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Kia Weatherspoon

2010

Interior Design

Owner, Determined By Design

Kia Weatherspoon ’10 presented her graduate thesis to a team of jurors at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in 2013.

The thesis was a hospitality project in Washington DC, to turn a historic municipal building into a luxury hotel. “I got the perfect feedback you’d want to hear from any hospitality project,” she said. “Four out of five jurors said ‘I want to stay at that hotel.’”

For Weatherspoon, who earned her BA in Interior Design from Moore College of Art & Design, it was the perfect way to cap off her graduate studies. At Saturday’s commencement exercises at the Corcoran, she’ll earn her Master’s degree in Interior Design.

“It was challenging but it was a great experience that taught me how to push myself,” she said. “It made me really value my Moore education even more.”

Although she’s entering the post-collegiate “real world,” many would argue that Weatherspoon has been out there for a while. She established Determined by Design, LLC last year, an interior design firm specializing in multi-family and hospitality design. She’s actively involved with the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and was recently appointed to their national board as a Director at Large. She also joined the Board of Directors for Room to Rebloom, a nonprofit organization that provides design services and other resources to women who have been victims of domestic violence to help rebuild their lives.

Now that she has finished school, Weatherspoon wants to focus on growing her business. She is currently doing consulting work with other design firms.

“Any new business venture is a process,” she said. “I’m learning so much. I’m learning to be patient… You have to get creative with how you present yourself and your vision. I didn’t start this company to just design any project. I want to design projects with the right clients and the right people who value design.”

Weatherspoon learned to value design as a student at Moore, especially the importance of having a strong concept.

“With all this technology we have in the design industry, sometimes you need to get off the computer, put pen to paper and draw your concept,” she said. “All the basic drawing classes that we had to take at Moore – that I thought were tedious at the time – they helped me become a better process sketcher.”

While a student at Moore, Weatherspoon served on the Board of Managers, was a resident assistant and ASID student chapter president. She was recently invited back to Moore to help interview candidates for the Happy Fernandez Leadership Prize.

“It was in the midst of my thesis but for Moore I always say yes,” she said. “…Whenever I come back there’s just a certain energy about the place that gets you excited. You just know there is a lot of talent in that building. I feel like ‘Wow! I went here?’ That’s how I feel when I leave Moore.”