Having devoted her life to being a wife, raising five children, and supporting charitable causes, Mary Amons came on board Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of D.C. franchise looking to promote her Labels of Love charity. However, as we as we all witnessed, she got a little more than she bargained for. Born, raised, and having spent her entire adult life in the Washington, D.C. area, Mary Amons has made the most of her connections (she’s the granddaughter of legendary radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey), upbringing (she spent summers at the Kennedy residences), and warm personality to create her own future post Real Housewives. In the following interview, Mary reflects on her reality show experience and gives us a glimpse as to where we can expect to see her next. Hint: It won’t be reality TV!
Well I did the show hoping to gain exposure for Labels of Love. One of the reasons we all signed on was that it was agreed that the drama would be kept to a minimum. It was actually an experiment to test the reaction of viewers to a show with less drama than some of the other Real Housewives franchises. Editing left out the part of my huge charity event, which was a success. The charity was the main reason that I decided to do the show.
So many of the wives have gotten divorced, not only from D.C., but from the other cities as well. (Amons was divorced this year.) Is being on the show responsible for that?
Marriage is tough within itself. The show didn’t contribute to it. So no, doing a reality show doesn’t cause divorce. It was the underlying things that were already there, the added stresses of life in general.
Yes. Lynda (Erkiletian, above, left) and I have been friends for 15 years. She and I decided to do the show together. She is like a mentor to me. I just hung out with Cat Ommanney (above, center), in New York City as she promoted her new book. I don’t see Stacie (Scott Turner) as much. She is busy with her own situation and I think she just started a new job. We just tend to run in different social circles. I wish Michaele Salahi nothing but the best.
You were one of seven children and have five children. How does the experience of growing up in a large family affect the parents and children? Is it one reason you are intent on giving back?
I grew up watching my dad start a foundation in the 1970s in honor of Vince Lombardi. It’s a golfing event that has grown over the years. I grew up in a great supportive home where it was important to give back. My dad is my hero and my mom is my inspiration. Giving back is a family value. I think it’s important to teach my kids to give back without expecting anything in return.
I was busy raising kids my entire life and I looked to do something for myself. I had experience being an executive director of my father’s charity. I wanted to create something that would allow me to still be home for my children. I wanted something that would be giving back and that I could create myself. I’m passionate about taking care of women and children. I wanted to do more than just write a check to pay salaries, but I wanted to put focus on the programmatic aspects. LOL has worked with Martha’s Table, the Children’s Hospital and building a playground. The goal is to offer programmatic support. I want to do impact driven charity, not just paying bills.
I reached out to Christofle about recreating the cross I wore on RHODC to benefit the charity after it got so much attention from viewers. The necklace is $110 to purchase and $30 of that benefits charity.
You also founded the District Sample Sale. What led you to do that?
The District Sample Sale was founded with four friends as a way to help boutiques offload their end of season merchandise. It has become a highly anticipated sought after event as more boutiques have moved into Georgetown. It is all volunteer based. It occurs every March and September. The proceeds go back to charity. Again this event focused on the program specific setting.
Friends of mine work for the Georgetown Bid and asked if I would help spread the word and help promote one of our City’s most fun events of the year. As the founder of Labels for Love, they know that I am passionate about fashion, especially promoting it in DC and supporting women’s and children’s causes. I love that our city has embraced this important cultural and philanthropic evening promoting fashion and a good cause. Washington IS a fashionable city!
Being on the show has brought about opportunities and opened so many doors. Being known as a philanthropist has been the biggest blessing. I’m talking to international organizations about becoming an ambassador. I’m not interested in being famous. I’m done with exposing myself on the reality show level. The best thing is being able to connect with people and meeting genuinely nice people. People are very positive.
Are there any upcoming projects that you would like to share with viewers?
I have dreamt of being in the entertainment industry since I was a little girl. I’m currently talking to international organizations about becoming an ambassador, voice over work and working on some documentaries. My goal is to become the face of humanitarian. Also, aspirations of my own lifestyle show that would have interesting people, current events, home decorating on a budget and cooking. Just creating a lovely home.
My advice to all busy moms is to make sure to take care of yourself. Get adequate sleep and exercise regularly, smile and laugh often, eat well and let loose and have fun as often as possible! If momma is happy, everybody is happy!
Woman Around Town’s Six Questions
Favorite Place to Eat: (a tough one!) I have several favorite places to eat depending my mood. Peacock Cafe’s patio on a beautiful day, Two Amy’s for some good Neapolitan pizza, Cafe Milano for some classic Italian, BLT Steak for a juicy filet, great bottle of Cabernet and a popover! Marvin for the best bowl of French onion soup and shrimp and grits in the city! There are many others…
Favorite Place to Shop: Georgetown
Favorite D.C. Sight: Lincoln Memorial
Favorite D.C. Memory: Jimmy Carter’s Inauguration Ceremony – 3rd row with the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate (family friend) in bitter cold temps!
What You Love About D.C.: Our city is the most beautiful city in our nation. I am a cyclist and have grown up here (never have lived in any other place!) D.C. is spectacular any time of year. The people are more than interesting and always warm and friendly. I am blessed to call D.C. my home.
What You Hate About D.C.: TRAFFIC! Parking tickets in the city.