Ready to be motivated? Kicking off I’m Loving Me’s blog, we are excited to introduced two new blog series – Empowered and Inspired. We’re interviewing a variety of women in business with our Empowered series and women who have turned trials into triumphs with our Inspired series. Our first Empowered interviewee is a successful Pittsburgh #girlboss working on a fashion empire.
One of Pittsburgh’s most sought-after designers successfully grew her own brand while managing life as a mother, business owner, and wife of Pittsburgh Steeler’s Coach Mike Tomlin. The Kiya Tomlin name has been known to turn comfort into chic statement pieces, designed with the modern woman in mind. Our first interview chats one-on-one with the name behind the namesake and what design life holds for her future. Meet Kiya Tomlin!
1.) What inspired you to start your fashion brand?
Having been a custom designer for a number of years, I fell in love with the idea of creating a signature aesthetic, at a more affordable price point so women everywhere could wear my designs every day.
2.) Any big projects coming in the future?
This year we will be venturing back into Plus Sizes. I gave it a try a few seasons ago, but it needed some tweaking. Now I am ready to go for round two.
3.) When did you start designing?
When I was 10 or 11 years old. Out of necessity. I was too small to fit the “cool” teen clothes so I decided to learn to make my own.
4.) Where do you see the brand in 10 years?
I see the brand as having more brand recognition and bigger distribution.
5.) Do you have any tips for women in business?
Don’t wait around for the perfect time or someone to give you the right answer. There is no perfect time and no one right answer. You just have to jump in and start. You will make mistakes, but you will also learn from them and figure it out.
6.) On juggling your own business, life as a mother and the wife of a busy man – how do you find balance?
I always know my priority–my kids. They know that, so they are cooperative and understanding when I need to work to get something done. I also include them in the process. The learn to appreciate work ethic as well as learn about business. And one day soon, they will off to their own lives and my work can become the priority. As for my husband, fortunately he works long hours and is very low maintenance so there’s not much balance required there. But we could definitely do better to squeeze in a few date nights.
7.) How do you hope to empower women in business or with an imprint you’d like to leave?
I hope to demonstrate to other women that it’s ok to need and want personal fulfillment, in whichever form appeals to you. Whether it is being a stay-at-home wife or mother, or a career woman, or both. You have to identify what fulfills you and not be ashamed to pursue that. And what is personally fulfilling to you can change at different stages of your life. And that is ok. In fact, it’s what makes life exciting!
View Kiya Tomlin designs HERE,
Follow Kiya Tomlin on FACEBOOK.