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Mike Tomlin, the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers coach, is married to Kiya Winston Tomlin, who has been working hard to establish herself through her apparel line, Uptown Sweat.
Although Kiya Winston Tomlin is best known as the wife of Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, she is much more than that, as evidenced by the fact that she repeatedly declined to participate in an interview for HBO’s documentary First Ladies of Sport.
Don’t get me wrong; she is completely in love with her spouse of 26 years; she chooses to do it on her own terms because she is so skilled.
She seems more committed to managing her successful clothes business and raising her family.
Kiya Winston Tomlin Knew Early On She Wanted To Be A Fashion Designer
On September 3, 1975, Kiya Winston was born in Morristown, New Jersey. Her parents split when she was a little child, leaving her mother to raise Kiya and her siblings.
While it isn’t much known about Kiya’s family, it is known that she showed an early interest in creating her own clothing.
She had been a small child. Because of this, Kiya’s mother was having trouble finding clothes that suited her daughter comfortably. Kiya decided to start making her own to make them fit properly and appear stylish.
Later Kiya Winston requested a sewing machine for Christmas, and she received it.
At 11, Kiya started using it to create costumes, ducks, and cushions. Kiya Winston spent most of her childhood producing garments, designing apparel, and sewing.
She made clothes for herself and made prom dresses and clothing for infants of her friends.
After she finished high school, Kiya found her sewing machine useful. She brought it to college, using it to design outfits for herself and her gymnastics club. Even though one of her coaches was expecting, she nevertheless created an outfit for her.
Her Inspiration Was Diana Ross
Kiya Winston was away at a gymnastics camp in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1982 when she was a little girl.
One of her gymnastics camp friends had a highly renowned mother and Kiya was unaware of that. When her friend’s mother made first appearance at the camp, it left a lasting impression on Kiya and led her to pursue a career in fashion.
“The entire scene still replays like a slow-motion dream to me … the vision of elegance, drape of the fabric and the ease of her sitting with us defines my brand concept to this day,” says Kiya on her website.
A woman approached the group of gymnasts and just demanded their attention. She is dressed in a head-to-toe white silk chiffon costume that shimmers as it moves in the wind. Her hair has that recognizable appearance.
“When she saw us, she came down to the grass level and sat directly on the grass with us — in all that white silk chiffon. I immediately recognized that it was Diana Ross.”
The elegance Diana Ross exuded while wearing her costume made Kiya Winston realize that designing this style for anyone or everyone would be her destiny.
Mike Tomlin, Is Married To Kiya Winston
Kiya graduated from high school and enrolled at William & Mary’s College as a pre-med student, despite the picture of Diana Ross never leaving her thoughts.
There, she met and began dating Mike Tomlin, a wide receiver for the college football team who was a grade above her at the time. He had not yet studied law.
But Tomlin had decided he desired a coaching job shortly after the two had started dating.
At the College of Design, Art, and Architectural Planning at the University of Cincinnati, Kiya Winston switched her major from pre-medicine to fashion design.
Since Winston and Tomlin had a significant relationship, she knew combining a coaching profession with a medical job would be challenging.
Kiya Winston changed her name to Kiya Winston Tomlin the next year. Her lucky switch from pre-medicine to fashion design kept her busy as her husband started his coaching profession.
Kiya Winston Tomlin has traveled with Tomlin wherever he has gone in his career, including Memphis, Arkansas State, and Cincinnati.
Before joining the Minnesota Vikings as their defensive coordinator five years later, Tomlin entered the NFL in 2001 as the defensive backs coach. Before obtaining the role of head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, he worked there for a single season.
One of the longest-serving head coaches in the National Football League, he has maintained the position since being hired in 2007.
She introduces the Uptown Sweat clothing line.
Kiya Winston Tomlin gave birth to their three children before Mike Tomlin accepted the position of head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dean, their first child, was a boy born in 2000.
Two years later, another boy named Mason arrived, and then in 2006, the Tomlin family finally received Harlyn Quinn Tomlin.
Kiya Winston Tomlin continued to hone her skills while the Tomlin family settled into Pittsburgh and Mike became comfortable in his new role as head coach.
She was parenting the children while concentrating on her career as a fashion designer. 2014 saw the culmination of her laborious efforts as she introduced “Uptown Sweat,” her updated tracksuit line.
The “Uptown Sweat” makeover by Kiya was made with older ladies in mind. In fact, many modern styles are intended for ladies in this age group. But what makes her apparel brand unique is that every single item is created in the USA.
The attention Kiya Winston Tomlin’s designs deserved was being given to them. She was starting to establish a presence on social media, and her online store was starting to move products quickly.
In 2018, Kiya made the decision that it was time to grow, so she launched her own store, Kiya Tomlin Work/Shop, in Etna, Pennsylvania, where she now sells her own goods.
“In my heart I felt if I could design, manufacture and sell in one place, that would be a dream,” She says. “That seemed like success.” Kiya had a smaller store in East Liberty before opening her Etna facility, but the problem she was having was that she sold her goods there but produced them elsewhere.
Etna stores serve two purposes. “When we had two locations, I couldn’t be at two places at once,” Kiya says. “When I needed to be at the factory, I would have to close the store. There were times customers would come by and say your store wasn’t open. By combining the two, if no one is shopping, I’m on my sewing machine or on my computer doing other things.”
She repeatedly declined an offer to appear in an HBO Sports documentary
Kiya should be described as driven, which is not meant to be a derogatory term. But that is what makes her such a prosperous businesswoman and fashion designer.
Therefore, you can’t really blame her for declining HBO’s offer to screen the documentary First Ladies of Sport.
She actually declined them twice because she believed the documentary would be both a reality program and a look at Mike Tomlin’s coaching career.
She was not interested in either. HBO, however, persisted and approached her a third time. This time, the creators were compelled to provide a preliminary outline of the series and their plans.
The third attempt worked perfectly. She understood that the program would focus on the wives who care for their spouses and what they do for themselves.
She is content to be referred to as Mike Tomlin’s wife, the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach. Being the mother of three amazing kids makes her joyful. But she is incredibly happy that, with her husband and kids’ support, she has forged a very successful career on her own.