Theodore Johnson: Retail Prodigy to Business Maestro

Theodore Johnson- Retail Prodigy to Business Maestro
Photo Courtesy: Theodore “TJ” Johnson

By: Mae Cornes

(Indianapolis, Indiana) – “Great things come from small beginnings” aptly describes successful leaders who start from humble origins and rise to power through talent and perseverance. 

This is precisely the story of Theodore “TJ” Johnson, who began working in a retail store and became a pivotal figure in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. His journey, adorned with milestones of perseverance and triumph, portrays a visionary leader carving his path to success.

Going Back to Where It Started

From a modest Indiana background, TJ was not born with a silver spoon. His rise to prominence was fueled by sheer grit and hard work. At 16, he started working at Walmart, where he learned the essence of retail dynamics while steadily climbing the ladder of success. From managing multiple Walmart stores across Indiana and Alabama to assuming pivotal roles at PepsiCo, his career trajectory exemplifies adaptability and a hunger for growth.

His tenure at PepsiCo, notably as the director of sales overseeing the Kroger business, showcased his ability to blend retail insights with effective sales strategies. Managing over $400 million in annual revenue for the company, TJ’s track record is one of excellence, earning recognitions such as the Premier Performance Award and the LF Retail Activation Award.

Entering into Entrepreneurship

Despite these successes, TJ’s ambitions transcended the confines of corporate America. Driven by his appetite for innovation and a desire to create his legacy, he ventured into entrepreneurship. 

TJ materialized his vision of empowering brands to thrive in the competitive world of CPG sales and marketing with the birth of Thrive-X Agency. Leveraging his years of expertise in entrepreneurship and the CPG retail space, TJ combines custom design services, international retail importing solutions, access to retail buyers, and other business service consulting solutions in one platform to help businesses build a solid foundation, drive growth, and thrive in the CPG space. 

For TJ, Thrive-X Agency is not just another consultancy. Instead, it is a product of his expertise and industry connections nurtured over 24 years. Rooted in his passion for excellence and making an impact, the agency embodies the X factor that propels brands toward unparalleled success, helping them realize their unlimited potential for growth and scalability. 

Going above and beyond Thrive-X Agency, TJ is also a proud owner of two other companies, each testifying to his visionary leadership and innovativeness. Starting with a workforce of lean, dedicated team members, TJ looks forward to how this venture will leave a lasting impact in diverse sectors.

TJ’s Secret to Success

TJ is not venturing alone as he starts his new entrepreneurship chapter. Working closely with investors, he is ready to expand his entrepreneurial portfolio, with plans to launch two more companies within the coming year. His ability to attract investors and build strategic partnerships underscores his savvy entrepreneurial skills and keen eye for opportunity.

TJ follows three fundamental principles that have been instrumental in his professional and entrepreneurial experience:

Self-awareness: The entrepreneur recognizes the importance of knowing his strengths and weaknesses. He does not shy away from embracing new challenges or seeking expertise where needed, a quality that distinguished him in every role he undertook.

Networking: Central to his success has also been his ability to cultivate meaningful connections and foster relationships. His extensive network in retail and CPG spheres has been a cornerstone of his entrepreneurial endeavors, opening doors to new opportunities and collaborations.

Physical and mental fitness: TJ is not only focused on enhancing his skills. He also understands the significance of maintaining peak physical and mental condition in a demanding industry like retail. His commitment to personal well-being ensures that he is always at the top of his game, ready to tackle any challenge head-on.

This holistic strategy has allowed TJ to achieve practical business growth, with an estimated $4 million in sales last year and still on track to double these figures this year.

A Bright Future for CPG

As TJ starts on a new entrepreneurship chapter, his story inspires aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals. His story exemplifies the power of resilience, determination, and belief in oneself to defy the odds and create a lasting impact.

“Retail is my kingdom, where I thrive. The joy of crafting displays, showcasing value, and witnessing consumers make their purchases is what keeps me completely hooked. It might sound eccentric to some, but it’s what I know and love,” TJ shares. 

With Thrive-X Agency and his expanding entrepreneurial ventures, TJ is ready to make his mark on retail and CPG, reinforcing his reputation as a leader and key entrepreneurial figure, one brand at a time.

Published by: Nelly Chavez


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