There’s not much happening around Dallas that gets past socially savvy Cynthia Smoot. The red-headed beauty, well known through out the community, is a strategic PR/marketing consultant, lifestyle blogger and a permanent fixture on all of the hottest red carpets around the city. Self-appointed as the “Queen of Chaos,” Cynthia has made it her business as a partner in her and her husband’s PR and Marketing firm, Gangway Advertising to create a buzz and build awareness for some of Dallas’ most iconic brands, including Bread Winners Café & Bakery, Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, Jane McGarry, Henry’s Majestic, Café Brazil, Wells Fargo Advisors, 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House, Larry North Fitness, Ese Azenabor, SHŌNA jewelry, Dallas Challenge, Ally’s Wish and Lakewood Smokehouse.
A native Texan, Cynthia grew up in Denison and earned her degree in Clothing & Textile at University of North Texas. Shortly after school she pursued a career as an Account Executive with the Dallas Observer. During her 12 year tenure with the company she specialized in Regional and National sales for 17 markets that Village Voice Media represented across the country. After leaving New Times/Village Voice Media, Cynthia started on a new venture with D Magazine Partners to launch their business magazine, D CEO. While continuing to support the new initiative, she sold advertising and event sponsorship for D Magazine Publications over the next 3 years.
Wanting to pursue other passions, Cynthia’s love for Social Media and digital marketing led her to leave the publishing world and join her husband’s marketing agency, Gangway Advertising. In 2008, she took her personal experiences and talents another step further and created “Oh So Cynthia.com.” What started off as mommy blog, highlighting events and places catering to family experiences and outings, evolved into a lifestyle column that features some of the hottest events and coolest people in the city. Cynthia describes her blog as “A love letter to the city of Dallas” that has quickly become the go to guide for fashion, philanthropy social events and reality TV.
Consistently involved in Dallas’ social scene, Cynthia is a sought-after expert and advisor on events and celebrity happenings around town. She has been featured on KTXD’s The Broadcast, FOX 4, WFAA, KVIL, CBS, CultureMap and D Magazine. She is also the Entertainment Correspondent for the Cheryl “Action” Jackson Show seen every Saturday on Verizon network and a monthly contributor to The Society Diaries magazine. Giving back to her community plays an important role in Cynthia’s life and she supports numerous non profits and charities around the city including, Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational that will take place May 6-7 benefitting Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, Art From The Heart benefiting Dallas Challenge happening April 29, and the Boots and Blessing Gala benefiting Ally’s Wish on April 30.
For Cynthia Smoot 2016 looks like it will be another epic year with the recent launch of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Dallas. With close friends on the dynamic cast and plenty of behind-the-scene gossip, rest assured she will not miss a beat! Haute Living caught up with one of the busiest women in Dallas to find out what were some of her favorites around the city she loves so much.
Cynthia’s Haute Secrets
Where were you born: I was born in Lampassas, Texas. We lived there until I was about two. I spent my childhood in Denison, Texas where I lived until I went off to college.
How long have lived in Dallas: I moved to Dallas in 1994, after graduating college
Neighborhood: Park Cities
Occupation: Partner at Gangway Advertising. My self-appointed title is the “Queen of Chaos” and I am responsible for our clients social media marketing and public relations outreach.
Favorite Restaurant: Hillstone in the Plaza at Preston Center. It’s pricey but consistent. You will always get a fantastic meal there and enjoy great ambiance. I love the pianist they have in the evening who plays big band songs from the 40s. I am a sucker for Sinatra. I like to play “name that tune” with my husband and son (because I always win).
Best Sushi: Oishi, 2525 Wycliff Ave #110, Dallas, TX 75219, http://www.dallasoishii.com
Best Italian: Roma’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant, 7402 Greenville Ave #202, Dallas, TX 75231, http://www.romas-italia.com
Best dessert: I’m not really a sweets person, so desserts aren’t my thing.
