Kiya Tomlin began designing and making clothing at 10 years old because she struggled to find clothes that fit her petite frame. By the time she reached middle school, she was making her entire wardrobe at her home in northern New Jersey with a sewing machine she received as a Christmas gift. Despite her skill and interest in making clothing, Kiya wanted to study medicine while pursuing gymnastics. She was offered athletic and academic scholarships, making it possible for her to attend William & Mary as an out-of-state student. While at W&M, she continued to flex her fashion design muscles by making custom clothing for fellow students. She also met her future husband — Mike Tomlin '95 — in the training room at W&M.
Eventually, fashion won out over medicine for Kiya. After completing a fashion design program, Kiya launched a custom design business focused on wedding gowns. In 2014, she founded the Kiya Tomlin fashion brand which offers practical, versatile and stylish clothing. In August 2018, she expanded her business by selling and producing the brand’s clothing under one roof near downtown Pittsburgh. The brand expanded to include licensed NFL apparel in 2021. Kiya, a mother of three, wants women to feel comfortable, confident and beautiful when wearing her designs. Just as she created custom clothing that fit her as a young girl, she strives to deliver a personalized fit to women who buy the Kiya Tomlin brand.