Thursday, May 26, 2022

Marlo Hampton Talks Philanthropy, Being A Boss and ‘Juicy’ RHOA Reunion [EUR Exclusive]

Marlo Hampton
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN — Pictured: Marlo Hampton — (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

*“Real Housewives of Atlanta” starlet, Marlo Hampton, is known for keeping it all the way real on the hit reality series. We have seen her slay with bold and daring style choices, and read some of her co-stars for filth. But what a lot of folks may not know is that when she’s not filming the show, Hampton keeps busy with exciting new business ventures in both beauty, fashion, and philanthropy.

She is currently working on a new wig line, “HER,” which stands for Haute, Elegance, Rebel, and an affordable, high fashion accessories line called “Arrie and Emma,” launching this Spring.

Marlo is also participating in a charity event on March 16th that is very dear to her heart– Foundation For Fortitude, whose core mission is to expose young women to individual development training and seminars.

EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with Marlo ahead of Saturday’s event to dish about her involvement with Foundation For Fortitude’s “Third Annual” Pure White Affair as well as discuss her relationship with FOF Founder, Sherry Blue. She also teases what’s to come on the explosive RHOA reunion show that’s airing Sunday night on BRAVO.

Get into our Q&A with Ms. Marlo below.

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Marlo Hampton
“Arrie and Emma”

A lot of folks reading this are mostly familiar with you because of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. But they may not know about your philanthropy efforts and work with organizations like Foundation for Fortitude. Talk about how you got involved with the foundation.

Marlo: Foundation for Fortitude, I don’t know if you know, it’s a lady by the name of Sherry Blue and rest in peace. She had a homegoing also about a year ago and we reached out, we became friends and I have a foundation called Glam It Up. Glam It Up are for girls that are in foster care. I don’t know if you know, I aged out of foster care. I was a child of the system and I was there from 10 to 18. So we united. She helped young women in college. So she’s there speaking with them and keeping them going. I’m like, oh my God, anything involving young girls who’s trying to make it I want to be involved with. So every year she would have this huge event, an all-white affair for her foundation. And this is the third year I’ll be hosting. It’s called the Pure White Affair in Jacksonville.

When I go there the girls–like I just spoke with them over the phone about four days ago. We FaceTime and it’s just so interesting to see these girls and how they’re motivated and just the questions they want to ask you and just to motivate them and know they’re out here trying to make a difference in this world and no matter what they’ve been through they’re still focused. So it’s something I will always do. Even though she’s not here, so long as her friends and the foundation goes for it, I’m going to definitely be here to support it.

Sherry Blue & Marlo Hampton
The late great Sherry Blue & Marlo Hampton, #PWA 2018

Is there specific theme that’s being celebrated this year?

Marlo: It’s definitely just mentoring them, you know, just about life and things that are going on. Now, I don’t know exactly what days they have different things. If you asked me about Glam It Up, I can tell you that. Glam It Up I know all the details. As in, we have things for learning your beacon score. I have events where I had a person come in and teach them their bra sizes because I feel that’s something young ladies should know and something I didn’t know when I was growing up in foster care. I take them to NBA games. I’m going to teach them about applying for jobs. How do you dress for an interview? So I’m sure it’s the same thing because Sherry’s girls, they’re in college. And these are girls who have also had issues at home. So it’s just really interesting. It’s just anything to help our younger generation, we need that.

Marlo Hampton

What are you discovering is the biggest challenge that young girls of color specifically are facing today?

Marlo: I feel the biggest area is confidence. It’s loving yourself, self-love. So when I’m with my girls everyday, I want them to love themselves. Anytime I’m with them, if I’m with Sherry girls, if I bump into a little girl in the store, if I see someone going through a situation, it’s just love yourself. Social media makes it so hard. If you hear some of the stories these girls are saying,  Oh, I’m ugly. My hair is short. It’s nappy. I got a big nose. I’m this. It’s like, no baby. You are beautiful. You’re just how God wanted you to be. So that’s my main thing. I just want you to look in the mirror and know hey, I’m beautiful. I’m her. And that’s something I feel my goal is, every girl I encounter, to just admire them, give them motivation and confidence. I hope they grow to know that they are everything.

