Tionna Smalls calls herself a relationship expert today, but it did not come easily. After ending a six-year relationship, Tionna began her career by re-evaluating her past mistakes and triumphs. She used the closure that came with her relationship as inspiration in writing the book titled, “Girl, Get Your Mind Right!” It was from here that her career unexpectedly took an upward turn.
Tionna began simply with a letter written in the third person to the editors of Gawker.com, a popular New York City-based blog, in hopes of them promoting her book. After a few postings, a letter from one of the editors asking for advice changed her relationship with the site from fan to columnist.
Her column, Ask Tionna received over 20,000 unique views daily during its run on Gawker.com With her tell-it-like-it-is attitude, and catchphrases such as “catbag,” Ask Tionna became one of the sites most visited sections, receiving over 100 comments a day. Reaching Internet celebrity status, Tionna’s book saw a rapid increase in sales and her blog maintained a steady fan base of daily viewers. Tionna then went on to pursue developmental opportunities with television networks, host her own Internet Radio Show “Talk Dat Ish” on BlogTalkRadio and was quoted in various publications including The New York Post. Her pursuit also led to freelance writing opportunities with other websites such as Global Grind and Radar Magazine Online.
In April of 2009, VH1 approached Tionna with an opportunity to turn years of hard work and past heartache into a position as relationship expert to Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. In Chilli’s new series, “What Chilli Wants,” Tionna will guide Chilli on her journey to find true love in her life post-girl band TLC. With Tionna’s no-nonsense attitude and experience giving relationship advice to tens of thousands, she is sure to help Chilli find a man. The series premieres on VH1 Sunday, April 11 at 10:30 PM ET/PT. Tionna is also venturing into producing and creating reality show series, opening an accessories boutique, and will continue to serve as an advocate for at-risk youth.