Melissa Dawn Johnson Turns Personal Tragedy into Passion to Live


Personal loss can be a catalyst to live the life you’ve always dreamed. Melissa Dawn Johnson, President of Velvet Suite Marketing Consulting Group, Inc., knows that to be true from personal experience.

In 2002, Melissa’s boyfriend tragically died suddenly while playing basketball, collapsing from an irregular heartbeat. Melissa’s grandmother had recently died and her father was diagnosed with having cancer around the same time.

“These events left a deep hole in my heart,” Melissa says. “I made a vow to God that if he helped me find purpose, I would help others find theirs as well.” Her personal loss became the genesis of her company, Velvet Suite Marketing Consulting Group, Inc., ( a brand leadership firm on the pulse of human innovation.

Velvet Suite helps companies unleash brand transformation from the inside out by harnessing the power of people. The company’s proprietary brand system called ID3™ has been the hallmark of success for clients, which include: global corporations, emerging enterprises, universities, executives, pro-athletes, entrepreneurs and more. Her life-changing experiences also inspired her first book, Brand Me, Make Your Mark:Turn Passion into Profit (Ambassador Press) and spawned a social media movement (

“A lot of people and companies can tell you what they do, but our company helps people and organizations discover who they are,” Melissa explains.

Her company has become wildly successful, with well-known clients such as P&G, Time, Kraft and the National Football League. Melissa is an international on-air contributor to CNN, Huffington Post and Essence Magazine. She is an authority in global branding and personal transformation and is a member of the board of advisors for the World Brand Congress in Mumbai, India.

With all the success, however, Melissa believes in paying it forward. As a college student, she served as coordinator of a nationally recognized mentoring program which was honored by President Bill Clinton. She now offers an apprenticeship program through her company called “Passion 2 Profit YouthApprentice Program.”

“Young people who’ve gone through our program went on to work as creative directors for ad agencies, marketing firms, CNN and more,” Melissa says. “They came as talented individuals, but it’s very exciting to be a part of their journey and to help them develop as a professional and as a person.”

Share on Tumblr


2 had something to say.
  1. PYNTK

    Melissa's story is a reminder that we can prevail, if we believe and stay focused.

  2. Stacie Walker


    This is an inspiring story that has brought tears of joy for Melissa. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Many Blessings,

    Stacie Walker
    Woman in Leadership


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>