Qwondolyn “Kia” Nelson
My next "unsung Diva" interview goes to a good friend of mines, whom I call Kia, Qwondolyn Nelson. Kia and I met YEARS ago through my support group, P.L.U.M.P. Productions, also known as Pretty Ladies Uniquely Made Perfect. P.L.U.M.P. was designed for plus size women who may be suffering from low self-esteem due to their weight. The P.L.U.M.P. Team was created of women who wanted to stand in the gap and reach out to peers by showing them that they are beautiful and their sizes don’t determine who they are as a person. Kia was one of the most dedicated members. She went the extra mile to make things happen for P.L.U.M.P. Proposals and all types of contracts and legal documents, started through Kia. She kept the organization in good standings when it came to networking with other organizations and businesses. Years later, Kia has branched off and became a business woman of her own. She has opened opportunities for other plus sized women in the industry. I am happy to say that I have accumulated like minded friends who are determined to live a dream and be able to help others along the way. With that being said, lets get into the interview!
Where are you from and what is it that you do?
I am originally from Sumter, South Carolina but I reside in Upper Marlboro, MD. I am a daughter, sister, mother, massage therapist, and CEO of Platinum Plus Model Management...just to name a few...lol.
I know you can run down a list of your most famed characteristics but what is one word that can totally describe what type of person you are?
Wow that's a good question. I would have to say the one word that describes me is determined . Throughout my life I have had many obstacles but without my determination I would have never been able to get through them. I refused to let my past dictate my future.
It is obvious to me what makes you stand out in a crowd...but please tell our readers what makes you Unique?
Other than the fact that I am 6ft tall and plus size. I exude confidence! I am very proud of the woman that I am today and when you see me I show it. I want women to see me and know there is nothing you can't do, anywhere you can't go. The word "can't", should not be a part of your vocabulary when referring to yourself!
Your confidence runs through the roof. As one of the ORIGINAL and most loyal members of my group P.L.U.M.P., how would you say this group helps or displays your confidence in yourself?
P.L.U.M.P. teaches that no matter who you are, you are beautiful. This was a support group and a family. My very first fashion show was done with P.L.U.M.P. The plus size scene was small and it was the only scene that featured all full figured models but we killed that show! I must say our scene was the show! To see all of these beautiful plus size ladies strut down the runway you could only be proud. I bet that day we made skinny girls want to eat an extra serving just so they could be like us...lol!
Can you tell us what P.L.U.M.P. has done for you in the past?
When I joined P.L.U.M.P., I was in an unhappy marriage with someone who verbally abused me. I didn't see the beauty in me that others saw. With the help of P.L.U.M.P., I not only gained self confidence I also was able to help others not to go down the same path.
Your little sisters were members of the mentoring program. How would you say the mentoring program has affected your sisters in the past and if still running, how would it change the teen girls of today?
My sisters have always been big girls but I wanted them to see that they were not alone. The P.L.U.M.P. mentoring program focused on showing our younger ladies that you are beautiful no matter what. Now one of my sisters is in college, working full time and may have more confidence than me. My youngest sister who is now a senior in high school is not only confident but she has figured out how to love herself first. If P.L.U.M.P.’s mentoring program was running today, it would do just what it has been doing all along, showing women that no matter what they are beautiful and special in their own way.
I would describe you as my "6ft diva of confidential curves".... Most ladies at your height, turned to basketball...why modeling for you?
Honestly...I sucked! Oh my goodness I tried it when I was younger and I was horrible. I was uncoordinated and clumsy but I was pretty. I loved fashion, hair, and make-up. I was a typical girlie girl and basketball just wasn't me. My mom who was over 6ft played basketball and even tried out for the Mystics so I tried (well she made me...lol) and I just sucked. There are home movies that I hope never surface of me scoring for the opposing team (the only points I ever scored.
With doing modeling on the side, how is/was your modeling experience and what have you gained from it?
Modeling has made me tough! I have heard so many No's and had every flaw pointed out from my eczema to my big feet. At first I was ready to quit until I had someone show me I did I have "it". It was my first shoot and I had never seen myself all dolled up. All it took was that one yes. That one yes lead to bigger opportunities and one day I looked in the mirror and was like "hey, you are one fierce b!"....lol
As a business woman, that you are, you have taken the opportunity to start an organization of your own. I would call it group one and group two of Platinum Plus. Please explain to us who Platinum Plus is and what you all do.
Platinum Plus is a plus sized modeling agency. We accept women size 12-24. The thing is we aren't just an agency we are a family. I make sure all of my models not only have the tools they need to succeed in the fashion industry but I show them how to use them.
What will it take to become a member of your representing agency?
Ok, before you apply to PPMM or any agency first ask yourself "Is this for me?" Everybody is not meant to model. This is hard work! If you are not confident, determined, and can't take constructive criticism this is not for you. This is a very competitive field and if you are not ready you will be out faster than you came. Now if you are all of the above the next step is simple....just send me a message either on our Facebook page or you can fill out the contact form on our website.
With PPMM, how have this changed or enhanced your view on the industry from working behind the scenes?
Working behind the scenes is the most complicated job ever! First the models...you begin with models who aren't as dedicated or loyal as when they begin and they quit. Quitting isn't the bad part the bad part is when you know you have done all that you can and they are still not satisfied. They bad mouth you instead of owning up to their own issues and all you can do is ....nothing. You smile and try to help the next person in hopes that this person will work as hard as you. Now when you have the models you have to deal with the clients.....she's too big, she's too small, she needs more pictures. You name it they complain about it
I know having an organization; you now tend to have another "family" created to attend to...How do you juggle your family and your business??
My family is very supportive of what I do so that makes things very easy. My children also love the industry so whenever they can help out I allow them to. I don't work on Sundays and if there is something special going on in my family I leave business alone for them. If I was rich and famous I would still have date nights, birthday parties, and days when my girls and I lay in bed all day and watch movies. I do this for them, without them there's no point for me.
Everything always has its ups and downs, what would you say to other women who may be using their children or family to hold them back from living their dreams??
DON'T!!! Include your family if you have to but you have to follow your own dreams or you will always wonder "what if?"
What is next on your agenda?? Do you have any events coming up??
Well...March 5th is our very first PPMM fashion show "Curvy Girls Rock", we have a promo event at J. Marie's restaurant on the 27th of January as well as many creative photo shoots and appearances. You can keep informed through or Facebook page or our website www.platinumplusmodelmanagement.com