Chelsea reality show fans and viewers across the country got their first look at Velvet Smith and her daughter, Ashley Alexiss (Smith) Tuesday night and were left wondering, “Can Ashley fix Velvet?”
Velvet, the well-known and gregarious 51-year-old Chelsea native who graduated from Chelsea High School in 1981, and her stunning 24-year-old daughter, Ashley, are featured with four other mother-daughter pairs on the Oxygen television show, “Fix My Mom.”
Laura Baron appears as the life coach trying to repair the rocky mother-daughter relationships.
Velvet, who works at Floramo’s Restaurant in Chelsea, and Ashley, a model who has appeared non-nude in Playboy and Maxim magazines and other publications, were the guests of honor at a premiere party Tuesday at Rosaria’s in Saugus. The duo received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the show and each graciously posed for numerous photos with friends and guests in attendance.
“I can’t believe that it happened, that it’s really real,” said Ashley moments after the show. “It’s nice because I was finally able to let my voice be heard to my mom about my concerns for so long. We’ve really been avoiding that conversation.”
The TV show focuses on the Smith mother-daughter relationship, one in which Ashley “constantly finds herself lecturing her mom on how to behave.”
According to press materials, “since the passing of Velvet’s mother [Lillian Laffey] three years ago, Velvet has turned to a partying lifestyle to help fill a void in her heart, which has resulted in major cracks in this mother-daughter relationship.”
Velvet said she was “very nervous” waiting for the airing of the show that was filmed in Los Angeles.
“The emotions came back and I appreciate them showing my mother on national TV,” said Velvet. “She’d be so proud of us. I have this eye-opening experience now because of Ashley’s concerns about me going out and partying.”
Both women had high praise for the Oxygen staff, producers, directors, and crew. They commented on their professionalism and their assistance and genuine concern during the show’s production. The show is truly a “must watch” for all mothers and daughters.
Velvet and Ashley received a lot of airtime on the first show that included some emotional exchanges between the two. Ashley is regarded as a natural in front of the camera with her vivacious personality, self-confidence and majestic appearance, and the show should lead to other opportunities in her modeling and spokesperson career.
But Ashley said her main focus is on helping her mother, who has been such a tremendous supporter – from Ashley’s days growing up in Chelsea, to Northeast Regional where she was president of the National Honor Society, to today in California where she is living and continuing her dreams.
“This is a hard hurdle to get over and I love my mother to death,” said Ashley. “I want to keep her around as long as I can and this show can help me do that. My mom is my everything and I don’t want to lose her before I have to.”
Ashley said she was overwhelmed by th
e large turnout at Tuesday’s premiere party.
“I cannot believe how many people showed up. I’ve never felt so blessed in my life. I’ve been talking about this for so long. It’s just humbling. It’s amazing. My friends are so incredible.”
“The turnout was amazing,” said Velvet. “My friends support me. They have been there forever through thick and thin. The people at both jobs – Floramo’s where the meat falls off the bone and PlanetTran by Avalon – gave me two months off and they supported me. Hey, I’m Velvet. I love attention but this is a bit overwhelming.”