As you get more involved with giving back to the community and inspiring the next generation, do you ever think about how we can turn philanthropy efforts into something that’s life and world-changing? Because you really don’t hear anybody talking about charitable works unless they’re speaking about something their favorite celebrity is doing.

Marlo: It’s funny you say that because I’ll post about Glam It Up or doing things with Sherry with the Foundation of Fortitude and you’ll notice the likes are strong when you post crazy stuff or if you post fashion. I just think it has to be in people. People have to want to do it. They have to want to make a change. A lot of people talk about it. It doesn’t matter. You know I did it for years and I’m like, you know what, I’m on this platform, let me try and use it to make it larger. Let me try and use what people should just know. You should just want to get up and make a difference. And you know, it’s just all about girl power and giving back. Women have to stick together, and we really have to get over all the little cattiness on the show I’m on and what’s going on and just show another side. So I just feel like I’m taking a stand and I’m definitely doing it. I just pray others are doing it. You have to lead by example.

I’ve always rooted for you on “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” I’m always so amused by the snarkiness you add to the show. But your charitable heart certainly makes you that much more admirable.

Marlo: Oh, thank you. Cause I’m like, people don’t even acknowledge that as much. They’re going to acknowledge all the bad. I’m like, well good Lord, do you ever see any of the good? Do you ever want to reach out and say, hey your next Glam It Up event, I would love to attend. So, I guess that’s the way this world is.

Marlo Hampton
“Arrie and Emma”

The world likes the salacious stuff. We like all the catty stuff. Like you said, we like the drama. I think spiritually, as a nation, we’re so low that we must feed off the ugly and nasty because that’s all most of us can vibrate to.

Marlo: Absolutely. And social media has a lot to do with it also.

Absolutely, absolutely. But how important, though, is social media to your branding efforts? You have a hairline coming out. You’re launching an accessories line in the spring.

Marlo: Yes I am. Arrie and Emma.

Arrie and Emma. I love the name. What’s the inspiration behind it?

Marlo: Okay. Arie and Emma that’s a fashion and lifestyle brand that starting with accessories. So you’re going to get earrings, necklaces, scarfs and every time you turn around it’s going to be something new added with it. I’m going to introduce accessories first. The reason I named it Arrie and Emma is because it’s named after my mom and my foster grandmother Arrie. My biological mother is Emma. Those two women was fashion-forward. We lived in the projects growing up. When I was at my biological mom, we were the best dress kids and my mother is very fashion forward to this day. And likewise for my grandmother Arrie Holmes. She would be in church with her big hats on and her dresses and matching shoes. So those are two women I really give credit to for my fashion sense.

What type of woman is going to rock with the Arrie and Emma brand?

Marlo: Every woman is going to love Arrie and Emma even if you’re not the flashy over the top. And it’s just, little, simple pieces I have. I’m not always over the top. But I’m going to have pieces that can just change any outfit. Like, if you’re not an accessory girl with jewelry, you may want a scarf. It’s not trendy. It’s classy pieces like my grandmother and my mom. Pieces that you can share down the line with your children or your children’s grandchildren. It’s going to be classy pieces to take that outfit up a notch.

You got on jeans and a T-shirt, you may want to put a scarf around your belt, around your neck or you just may want it if you go to dinner and it’s chilly. So just little simple things. It may be a little hat, a little baseball cap. Just cute little pieces.

Talk a about your wig line, HER. We both know as black women who wear wigs and such, we have a million wig options. So what makes HER unique to all the other wig brands that are out there?

Marlo: You know what makes HER unique, like I named it haute, elegant, rebel and that’s because I’m an Aquarius so I’m a rebel. But I played off the H-E-R and if you remember earlier, I mentioned when I work with these girls, I want them to look in the mirror and know that they’re her. So I feel that when I get my hair done, I’m sure when you get your hair done, don’t you feel like you’re her? Don’t you feel beautiful and amazing? So I just want these girls to know, you’re her.

