Meet Tabitha Riley! Tabitha is a lifelong Jefferson resident and a teacher at Jefferson Academy. She is the mother of four boys and is married to Montray.
“I’m very passionate about teaching math, I’m also a math tutor and just love children,” she said.
Tabitha says she loves Jackson County because she likes “being in a small city, small country town. I feel like our community is happy.”
Last year, Tabitha and husband Montray opened Duck Splash, a art studio for children.
“Duck Splash came about because I have always loved crafts…Everybody would call me Martha Stewart. That’s how Duck Splash got started,” she said.
We want to thank Tabitha for spending time with us recently and telling us more about her life and love of Jackson County.
Question: How did you choose your current career?
Answer: “I always wanted to be a teacher. As a child I loved to play school with my brothers, sisters and cousins. Teaching has been so rewarding.”
Q: How many children do you have?
A: “I have four boys. They are 28, 22, 19, and 6.”
Q: How did you and Montray meet?
A: “His mom was my hairdresser when I was a child. We started going out as friends and it went from there!”
Q: What is your business Duck Splash?
A: “Duck Splash came about because I have always loved crafts…Everybody would call me Martha Stewart. That’s how Duck Splash got started.
“I have always just loved colors, and my family has a history of going blind on my mom’s side. My mom’s sisters started to go blind when they were in their 60s, and by the time they were 80 it was all gone. I’ve always just cherished being able to see things and to paint them.”
Q: Is Duck Splash open on the weekends? You do parties?
A: “I try to work around my work schedule, so a lot of our events are on the weekends.”
Q: Do you have an art camp in the summer?
A: “We do. I do art camps twice. I do one in June, and one in July, along with day camps. Just recently, we did our first ladies night out, that has been a very popular request.”
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in Jackson County?
A: “The Redd House. We go on Fridays for the seafood, Sundays after church and for celebrations.”
Q: What’s the first movie you saw in the theater?
A: “It was definitely ‘E.T.'”
Q: Do you have a grandchild?
A: “Yes. Her name is Ari, and my son had her while he in school at Savannah State. She is just 6 months younger than my Taylor.”
Q: What’s something on you bucket list?
A: “To get my specialist degree in the next two years. I have some community projects that I want to work on, too. I haven’t really told anybody about those yet, because they might beat me to the punch. It will be a community project to help children who over the summer don’t have anyone to take them to the library or do a fun little activity. I want something mobile.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “I would tell them to get a taste of Christ and to focus on what it is that you want to do. Everybody has a talent, you just need to nurture it.”
Q: What do you love about Jackson County?
A: “I like being in a small city, small country town. I feel like our community is happy.”
Q: Who is one of the most interesting people you met in Jackson County?
A: “I would say, my mother-in-law. She owns a salon called The Golden Comb that has been in business for almost 40 years. There aren’t many black owned businesses in Jackson County. So, if you’ve been in business in Jackson County for almost 40 years, that’s huge. Her name is Beverly Victrum. She’s just been precious. If people didn’t have money to get their hair done, she wouldn’t charge them until they got paid. You don’t find people that do that. She’s got her own clients and she’s been successful.”
Q: If you have lunch with anyone, who would it be? Why? Where would you take them?
A: “Harriet Tubman, because I would want to sit down and ask her how in the world did she do that. I would take her to a soul food restaurant down here at the Jefferson Carriage House and ask her a thousand questions. It’s so interesting to me, because we don’t have a lot of background knowledge about on things that happened to her from Africa to the U.S.”
The Faces of Jackson County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email firstname.lastname@example.org.