There would be no Love & Marriage: Huntsville without Melody Shari. The teacher-turned-real estate mogul and her ex-husband Martell paid for a one-time consultation with the self-proclaimed king of reality TV, Carlos King, to pitch a show about them building custom homes in Huntsville…and the rest is history. King felt an ensemble show about the movers and shakers in the area would be a better shot at getting the show picked up, and he was right.

Four seasons later, the show is No. 1 on OWN with a spinoff based in D.C. premiering in May. 

But Melody isn’t the same woman viewers met in Season 1. She’s now divorced, refuses to film with her ex to keep her peace, and is all about solo Mel and her four children. While she’s still doing real estate to a certain extent, Melody has used her platform to bring other dreams to fruition. 

Shadow and Act Unscripted spoke with Melody about her rebrand, her new ventures and what to expect next. Love & Marriage: Huntsville airs every Saturday on OWN.

1. On why she dropped Holt from her name

Melody has been doing a full rebrand. Viewers watched in season 3 as she transitioned her Huntsville office headquarters from the one she shared with her ex Martell, to one that’s all about Mel. More recently, she dropped her marital name completely and has been in the midst of a rebrand. 


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A post shared by Melody Shari (@melodysholt)

It’s not something Melody was planning to do. But she says after learning to listen to one’s intuition, it was only right.  

“I had a lot of people asking me before the divorce was even final, and of course after, ‘Are you going to keep the last name?’ And my answer would always be, ‘Yeah, I have to because I have four children and I was married.’ But one day – I spent a lot of time with myself and my intuition has grown and so I learned how to listen to my intuition – and I literally was in my kitchen one day, and God hit and said, ‘Drop the last name.’ And so I did. So that’s really where it came from. And I ran with it,” she explained.

2. Part of her solo rebrand is the release of her new skincare line

Melody recently relaunched her skincare line. In Season 3 following the birth of her fourth child, the Alabama native launched a line alongside Martell. But amid the divorce and with Martell seemingly asking for half of the business, she dissolved the company. But it was not a dream deferred. Instead, she changed the company name and did things her own way. 


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After a three-year journey, she launched Seventh Avenue Beauty, named after the street she grew up on. The biggest seller is the full hydrating bundle as opposed to individual products. The bundle includes a facial cleanser, toner, moisturizer, lip primer, and milk bath. Online sales have been so great that she says she’s already been approached about retail opportunities. 

“I was able to get with a Black female chemist and actually be a part of the formulating process and making sure that I was putting something out there that I could be proud of. I didn’t want to private label and get something from overseas and just throw a label on it. I knew that I wanted it to be something that was clean, natural, paraben-free, vegan U.S. made – and who knows our skin better than us?” she asked. “Over the years, I’ve really learned the importance of taking care of myself, taking care of my skin. And it all just really came full circle.”

3. She also continues her work in real estate, but is going full speed into the entertainment space

Outside of being an executive producer on Huntsville, Melody has also hosted the OWN docuseries Behind Every Man and says there are more projects to come. Fans have been begging for a spinoff, and it’s not something she’s against.


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A post shared by Melody Shari (@melodysholt)

She’s always loved music but says marriage, kids, and being a CEO delayed her pursuit of it. But now, she’s proving that it’s never too late to get things popping. She’s already released three singles that have charted on iTunes and says a full project is definitely something to consider.

Acting is also a goal. She’s reading several scripts and taking acting classes. Melody warns to stay on watch as you never know what’s next for her.