Entrepreneur. Designer. Educator. Speaker.
Kia Weatherspoon’s path to interior design was unplanned. After 13 years of training as a ballet dancer her collegiate pursuit of her childhood passion was inevitable. What Kia did not foresee was being unable to afford her dream at the university level. Her solution to the lack of financial aid led her to the U.S. Air Force in 2001. Kia’s plan was simple to utilize the military’s educational benefits to pay for her academic endeavors. She intended to serve her country during the day and continue her dance education at night. However, the unforeseen tragedy of September 11th would alter those plans.
Shortly after 9-11 Kia was deployed to the Middle East to a bare base. In laymen terms imagine sand, tents, aircraft hangers, and more sand. In a shared space with fifteen other women Kia needed a sanctuary. She needed a place to let out the flood of emotions generated because it was her first time away from her family and out of the country. However, what Kia lacked thousands of miles away from home was privacy and a sense of comfort. So, when military supply issued troops sheets and miscellaneous items for their tent city living quarters, Kia didn’t put them on her cot so she could sleep comfortably. She took some string hung it from the top of the tent and created three sheet walls around her cot. That was the first space Kia created, a space that wasn’t dictated by extravagant finishes and furniture. It was a space that evoked an emotional reaction and a lasting memory. When Kia left the military in 2004, she knew she wanted to create spaces.
After 10 years of diverse design experience in Hospitality, Multi-Family and High-end Residential markets, Kia founded Determined by Design, a boutique firm specializing in designing and crafting interior stories. She has a Bachelors and Masters of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Moore College of Art & Design and Corcoran College of Art & Design, respectively. Kia believes in service based leadership, demonstrated through active involvement with the American Society of Interior Design (ASID). When summarized by her top five Gallup Strengths, Kia is a futuristic, positive, WOO that is strategic and a activator. She also has a prowess for strategic social media development.