Body, mind and soul represent the core focus of The Studio, a newly opened business in Shamokin.
Owner Lauren Zimmerman admits it sounds corny. That doesn’t mean it’s not true.
A professional hairstylist, Zimmerman owns and operates Lauren’s Hair Boutique at 527 N. Market St. The Studio is on the second floor of 35 N. Market St., just a short walk from the salon. Think of it as a passion project.
Zimmerman recognized the small business revitalization underway in Shamokin, and she felt something else was needed — the arts.
“Other businesses are really taking off and one of the things missing was this,” Zimmerman said.
The Studio is a multi-purpose space. Since opening in October, it’s hosted a litany of classes and workshops. There’s evening yoga classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mindfulness and more on Saturdays. Paint classes for adults and kids, a youth chorus group and niche workshops pepper the monthly schedule.
“It’s all of the arts. We dabble into everything for everyone,” Zimmerman said.
As Zimmerman described the concept, school-age kids streamed into the brightly lit, functional two-room space overlooking Market Street. They’re members of The Local Vocals. Zimmerman intended it to be a one-off for Christmas. Then, dozens of kids registered. She has 32 members in the singing group from at least two schools, ranging in age from kindergarten through 12th grade.
They performed during Shamokin’s Home for the Holidays community event on Nov. 27 and drew a standing-room-only crowd at Bamse Coffee, a large space that was once a church sanctuary. They raised nearly $1,000 for Shamokin Area School District’s Purple Elf project.
The Local Vocals perform again at Bamse at 6 p.m. Dec. 14. Zimmerman plans more performances in 2022 and will reopen registration to join.
Leonard Machesic, 16, a junior at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School in Coal Township, met Zimmerman through the Anne Miles Children’s Theatre. The youth group performs a musical each summer in Shamokin. Zimmerman choreographed “Frozen Jr.” this year. Machesic was a performer and saw The Local Vocals as another outlet for something he loves.
“I really didn’t think it would be this many people. I was surprised when I first saw,” Machesic said.
Destiny Smith, 19, a college student from Shamokin, volunteers with The Local Vocals. She helps get the kids coordinated at practices and performances. Like Machesic, Smith knew Zimmerman through the local theater group. When she heard about her plans for The Studio, Smith said she wanted to be a part of it.
“I really love kids so much. Seeing how happy they are when they’re dancing around, it’s really sweet,” Smith said.
Christie Blair teaches yoga on Tuesdays. Tricia Dietterick leads the Thursday class. Both are certified instructors. KymBre Shingara, also a certified instructor, has Saturdays, teaching yoga, belly dancing and more. The paint parties are steered by Jacqueline Valania. Alicia DePeal of Peace of Mind Massage & Reiki will visit occasionally to promote her reiki practice.
Zimmerman leads The Local Vocals. Elizabeth Stevens is The Studio’s assistant.
All work full-time or own their own businesses.
“This is our fun thing. When I kept saying that I wanted to do this everyone said I was crazy,” Zimmerman said. “I thought, why not? I was met with a lot of why nots. I just decided that if I don’t try, I’ll never know.”
For more information about The Studio including event listings and registration information, search @thestudio.onmarketst on Facebook and Instagram.