Best Sunday brunch: Bread Winners Café & Bakery. I am always torn between ordering the Bananas Foster Waffles and Fried Chicken & Waffles. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Best place for a power business meeting: Bistro 31. I do my best work over cocktails.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? The Joule in Downtown Dallas. It’s hip and cool, got two great restaurants (CBD Provisions and The Americano), a great pool and is walking distance to the original Neiman Marcus.
Favorite shopping venue/boutique: NorthPark Center is hands down one of the jewels of our city. It provides a great range of shopping venues (from The Gap to Louis Vuitton), great restaurants (Bread Winners, The Theodore, Kona Grill) and priceless works of art from the Nasher family. It’s art, dining, culture and commerce all rolled into one place!
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: I don’t buy jewelry for myself. That’s my husband’s job. I love to find new designers who are doing innovative things. One of my favorites is Dallas-designer, Laura Pierson her work with unique rocks and fossils is breathtaking.
Best Spa: My life is far too busy for a “day at the spa”. It’s all I can do to fit in a mani/pedi. My favorite place for that indulgence is Bellcures in Preston Center. It’s got a great modern vibe, the staff is always friendly, they have monthly specials created using seasonal products and they serve wine. It’s my favorite place to grab an hour of relaxation and unwind.
Favorite Charity Event: Gosh, that’s a hard one because I attend so many amazing and well-produced events but my favorite is probably the Mad Hatter’s Luncheon at the Dallas Arboretum. Every little girl loves playing dress up in heels and hats. This is the grown-up version of that experience on steroids. I mean, it is ALL about the hat. It’s the most fun day with the best people-watching. And it’s produced by Jan Strimple, so you know it’s top notch from a creative an execution standpoint. I look forward to it all year long and start working with Shane Walker at Flower Reign months in advance to create a magical chapeau.
Favorite Cultural Event: The State Fair of Texas. This is the BEST multi-cultural experience! You see people of all races, all religions, all economic levels – it is truly a melting pot of the world! Plus it’s a smorgasbord of fried foods, rides and exhibits. I always go at least 2-3 times during the Fair’s 30-day run.
Best Steakhouse: Al Biernat’s. The people watching is almost as good as the food. You can always find the who’s who of the Dallas business and social scene sipping and noshing there.
Best Pizza: Campisi’s. There’s just something about those square cuts.
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: I can’t answer this question as I avoid sweating and exercise at all costs.
Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber. It has hands down changed the transportation game in this country.
Describe your city in three words: Exciting. Innovative. Fashionable.
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Neiman Marcus, Downtown Dallas. Stanley Marcus changed the way America (and the world) shops. There’s no better way to pay tribute to him (literally) than visiting his flagship store and spend an afternoon browsing the various floors of clothing, handbags, shoes, makeup and accessories.
All-around favorite spot in Dallas: The Dallas Arboretum. It’s my absolute favorite place to go when I am feeling stressed or I need to clear my head. I wander the acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and fountains and I feel like a different person with a new perspective on life. There’s just something about communing with nature that makes me utterly happy. It’s also my favorite place to take visitors. They have amazing concerts under the stars, classes and speakers and special exhibitions on a regular basis.
Best Aspect of Dallas: I love that Dallas embraces its heritage but still always looks ahead to what’s new. Yes, Dallas is famous for it’s cowboys, big hair, and Texas twang. But we also foster cutting-edge medical research facilities, technology companies and celebrate innovative thinkers.
How do you spend your downtime? Downtime? What downtime? LOL. Maybe when my son goes off to college in a few years I can find some of that…
What Dallas social event do you look forward to all year? DIFFA Dallas is always one of my “can’t miss” events. It’s is over-the-top fashionable fun for a great cause. It’s the event I spend the most time selecting an outfit for. You got to turn it up and turn it out for this one!
Biggest Accomplishment: My 15-year old son, Jackson. Every time I look at him, I can’t believe that I created something so perfect. He’s my pride and joy!
Cover Photo Credit: Thomas Garza Photography http://www.thomasgarzaphotography.com
Inside Photo Credits: Private Paparazzo, Danny Campbell http://www.dannycampbell.com