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Mary Amons - The Real Housewives of DC

By David Rabadi

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Hello Readers! My next interviewer is a true woman on the rise.  Mary Amons is founder of two DC based non-profit organizations,  “Labels for Love” and co-founder of “The District Sample Sale.”  Mary is a second generation Washingtonian. Her name has become more recognizable after filming Bravo TV's "The Real Housewives of DC." Bravo decided not to pick up the series for another season, despite strong viewer ratings.  No tears for this mother of five as she is strong leaving all of the nonsense and drama known in the Housewives franchise behind and is definitely considered the level-headed and even-keeled cast member of the series.  Mary spent summers at the Kennedy residence as a child, and is the granddaughter of legendary radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey.  She is married to Rich Amons for 25 years, and is the  matriarch of the Amons clan– Lolly, Ryan, Alexandra, Meghan and Matt, ages 13-25.  She calls her life “controlled chaos,” and in my eyes she is the epitome of what a wife and mother should be, wholesome, caring, protective, understanding, and loving.  After you are all done hearing from her, like me, you'll be crazy about her.  Watch out for Mary, she's ready to soar.  Let me introduce one of the most compassionate people on earth.  A true natural beauty, inside and out.


David
Hello Mrs. giving back will never be a set back! How are you?

Mary

The first thing that comes to mind when asked that sometimes glossed over question is...I am extremely blessed.  At the age of 44,  I have 5 healthy beautiful and loving children, and an enormous happy, healthy and loving family.  I couldn't ask for more.  It has been an honor and a privileged to gain major exposure for my charity and sharing the legacy of giving back with my family and the Real Housewives of DC fans.  I'm extremely proud of my family and all that we stand for.   The choice I made in doing the show was a great risk to me and my family, mainly due to the lack of editing control, which definitely worried me.   I knew in my heart why I was being asked as the native Washingtonian, my entertainment background with my grandfather's career, as well as my father's connection to politics.  I knew I could do it and come out shining if I was truly myself.  It all worked out for positive and I am proud to say our goodness and love
 clearly shined
 through.


David

What are your thoughts on Bravo not picking up Housewives for another season?




Mary

As disappointed as I was, mainly because I enjoyed the whole experience (minus the false accusations directed towards my daughter made by the certain couple that shall remain nameless as not to give them any more press!) I had a great time getting to know the other women on the show in a deeper way, learning how to project my true character on tv and realizing my deep desire to further a career in the entertainment business through pursuing more opportunities to work in film and television.  I did suffer some serious disappointment in that the real reason behind my decision to do the show was to expose my charity on camera.  Editors made a decision to eliminate that story line completely due to the show taking a major turn mid-filming involving the incident that occurred involving the White House and President Obama's first state dinner. 



I was also a bit relieved as I knew in my heart that seemingly as the "good girl" the executives and editors would have wanted my role to shift and mix us up a bit to create drama, which is not at all my personality and true character.  I love to be an actress, but on reality television, when your real life is being exposed, you need to keep it real.  I couldn't ask to be in a better position to be in as I move on and pursue my dreams of acting and hosting!

David
Do you have any regrets filming the show?



Mary

I have no regrets in filming the Real Housewives of DC.  However, I did suffer some disappointments in that my charity work was eliminated from my storyline completely.  Exposing Labels for Love was truly a main motivation for agreeing to do the show.   It is a travesty that the drama of the White House incident caused the entire show to be hijacked.  After that fateful day, which occurred 90% through our filming season,  editors then had to go back revisit the entire season and decided to base most of the show around that unfortunate drama and their consistent offensive behavior.  What first was a show based on 5 women became a show about 4 women's reactions to the outlandish behavior of that unnamed couple.  I felt our characters were not developed well at all due to this unfortunate fact.  I felt that the most interesting and fun segments of our show were edited into "bonus clips" to offer interest and back story to our characters.  This was one unfortunate aspect of how our show worked out. I can't say enough about the overall experience, how much I learned about myself, what a surreal experience it is to watch yourself as yourself on tv, and most of all the special people I worked with on the show.  We had a crew that became part of our family.  It was one of the most special aspects of this experience and as a result have built lifelong relationships with people we never would have otherwise come across.  You can imagine how this happens spending on average 5 hours a day, 5 days per week for 5 months.  We loved our crew!


