Home PeopleHoboken Girl of the Week Ashley Hearon-Smith: Scary Mommy Speaks Co-Host + HudsonCounty60

Ashley Hearon-Smith: Scary Mommy Speaks Co-Host + HudsonCounty60

by Arielle Witter
Attain Medspa
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We’re all familiar with those people who have the dream job — the ones who get to explore for a living. Whether they’re regularly trying new foods, having new experiences, or just getting to interact with new people on daily basis all for work, these people arguably have some of the most entertaining + unique jobs out there. For Ashley Hearon-Smith, she’s one of those lucky few. As the woman behind HudsonCounty60, she gets to make the most of Hudson County on a regular basis. Additionally, Ashley is also the co-host of the Scary Mommy Speaks, a podcast focused on discussing today’s trends of modern motherhood + navigating it all. As this week’s Hoboken Girl of the Week, find out what inspires Ashley, what her goals are, and more. Keep reading to learn all about Hoboken Girl of the Week, Ashley Hearon-Smith, the woman behind HudsonCounty60 + Scary Mommy Speaks podcast.

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Tell us about yourself. 

I’m the Co-host of Scary Mommy Speaks, a new podcast from Scary Mommy, the producer and host of HudsonCounty60, as well as a mom to my two-year-old son, Sebastian, and a Hudson County native.

I’ve been a performer my whole life. My love of acting was fostered at Hoboken’s own The Hudson School. In college, I switched gears a bit and pursued television production. After graduating, I worked in celebrity talent booking at Martha: The Martha Stewart Show and Wendy Williams where I really got first-hand experience learning what goes into producing a live show. After five years in TV, I realized that I missed performing, and left to pursue my acting career professionally.

Acting is a really tricky profession, and definitely not for the faint of heart — you spend so much time and energy working towards being the best you can, but that in no way means you’re going to get the jobs you want or think you’re “right” for. I decided to start creating and producing my own work, in addition to auditioning, so that I could play the parts that I enjoyed. For years I was creating work and producing friends’ work, all while booking paying acting jobs here and there, but when I got pregnant, I worried that it would be the end of my career.

As any mom knows, that first year after your baby is born you feel out of sorts and really lose that sense of who you are. Although you may be happy and in love with your child, it really messes with your sense of self. In all of that, I knew I needed to get back to work, so I started HudsonCounty60, an Instagram docuseries, highlighting a different business, person or happening for Hudson County residents every week, in episodes that are 60 seconds or less. It allowed me to create, perform, and still be home with my son most of the time.

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In addition to HudsonCounty60, I’m now co-hosting Scary Mommy Speaks {SMS}, a show for women who are owning motherhood and haven’t stopped being women. Working on this show has been so exciting because it’s fully supported by a whole team and company. I’m so used to working on my own and on a very limited budget, so to be backed by the biggest mom-centered media company in the U.S. is just the most amazing experience. Not to mention, I get to go into a job where I get to be my unfiltered self, interview celebrities and talk about the real mom things that don’t usually get covered in the media.

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Who is your biggest source of inspiration?

I’m so inspired by those who create their own destinies. My parents created their own paths and opportunities —hey grew up poor and had me very young, and through hard work, their lives completely changed. Not only did they teach me to be a hard worker and self-starter, but they’re my absolute biggest inspiration. My husband is also a big one for me. He’s my number one bud —we’re constantly bouncing creative ideas off of each other. It’s so motivating and some of the best HudsonCounty60 moments have come from him.

I’m also inspired by public figures who have built careers from nothing, through hard work and determination, and got to the point where they make work for themselves that’s not only fun, but feeds their souls —people like Adam Sandler, Joan Rivers, and Martha Stewart.

For Scary Mommy Speaks, I feel so fortunate to come into a recording session and be valued for bringing my real-life experiences —obviously, my number one source of inspiration for that is my son. Motherhood is one of the craziest, but most rewarding experiences of my life, but is constant content for SMS. In terms of HudsonCounty60, my number one inspiration is our community, the businesses, and the people — it’s the entire reason I even started our show. I’ve grown up here, which has made me particularly sensitive to how our area has and is changing. I truly want to bring attention to not only the new things coming into our diverse community but the great businesses and people that have been here all along.

What are your goals for this year?

