I recently got a chance to connect one-on-one with the Co-Creator and Producer of ‘Married To Medicine’ and I must say, my respect for Mrs. Huq has grown. Not only is she a mother and the wife of a very successful Doctor, but an entrepreneur….A successful and established entrepreneur – catch! Check out my interview with the mastermind of one of Bravo’s hit reality TV shows as we talk who she is, her success, Real Housewives of Atlanta, Andy Cohen and more…
RW: Who is Mariah Huq?
MH: Ooh honey…She’s a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend … She’s a phenomenal woman and is one of a kind. She is me and I am her.
RW: Who inspired the idea of the show, “Married To Medicine?”
MH: Well I just felt like I lived it every day…When I first begun to pitch the show, I was in medical devices; selling medical devices to anesthesiologist and surgeons. We lived, worked and played with Doctors all day long. They were our friends, they were our neighbors, they were our colleague and it was all we knew. I just felt as though people needed to see inside the medical world to see doctors outside of their offices…Beyond their lap coats and outside of the scrubs, so that was the inspiration. I wanted people to see the sacrifices the doctors make to be able to save lives and take care of other lives.
RW: What is that whole reality TV experience like for you?
MH: You know what, I have to be honest with you…It was not the best experience for me. It was a wonderful experience in terms of the people you get to meet and the exposure that you receive and the love that you get from so many people who become fans and friends and followers, however I think that the scrutiny you face… No one can ever prepare you for, as well as the judgment. You lose everything, you are literally under a microscope so no one can ever prepare you for that and then at the end of the day you have to look at the fact that I’m the Co-Creator and Producer, but I still don’t hold the key to editing. You don’t know how it’s going to be edited to make you look so for me it was really tough to deal with something so sensitive and to deal with something so near and dear to my heart in front of 2 plus million viewers.
RW: Were any other networks interested in “Married To Medicine?”
MH: Oh God, let me just tell you… For over 5 years I shopped the show and the name changed quite a bit. We had interest from Lifetime and VH1. TLC and Bravo made us an offer and I decided to go with Bravo. I felt like that had the experience and all of the ingredients to make a successful show; they had the right producers on board. They had already been there and done that, so it just made sense to go with Bravo.
RW: I heard that you were once considered for Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA), Is that true?
MH: Yes, a couple of seasons…Actually, I was really on the fence on whether I’d do the show or go onto RHOA because I thought it was such a successful brand and it’s done phenomenally well and I love the Producers… I also know the executive producer there and I just thought what they did with their brand… It just catapulted, so it was a really hard decision for me, but the decision was to stick with my dream.
RW: Do you know or hang out with any of the woman from RHOA?
MH: I don’t. I met Kandi, Phaedra and Cynthia. My sister decorated Phaedra’s baby’s room; her first baby’s room and she did an excellent job on that. We have a kids bedding and pajama line, Jewel and Jem and that’s how we kinda came in contact with the ladies. Kandi introduced us to Phaedra and I met Cynthia recently since I’ve been on the show and she offered me very inspiring advice about being on reality TV. Her husband Peter is phenomenal as well… I liked them a lot, they were truly genuine and I felt like they were just themselves and you just can’t help but appreciate that once you get into the entertainment field.
RW: How is your relationship now with the women? Has anything changed between you and Kari?
MH: No, not really. Kari reached out to me a couple of times via email, but I thought it was confrontational so I did not respond. Toya, she called me up and we talked; we were cordial…Everything is the same with the other three ladies; Quad, Jackie, and Simone. We’re good.
RW: How is Miss Lucy?
MH: She’s is doing well. It was really tough for me to see my mom come and be a part of the show because it’s my mom and I know I signed up for this, but my family did not. My mom… She is a wonderful mother first of all; she raised two girls including myself – College education, made sure we were entrepreneurs and business savvy. We are both married and have beautiful families so she’s a very, very successful mother. In her own light, she was one of the youngest entrepreneur in Chattanooga, Tennessee so everything I am, I owe it to Lucy. People did not get to see that side, they just got to see her as being a protective mother and a protective grandmother and unfortunately people just took that a ran with it.
RW: Will there be a second season to Married to Medicine?
MH: I don’t know yet, you will just have to keep watching to see.
RW: How do you balance being the wife of a busy Doctor, a mother, a daughter and run your own business?
MH: I pride myself on prioritizing… I put my family first. At the end of the day, I would give everything up for my family; for my children and my husband because that’s all I have and that’s the thing that I value the most. I balance it very easily because they are first and everything else is secondary. It is tough though because I have situation where… Well, especially with this now that it has become a big brand. I feel it’s catapulted to a level that we couldn’t even imagine, so it is tough but I think for me I try not to complicate it by keeping my family and my husband first. When I walk out of this, I still want to be married with beautiful kids, so I’m just willing to keep them as the apple of my eye.
RW: Can you tell us more about the Mariah Media Group and Jewel and Jem?
MH: I started the Mariah Media Group years ago and I started writing and pitching ideas for stories and shows like “Married To Medicine” and pitching it to networks and doing casting for different productions; I am working on 2 other productions behind the scenes as we speak right now. We also do things like multimedia services, as far as building websites and social media marketing. Jewel and Jem is a business I co-own with my sister. As I told you before, she decorated Phaedra Parks kids nursery… It’s a kids bedding and pajamas line and I enjoy doing it, it’s been really good for us because we have done it for 7 years and our pajamas are about to go into several major department stores. It’s something we’ve been working on long before this show and it’s a multi-million dollar deal that we’re closing with each and every one of the department stores, so It’s huge for us!
RW: What is Andy Cohen like in-person?
MH: He is just like what u see on TV… I like Andy because to me, I feel like the devil you know is better than the one you don’t and I feel as though Andy is real. You can tell when Andy is feeling you and you can tell when he ain’t honey. He is going to ask you – just like he asked Kari, what’s going on with your lips or Mariah, were you throwing shade at Jackie or you know Ms. Quad, is it true use to date this person or that person, so he is just real and I love that about him. He’s just like what you see on TV…I say all the time he’s one of my good Judy’s.
RW: Is there anyone that you know of who has gotten upset with Andy or taken what he has said to the heart?
MH: No, I don’t think so because…Honestly, I think Andy does it in a very, very reasonable way and a politically correct way. I don’t think he comes down too hard on anyone. I think he is a very smart guy and I think you have to keep in mind he is an executive at bravo above anything. Yes, he host the show but before anything he’s an executive, so he has the smarts to know when to lay off somebody and he shows that very well.
RW: What can we, the fans expect from you in 2013?
MH: You can expect a lot of things on the horizon; expect a lot of things from Jew and gem… You can expect it to be a highly popular name in a lot of department stores. You can expect to see whole lot of attitude from Mariah, I am not going to change. This is who I am, this is what I am and I’m comfortable in my own skin. I think you can expect to see a lot of diversity; expect a lot from the family side seeing Aydin and I really truly integrate our families, cultures and religions to make it one – morphing our lives together… So, I think you can expect a lot. The world has a lot to look forward to and a lot to learn from us!