Ashley DarbySee Full Bio
Ashley Darby is an entrepreneur with a passion for hospitality, philanthropy and holistic health. As a Maryland native with a spicy personality, Ashley has been instilled with tenacity and an unmatched drive to succeed. The oldest child in her family, Ashley grew up juggling multiple jobs to help support her single mom and younger siblings. When she turned 18, she attended the University of Maryland and bartended on the side to keep both herself and her family financially stable. While bartending, Ashley was scouted by the Miss District of Columbia Pageant and went on to take the crown in 2011.
Soon thereafter, Ashley met Michael Darby, an Australian real-estate millionaire, who is 29 years her senior. Sparks flew, and Ashley was introduced to a world she never knew existed. After four years of dating, the couple married, and Ashley went from 22 and single to wife and stepmother of Michael’s 24- and 26-year-old children. In addition to owning Oz Restaurant and Bar with her husband, Ashley is a certified yoga instructor and advocates that balance is about inner peace and outer physicality. Although she's having the time of her life, Ashley is still learning how to balance love, family, and business, and she hopes to expand her family with a baby.Close
Candiace DillardSee Full BioCandiace Dillard joins The Real Housewives of Potomac this season with a touch of sass and savviness. The 31-year-old former Miss United States was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, with her Air Force physician parents and siblings, Chris and Crystal. At an early age, Candiace learned what excellence looked like from observing her parents, who worked in different facets of the medical field. A graduate of Howard University, she served a tenure in the White House Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, where she liaised between the White House and the African American community for President Barack Obama. She later traded in her suit and heels for the campaign trail, where she served as a staffer for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. In 2013, Candiace won the crown and title of Miss United States and hasn’t looked back since. She has competed in the pageant industry for many years and holds top placements in the Sunburst, National American Miss, National Miss American Coed, Georgia Miss American Coed, Miss Maryland USA, Miss District of Columbia USA, and Miss United States pageant systems.
As an entrepreneur, she is the founder and CEO of Candiace Dillard Pageant Consulting, cofounder of Prima Hair Collection by Candiace Dillard, and co-owner of Chateau Salon Suites. In 2009, she also founded an organization called My Sister’s Keeper, a mentorship and women’s empowerment organization designed to give young girls the opportunity to interact with women in their communities. Candiace is currently engaged to her soulmate, restaurateur Chris Bassett, whom she met while they were both working at a restaurant in downtown Washington, D.C. They were friends for several years before the courtship blossomed into undeniable love, and Chris proposed to her with a surprise engagement that included all of her family and friends. When she is not running her numerous businesses or being a pageant girl, Candiace can be found curled up with a good book, as reading is her favorite pastime. Close
Gizelle BryantSee Full BioGizelle is a vibrant socialite and resident of the Potomac area who effortlessly manages her jam-packed calendar as a single mother of three daughters, Grace and twins Angel and Adore. She was raised by very prominent and powerful parents who set the tone for her path in their work in government and philanthropy. After graduating from Hampton University, she moved to Baltimore, where she married megachurch pastor/activist Jamal Bryant. But when the marriage ended seven years later, this resilient woman decided it was time to move back to her old stomping grounds of Potomac for a fresh start with her three girls.
Gizelle keeps herself busy with multiple philanthropy projects and entrepreneurial ventures. She generates funds to revitalize various major cities in order to help those in need or in transition. Gizelle is committed to working hard and sees every obstacle as an opportunity. She has had a successful launch of her cosmetics line, EveryHue Beauty. The hero product of the line is a tinted moisturizer that is geared to meet the needs of every woman of color. She is currently in negotiations to bring EveryHue to a mass market retail space. Gizelle maintains her status as a sophisticated woman in the Potomac social scene, and with her outspoken, no-nonsense demeanor, she is embracing her single life, and is open to possibly settling down once again. Close
Karen HugerSee Full Bio
Originally from Virginia, Karen grew up on a large family farm and witnessed her father succeeding through hard work and perseverance. Karen took those strong values and followed her heart, living life to the fullest while achieving many successes. She is applying her entrepreneurial spirit in various beauty, fashion, and lifestyle ventures, and she reigns supreme as the grande dame of Potomac. She is an advocate and ambassador for Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment (PAVE) and the Alzheimer's Association, and she uses her public speaking opportunities to uplift women, enabling healing and positive change.
Although Karen is known for throwing over-the-top parties at her home, her family always comes first, and she is extremely proud of all that she has accomplished with her husband, Raymond, of 21 years, and her smart and savvy children, Brandon and Rayvin. Most recently Karen has been on a healthy mind, body, and soul journey as she and Ray are getting acclimated to life as empty nesters, enjoying their passions and charity work.Close
Monique SamuelsSee Full BioMonique Samuels has proven that she isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and that she is driven by her passion to stand up for what she believes in. As an entrepreneur, wife, mom, and philanthropist, Monique is out to prove women can have it all. Monique grew up in Pleasantville, New Jersey with her close-knit family. She grew up a tomboy, and her father instilled a sense of strength and independence into her. When Monique was a teen, he would not let her drive a car until she knew how to change a tire and check under the hood. Growing up she was taught very early on to be strong, persistent, and independent.
Monique was the salutatorian of her high school graduating class. After graduation, she moved to Pittsburgh to attend Duquesne University on a full academic scholarship. After a few semesters, Monique decided to pursue her true passion, a career in music. She packed her bags and moved to Washington, DC where she met her future husband, Chris Samuels, a six-time Pro Bowl left tackle who played for the Washington Redskins. Chris and Monique’s friendship has blossomed into a marriage of six years and their beautiful five-year-old son, Christopher, and two-year-old daughter, Milani. Monique is a boss in every sense of the word, as she manages businesses, which include a real estate investment company, a business enterprise, and the Chris Samuels Foundation, that she and her husband share. As if that weren't enough to keep her busy, her entrepreneurial spirit has led her to create and launch her brand, Not for Lazy Moms, and the associated website notforlazymoms.com. In 2018, Monique will launch her Not for Lazy Moms podcast, which will further address topics that everyone can relate to, but are rarely discussed. Monique’s desire to make a difference and help others is fueled by the love and support of her family. Close
Robyn DixonSee Full Bio
Baltimore native Robyn Dixon is the epitome of "You can’t keep a good girl down!" She graduated from the University of Maryland, where she earned a degree in business marketing. While Robyn was in high school, she met Juan Dixon, a star athlete at a rival school. In what turned into a whirlwind romance, Robyn and Juan became high school sweethearts, attended college together, and eventually married. Juan went on to become a professional basketball player; the couple settled in Maryland and had two talented, athletic sons. However, being married to an athlete was not easy, and when Juan broke her heart, the couple decided to part ways. Juan now works as a coach at a university, and the couple remains extremely close, so much so they all live together under one roof and are embracing the “new normal.”
A full-time single mom of two active sons, nine-year-old Corey and eight-year-old Carter, Robyn successfully maintains a balance between family, work, and fun. Never one to sit still, Robyn is pursuing a career as an event producer and has recently launched her own special events firm, Visionary Events in the DC/MD area. Additionally, Robyn and her mother, Gladys, have recently partnered on a new real estate investing venture, in the city of Baltimore. Robyn focuses her philanthropic endeavors on causes benefitting women, children, and families.Close