Moore alum Kia Weatherspoon ’10 was featured in Oprah Daily’s Future Rising: A Celebration of Black Changemakers. The series seeks to uplift 50 Black trailblazers whose work is making the world a better place in a variety of industries.
From Oprah Daily:
Future Rising tells the stories of modern trailblazers who are continuing to move not just Black people but whole industries forward with their innovations, ideas, and influence. Thirteen Hearst brands—including Oprah Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Decor, and Esquire—have come together to spotlight Black changemakers in everything from country music to medical research to climate activism, and more. Join us in celebrating their achievements— and where we are all headed together because of them.
Weatherspoon’s story, which appears under the header “The Future Is Joyful,” discusses the ways that she enacts meaningful change through her interior design firm Determined by Design, which she started in 2012.
When she found out she was going to be featured in the Future Rising series, Weatherspoon “literally felt OPRAH.” She wonders, “Is that a feeling? State of being? Honor? I don’t know, but I felt all of those things. But mostly proud! Proud that continually doing the work results in recognition from unexpected yet amazing people.”
Continually doing the work started when Weatherspoon graduated from Moore. At the time, she says her vision for her design career was “to make people feel something though interior design.” Beyond that, she says she had no clue her path would lead her where she is today. But what she knew for sure was that she was starting on a path of solid ground. “I know I had the perfect foundation starting my design journey at Moore,” she reflects. “The unknown is what I believe allowed me to be open to any possibility, as long as I led with purpose and love of creative craft.”
This notion sums up her advice for current and future Moore students. “Trust yourself! Master your craft! Always lead with empathy,” she imparts. “Oh! And being the only (person of color, woman, etc.) in a room is a super power. Lean into that all ways and always.”
Weatherspoon is taking this time, while celebrating ten years of her company, to take stock in what she has built and reflect on it, as well as look to what is next. “I am leaning into a new business venture requiring me to think differently,” she says. “Dipping my toe into the venture capital space and looking for an investor is a first for me but I am excited! Oh, and I am taking piano lessons because: why not!”