I’m really excited to watch how Scary Mommy Speaks grows this year! My hope is that it really feels like every moms’ hangout time with friends. We have so much fun recording every week, and I hope that comes across to listeners, and that they have fun listening to it.

My HudsonCounty60 PIC, San Martin Garcia, and I are working on creating, producing, shooting and editing a full television pilot this year that we’re hoping to sell. HudsonCounty60 is a labor of love for us in many ways and I’m really excited to see how it continues to grow.

What’s a typical day look like for you?

Honestly, every single day is different, which is part of what I love about my job. Every day is a crazy and unpredictable mix of taking care of my son, managing HudsonCounty60’s social media, vetting local businesses for features, recording Scary Mommy Speaks, filming, meetings, and if I have time, watching Bravo. It’s crazy and all over the place, but I’m really grateful for Google Calendar.

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What has been the highlight in your career so far?

This past year has been everything I could have ever dreamed of professionally. I created my own content, put it out into the world and have seen it succeed. The Scary Mommy team actually found me through HudsonCounty60 and asked me to come in and audition because of it. If that’s not a highlight, I honestly don’t know what is.

Tell us about another business in the area you admire.

This is literally what I do all day! I have the incredible opportunity to work with businesses and people I truly admire all the time. One of the first people I contacted when I started HudsonCounty60 was Jen Choi of Sugarsuckle. I met her through a friend from my Martha Stewart days, and she did my gorgeous wedding cake in 2015.

Right as I was beginning to reach out to people/businesses for the show she was opening her studio space. She was not only the first person to agree to do our show, but she was so kind to me and put me in touch with a ton of businesses we’ve done features on since. She introduced me to one of my other all-time favorites, Casey Repetti of Casey2cook. I genuinely feel like these two women hold the key to Hoboken — they’re so kind and supportive, and I feel lucky to be in their orbit.

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What is your favorite restaurant in the area??

I love The Cliff in JC Heights —the food is so clean and beautifully prepared, and if you haven’t had those cheddar and chive biscuits…what are you even doing?

Corto is amazing, but we all know that. The Charrito’s in Weehawken is my absolute favorite night out restaurant — I know it’s outside of the parameters, but it’s too good to care and they have great margaritas. 

What do you love most about Hoboken?

I’ve lived/grown up in the Hoboken area since I was 10 years old and I’m 33 now. I’ve left for college in Manhattan and had a brief three-year stint living in Los Angeles. I love the small community feel of living here while still being 10 minutes outside of New York City. At this point though, Hudson County has really become its own little microcosm —you could absolutely get away with never leaving if you didn’t want to.

What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

Finding cool businesses run by even cooler people, and making videos about them.

How long have you lived in the area?

I was born in Miami, but moved here when I was 10. It’s been incredible to watch Hoboken, Jersey City and even Union City really transform in the past 23 years, and become the diverse little, big communities they are.

 What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in the area?

Sign me up for any and every waterfront we’ve got. They’ve all become immaculate and you truly can’t beat the view — they sure have come a long way from my high school days of smoking and drinking Smirnoff Ice by abandoned boats.

What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?

Truth be told, I don’t make working out a priority in my life currently — my whole world revolves around work and my son, but when I do find the time, I love to go to Bum Pilates. Not only is owner Cait Kolibas one of my closest friends in town, but she’s very much “my speed.” She’s a bad b***c, that gives you a real hard butt-kicking in class, and tells you as she sees it. I also love Work it Out — they not only offer different types of classes, but there’s childcare, without which working out is definitely not an option for me. 

Where do you go out with friends in the area?

I’ve always been really partial to Louise and Jerry’s for a night out, but my husband and I discovered Low Fidelity in The Heights, and love it. The drinks are great, there is an awesome beer and wine selection, an outdoor patio, and the Detroit Style pizza is so good. Perfect for date night or hanging out with friends.

What is something you think needs to come to the area?

I’d honestly love a bar that isn’t trying to also be a sports bar —no TVs and a real cocktail forward menu. Do we really need another establishment with TVs to watch a game?

Keep up with Ashley via Instagram  @ashhearonsmith, or on her two websites, HudsonCounty60.com and Ashleyhearonsmith.com, and follow Scary Mommy Speaks on Instagram at @ScaryMommy. 

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