Josh Johnson, also known as “Sparkle Josh,” is a Nashville celebrity designer and fan favorite from the second season of HGTV’s Design Star (his wedding was featured on the February 2015 cover of O&AN). He recently announced that his new product line, Josh Johnson Home, had been picked up for distribution by the online arm of the world’s largest retailer, Walmart.com.
“My work in Southern California the last few years,” Johnson said, “has been staging backstage suites—green rooms, gifting suites, VIP rooms…. My niche is separate from event planning proper: it’s about executing the aesthetics, seating, lighting, and ambience of the behind-the-scenes spaces. That’s what I create—a transformation from ‘sparse to sparkle’ in a matter of hours, from something drab to something that can be beautifully photographed.”
“I’ve been working for years with Softline Home Fashions’ products,” Johnson said. “I have used their products in this work, as well as my other residential, commercial and event design work. They approached me around May of last year to develop a product line around my aesthetic and identity as a celebrity designer, ‘Sparkle Josh,’ a classic, glamourous Hollywood-styled home line.”
Since last year, Johnson has been working with Softline to develop his line. “In the midst of our development, the CEO of Walmart’s online division announced the opportunity to add two new brands of home goods, and I was given one of those opportunities. ‘Til just last month we’ve just been completely involved in development, photography, and the design of signature styles for Walmart that culminated in last month’s public release.”
So far, Johnson’s line has primarily been advertised through trade magazines and home décor industry magazines, as well as through celebrity giveaways. At last year’s Emmy’s, Johnson’s early designs were among the celebrity gifts, and at this year’s award show Johnson gave away more of his products in a celebrity gift space that he designed.
“I’m so appreciative that Softline has given me this opportunity to develop a branded product,” Johnson said, “and that such a major retail vehicle, Walmart, is our first outlet. As we get into development later this year and beyond, we will be able to approach other retailers, as we develop a larger line. Beyond the second phase, we will get into rugs, lighting, and candles, but that’s off in 2016. It’s a long development process, from point of conception to delivery … about 8 months to a year, because you want to get it right!”
I’m learning a lot about branding and about myself through this process of producing products true to me and attractive to a retail audience,” Johnson said. “It’s a new adventure for me, and I don’t totally know what to expect, but I’m trusting in the people who are giving me this opportunity.”
For more information on Johnson’s line, visit www.softlinehome.com/sparkle-josh.html, or shop Walmart.com.