Kia Weatherspoon

It was a feeling and memory that led our President Kia Weatherspoon to interior design. Shortly after 9-11, while deployed to the Middle East at a bare base—in lay terms imagine sand, tents, aircraft hangers, and more sand. In a shared space with fifteen other women, Kia needed a reprieve. A place to let out the flood of emotions she was feeling—it was her first time away from her family and out of the country. What she 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 her tent-city living quarters, Kia didn’t put them on her cot for comfortable sleep. Instead, she took some string, hung it from the top of the tent, and created three sheet walls around her cot. This 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 active duty military in 2004, she began creating spaces.