It’s seven wigs. I’m only going to do seven wigs and that’s for seven days of the week I want you to feel amazing. I want you to feel like her. Snap that wig on and you go and conquer the world. Whatever your task is of the day, I just want you to feel good and compliment yourself. You don’t have to wait on it. And once you feel good when you’re walking out that door, I think you go out and do amazing things. The outcome is amazing.

I like that. One wig for each day of the week. It’s simple. It’s genius because it’s so convenient.  

Marlo: Yeah, I’ve been developing now for about almost over a year and I’m like, you know what? I just don’t want a whole lot of wigs. I just want seven and seven days of the week you cab just grab and go, or you go with that one wig seven days of the week. But I just wanted to play off of that.

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN — Pictured: Marlo Hampton — (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

As a reality TV star, a philanthropist, a business woman and entrepreneur, talk about how all of these ventures play into how you envision your five-year, ten-year plan. What’s on Marlo’s bucket list?

Marlo: Oh my Lord, we have so much on my bucket list. One thing for sure, I want to make Glam it Up so big. I want to make it bigger than life. So hopefully I have you onboard, several of your friends, a lot of people on board with Glam It Up. I definitely want to make my name in the fashion business even larger. I want to definitely have a fashion house. I’m going to have a line out by then and just extend Glam It Up across the nation, not just in Georgia. And just make a difference. When I leave this world, I want to say I made a difference in a young woman’s life. I want to leave here making a difference. So my main thing I’m focused on is Glam It Up and the Fashion World. You know I love fashion.

What is Glam It Up’s mission statement?

Marlo:  If I dream it, I can achieve it. I tell my girls that all the time, if you dream it, you can achieve it. Put your mind to it baby. There’s no such thing as no. Make it happen. But that’s the main thing I walk away from telling them, if you dream it, if you sit here and you write it on paper, you dream that you saw it, let’s work on making it happen. There’s so many things–with me being an Aquarius, I think over the top. I think of some crazy things. And guess what? People are like, no that’ll never happen or that’s just too… No. So I have to envision it. Because what if I listen to you saying no and what if I’m–just a lot of people who have listened to people that said no for a crazy thought on something. You have to dream it and if you feel it in your heart you have to go for it.

For many of us, reality shows are our guilty pleasure. So what’s your guilty pleasure? Do you binge watch? Are you a fan of Housewives or any of the other reality shows?

Marlo: I’m a fan of Housewives. You’re on the phone with me now because of the Housewives. So I will always be thankful to Bravo and I feel that every single woman that watches the Housewives, they can relate to one of us. Each personality, I feel, were relatable. So I do love it. I’m not going to lie. Like you said, women are catty, we’re going to gossip, we’re going to be messy. I just don’t like that people feel that we’re just negative. You’re only watching us for an hour. So you don’t get to see everything. But what you do see, just know it’s bigger than that sometimes. Just look at the other things we do outside of when you see us an hour on TV.

And also as in scripted shows, I have a weakness for Power and Empire. So I do love those, and I love scripted shows. Like lately, I’ve been even venturing out into some scripted shows. But I definitely love Real Housewives of Atlanta, Power, Empire —those are all good shows.

Is there anything else you have fabulous coming up that you want your fans to know?

Marlo: I don’t know if you know, I was in LA filming for a new scripted show on BET. So I have a little small cameo in that that’ll be coming out soon. I want to say maybe April or May. I can’t say the name but that will be coming out soon with some great actors and actresses that you know.. And Glam It Up, Arrie and Emma, my hairline. Just me myself, I’m sitting waiting every day to see what God has in store for me and my personal life; husband, children –what he has planned for me. So really that’s it. What you see is what you get when it comes to Marlo.

And I can’t end this interview without asking what you can tease us with what we can expect from the RHOA reunion?

Marlo: You gotta stay tuned because when I tell you it’s some good stuff though. You definitely got to stay tuned. This is juicy.

What three words best describe the reunion show?

Marlo: Three words? Don’t leave the couch for the break! (laughs) How would I describe the reunion this season? I would say electrifying, shocking, everything. It was just everything. It really was. It was everything!

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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