How Frankie Ballard's Wife Christina Went from Struggling Actress to a Cowboy Boot Mogul

Lucy Hale and Miranda Lambert are among the stars who sport Old Smokeys Boots

There is an unexpected story behind Christina Ballard‘s killer boots — and it has nothing to do with her country star husband, Frankie Ballard.

Her step into the shoe world isn’t completely out of the blue, as both her parents operated multiple stores in her hometown of Austin, Texas.

“Most kids don’t love to go to work with their parents but my sister and I did,” she wrote on her website. “Every now and then we had the privilege of going with them to their stores. Rows of shoe and shipping boxes, back alleys, and tiny nooks gave my sister and I a magical playland and hours of entertainment while my parents worked.”

“Many years later I found my way back to the shoe world but this time designing and selling my own creations. I thank God for the time He allowed me to study my family do business the right way, to grow a company with passion and integrity, and to give me every skill I would need to start my dream,” she added.

Before she and the “It All Started with a Beer” singer began their love story, Christina was set on becoming an actress. Then her life changed when she was cast in a music video for then-rising country singer Frankie.

“We met on set, got each other’s numbers at the end of the day, two weeks later he asked me out and I said, ‘Yes’,” she recalls of how she met the love of her life in a video for Opry Entertainment’s YouTube series, Better Half. “It was the first best ‘yes’ I’ve said in my life. I thought I was moving to L.A. to be an actress and go after a dream, but the truth is I moved to meet my future husband.”

In order for the couple to respectively pursue their passions, they endured three years of long distance, as she went on auditions in Los Angeles and he pursued music in Nashville, Tennessee.

As Christina’s acting career became stagnant, she became drawn to other creative interests and randomly began reworking an old pair of cowboy boots.

She started by playing with funky colors and different textures until they were completely “unique and special.”

While her family and friends remained pretty mum about her first custom design — her group text to them came back “crickets,” she jokes — Christina received a lot of interest on social media and while out in public.

“I would walk around places and could hear the whispers of girls saying, ‘I wonder where she got those boots?’” she remembers.

Taking a chance, Christina launched the brand Old Smokeys Boots, and operates as the owner and creator.

The brand’s name has a “somewhat embarrassing” origin based on a “family inside joke,” the designer said, explaining when she was younger her dad frowned upon wearing the shoes in the summer because they would make your feet “steam” from the heat.

Her long list of celebrity clients began with Lucy Hale, whose endorsement caused a frenzy.

“The beautiful, sweet Lucy Hale was one of my first celebrity clients,” she said in the video. “She has a pair of boots and posted and crashed my website.”

With additional bandwidth and even more customers, Christina recently designed five pairs of boots for country star Miranda Lambert, whom she says was on “top of my dream list.”

Her love life is flourishing too — Frankie and Christina wed in 2017 in an intimate ceremony in Bee Cave, Texas, at the Star Hill Ranch. Christina admits she knew the musician was the one after their first date and recalls telling her sister the same night, “I just hung out with my future husband!”

Old Smokeys Boots are available now.

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