David
Which direction do you see yourself taking in regards to your career?

Mary
I am excited about the many exciting opportunities and interesting doors opening as a result of the exposure on the show.   I do plan to stay true to my passions of philanthropy, hosting, acting, film production, encouraging others, along with promoting health and wellness.  I love people.  That has been one of the biggest blessings to me personally in that I have met many gifted people in these last 2 years since this all began.   I absolutely plan on more work in television and film.   As a result of exposure on "The Real Houswives of DC," the favorite silver cross I wear everyday received much attention.  Over the show's run I heard from hundreds and hundreds of people who wanted to know where the cross came from.  I reached out to Christofle, the fine french silver company of over 100 years and they agreed to re-launch the cross as "The Labels for Love signature Cross exclusively by Christofle."  Labels for Love will receive a generous portion of the proceeds from the sale of the cross and is available on the Labels for Love website www.labelsforlove.org.  I've spent much time over the last months on the road promoting the cross in the Christofle boutiques nationwide and this summer will be in Boston, Los Angeles, Houston and Palm Beach in September.  The response has been overwhelming, I'm so thrilled!  We are currently working on promoting the cross on a large shopping network which will be wonderful for the women's and children's organizations that I support each year.  There is much ahead and I'm so excited about the possibilities!

Mary and the family

 

David
What are the most difficult emotions you have had to deal with as a mother?
 

Mary
Mother's guilt is REAL.  I remember listening to a speaker once that had a nightly prayer she would say after kissing her kids goodnight..."Dear Lord, please save my children from ME."  I think as mother's we all do our best to be everything to our children.  We are human and fall short every day.  It is critical to forgive yourself when you do fall short and also to seek out forgiveness from your children when you unintentionally cause hurt or fly off the handle from stress.  As parents, our children need to understand that we are fallable and it is our job to teach humility and forgiveness and lead by example.  Children learn what they live.  The best way to get a child to listen and open their ears is by praise.  You can never praise your children to much.  As a busy mother of five, and in any large family, we deal with a constant influx of emotions.  One important value I constantly strive for is to create balance and a sense of stability and freedom to be who my children were created to be.  I think one of the main strategies I encourage within our household is communication.  I always want the best for each child and there is a tremendous amount of pressure to make sure everyone is happy and healthy and their needs are being met on every level.  Time flies, especially when you have a busy household, so I cherish moments and constantly strive to create fun memories in an effort to slow us all down and enjoy one another!  I'm truly gifted with the a loving family and my prayer is that my children will continue to pass on and share this precious legacy of love and family.  It's what I come from as the oldest of 7 and two loving healthy parents.  I'm telling you, I'm extremely blessed!


David
Who would you like to see in office Obama or Trump?
 

Mary
The Donald is thankfully out.  When I first heard he was throwing it in for a true run for a spot as the leader of the free world I had to chuckle.  I don't believe in judging people, but how could we take his entering the race all that seriously.  I know that the late night talk shows had loads of opening material during that short run of possibility.   I vote for people, not parties.  I believe that the person we choose to run our Country should have a high moral backbone, not that anyone is perfect of course, but morals and character define people and their ability to make responsible decisions that affect us all.  I think President Obama stepped into some very difficult circumstances.  I pray for him everyday that he can help lead this Country into a better place economically and towards peaceful times abroad and truly make an impact for change and stability and peace in our world.   


David
What are some of your guilty pleasures?



