It has often been said that whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. If that is true, Christina Johnson has superhuman strength. A teen mom born to a teenage mother, Johnson refused to be a statistic. The Charlotte, NC native relocated to Atlanta, GA in 1997 with her two young daughters in pursuit of a creative career, but as fate would have it, she met and fell in love with burgeoning rapper/singer Cee-Lo (formerly of NBC’s The Voice). Sharing mutual passions for family life and artistic expression, Johnson served as Cee-Lo’s muse in several of his music videos, the couple married in 2000 and welcomed son Kingston O’Keefe Callaway in 2001. Although Johnson was a new wife and raising children including a newborn, she also gave birth to InnerPiece Designs (IPD), a progressive interior design and consultancy firm.
Johnson’s company is known for its minimalistic approach to design by combining natural and organic materials with modern pieces that visually harmonize with the high-end residential properties and commercial spaces they work with. IPD’s global clientele extends from superstar entertainers such as Cee-Lo, Ludacris and Young Jeezy, to athletes, urbanites and business professionals. Johnson’s work has appeared on national TV programming like MTV, as well as in between the pages of Ebony, VIBE, Atlanta Peach and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles where she was featured in the Top 10 Under 40 issue.
Johnson divorced in 2005, which ironically left her seeking inner peace, as well as confronting deeply hidden issues she had buried since childhood. Johnson sought solace in her service-first attitude and got involved with a domestic violence organization where she began speaking to youth at Atlanta area schools on the subjects of dating and domestic violence, something she continues to do. As one of the stars of VH1’s “Atlanta Exes”, Johnson values the sisterhood bond she’s developed with her enterprising cast mates, but she also hopes to shed light on Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. Diagnosed in 2009, Johnson has undergone 3 surgeries in as many years but remains optimistic and active in spite of her condition. The visionary mogul is the co-founder of beauty brand Butterfly EFX alongside celebrity makeup artist Toni Acey that will launch later this year. Johnson and Acey leveraged their affinity for fashion and style by developing a highly pigmented palette of lipsticks and lip-glosses that are not only richly saturated in color, but also beautifully packaged. The duo will be introducing a charitable foundation called Lipstick Therapy that’s committed to helping women cultivate a positive self-image through art and educational programs, in addition to providing complimentary grooming sessions.
Having overcome years of setbacks and battles, Johnson feels that she is finally living her purpose and what some may consider the new American dream. As a devoted mother, businesswoman, spiritual guru and philanthropist, Christina Johnson may not view herself as a modern day superwoman, but if the cape fits…might as well wear it and own it.