a mix of stores, i.e., places like Lawrenceville, Shadyside or Bakery Square.
Tell us about your business.
My business is called Sing Sing Sing! We are a performance based music school/event venue with a focus on Pop Music. We provide music education and musical experiences that are exciting, fun, joyful, and accessible to all. Kids can participate in our Performance Program, which combines singing and dancing in groups based on age, our private lessons in voice, piano, guitar, ukulele or bass, our seasonal classes as well as camps. Or, they can have a birthday party or other celebration at Sing Sing Sing! and completely rock out singing karaoke on our stage. Everything we do at Sing Sing Sing! revolves around our mission: to empower, or rather, to unleash the inner star power of all who walk through our doors.
We also do adult parties and corporate events!
What do you love about your job?
What I love most about my job is that it enables me to bring the joy of music into the community in ways that are accessible to everyone. Singing and music were an integral part of my youth and provided me with such a sense of joy, identity and empowerment and I love that Sing Sing Sing! can bring that same joy and empowerment to kids of all ages and experience levels. I also absolutely love working with my amazing team of wildly talented, creative, Sing Sing Sing! teachers and managers – they truly are a dream team.
What is your favorite thing to do with your children and/or family?
We are a family of homebodies! We all love spending time together at home with each other and our pets- 3 dogs and a cat. Movie nights are always a favorite! Although, these days I rarely make it through the whole movie awake!
How do you juggle work and motherhood?
Logistically it is difficult – especially since opening my own business. Thankfully my husband, Geoff, has been a big help. I really work at trying to be present and engaged while at work and then at home. Juggling different roles requires maximizing wherever I am in the moment. I’m always looking for advice and tips from other moms on time management!
How has the Pittsburgh community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
While a beautifully vibrant, welcoming city in general, it really hit home how wonderful the greater Pittsburgh community is when we began building Sing Sing Sing! In 2018, our Bakerstown’s studio’s first full year in business, the readers of the Pittsburgh City Paper voted us Best Kids Birthday Party. It was such an amazing, unexpected honor and still makes me smile every time I think about it. The way that our wonderful students, their families as well as our birthday party guests from the greater community embraced our concepts and culture, enabled us to survive through these very difficult past couple of years of the pandemic and even grow to open a 2nd location in Wexford last month. We have so much gratitude for the Pittsburgh Community – Pittsburgh Rocks!!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from another mom?
Well, I’d have to go with some very simple advice from the best mom I ever knew which would be my own mom! As a kid, if I was less than motivated to start my day or maybe trying to find ways of staying home from school or an activity, or just feeling sad, her matter of fact advice was always, “Get up, get dressed, you’ll feel better!”. She was right! She realized sometimes you just needed a shift in energy to change your perspective and motivation. I still heed this advice to this day and often found myself saying that to my own kids to kickstart them into action when they were younger!
Is there anything that you would like to share with other moms?
I’m a strong believer in doing something that brings you joy each day, a hobby, an outdoor walk, curling up with a book with your pets etc. If you can take that time each day to feed your soul, I believe it can help you be a less stressed, more patient and loving mom — and an overall better human being!