Mary
I love to eat cheese, in fact, I could live on cheese, cured meats, figs and a nice glass of wine as a compliment.  A nice cheese tray is my signature.   My kids would tell you that I eat stale peeps but that is a secret.  I love organic jojoba oil and use it all over my hair and skin.  It truly is one of natures perfect moisturizers.  I love black jellybeans, I even used to torture my siblings by tackling them at Easter time and trying to force them to eat a black jellybean.  I have an obsession with boots.  I always over order in a restaurant.  I am passionate about music.  I like order.  I can't stand it when people raise their voice.  I love to spend time in the sun, even though I have been plagued with issues from too much sun exposure.   All of the walls in my house are white coupled with dark floors.  I believe that color within a living space should come from the accessories and art.  I love to have my living space relaxed and a mix of styles, with special pieces that I have collected over the years.  I have an antique english tea cup collection, with pink and blue as the theme.  My favorite place in my house is my beautiful closet, it's my haven and hideout when I need to be alone, which is a challenge living in a household with 7 people.  I have an obsession with keeping my hair healthy and have an entire shelf of hair care products.  I love gladiator sandals.  I have a classic black Dolce and Gabana dress in my closet that has been altered to fit my changing body shape for over 12 years, I'll never let it go.  I love scarves and choker necklaces.  I believe in investing in a few nice pieces, bags, shoes, dresses, sweaters and try to avoid big sales as I believe it adds to clutter and buying things you don't need.  I love long sweaters, jeans, and did I mention that I have a boot fetish?



David
What are your fondest memories of your grandfather, Arthur Godfrey?

Mary
I am the eldest grandchild and had the wonderful opportunity to share many memorable moments with my grandfather.  He passed away when I was 18 and I feel blessed to have been able to share some quality time with him, particularly in his later years.   My grandfather was a true character and loved to have and poke fun, especially at inappropriate moments like the formal dining table.  He would make me laugh until my sides hurt at times.  I have certainly acquired his love to have fun, especially as a family, keeping it real and relaxed with as much laughter as possible.  One memory that I hold very dear to my heart occurred when I was approximately 9 years old.  We were sharing lunch outside on a beautiful spring day on their patio on the farm in Leesburg, VA. I can clearly remember the Koi fish surfacing, the green Lilly pads and the gorgeous sunshine that warmed our shoulders as we shared, just the two of us...which was a rare occasion with so many siblings running around. As we sat and enjoyed this beautiful spring weather, I decided to take the risk and share with him my desire to one day be an actress.   As he choked on his food after sharing my dream, then swallowed and let me know in no uncertain terms that it wasn't a great idea.  The business is dirty, filled with rejection and its very tough to really succeed, he commented.  Sheepishly, I responded that I truly had dreamt of it, looked up to him as a role model and wanted with all my heart to pursue my dream to study and perform as an actress.  I think he sensed my strong sense of disappointment from his response and then proceeded to encourage me by saying, "well, if you really want it, you can do it...just one word of advice...learn how to project your voice and enunciate, its all about exageration, if you can learn these skills you have a shot.."  I'll never forget that precious moment and it truly inspired me when faced with the opportunity to do the Housewives show and to truly go for it.  I know he would have some choice words to say about reality television these days, but truthfully, he was the pioneer of reality television by showcasing new raw talent, hosting a talk show and a variety show all weekly for years in the 1950's.  All live tv, of course.  I'm truly inspired by my grandfathers spirit and contributions to the entertainment business.  Currently, I'm working on a book and screenplay about his life and career as a true pioneer of radio and television. 



David
What are your last words to all the readers?

Mary
From the bottom of my heart, I want to express sincere gratitude for all of the love and support that so many have expressed over the past year since being exposed on television and radio.   This next journey has just begun and I am truly inspired to use this opportunity for exposure in the entertainment business and media to further my charity work with Labels for Love as well as pursue more projects in television, voice over, commercials and film as a host and actress.  I want to leave my children with a strong legacy of giving back which was passed on to my by my loving parents.   Any opportunities I pursue will always have a component of encouraging others and giving back.  I'm truly humbled and grateful for this next new chapter of my life and what challenges and blessings lie ahead.   Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to share from my heart!  

 

Last but not least...don't forget to follow me on twitter!  @maryamons


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www.labelsforlove.org
Twitter: @maryamons

Published on May 25, 2011

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