Profile on Kirby Mullins

Michele Byrd

Profile on Kirby Mullins

Word Count: 541

Edited by: Tiffani Haynes


Dressed in an oversized yellow button-down shirt with a striped tie wrapped around the waist and topped off with a Fedora tucked over braided pigtails, Kirby Mullins walks the halls of Hampton University in an outfit only she can pull off.  And let’s face it, with a name like Kirby, who can blame her for being different?

“When I was little, I hated my name,” she said describing the constant teasing from kids. “They said it was a white name or a boy name or a video game name.”

Now, at the age of 21, she says she is glad her parents passed over the very ordinary names like “Courtney” and “Lisa.”

“Now I like it,” said Mullins. “It’s unique.”

Many people call Kirby unique, but she describes herself as artistic, evolving and a dreamer whose lofty aspirations are reflected in her confidence and style.

Born in Chicago, Kirby nurtured her creative streak as a dancer and a majorette. In fact, it was her desire to dance that motivated her original college choices.

“I love dancing so I wanted to go to a school with a band,” she said. She finally chose Hampton after some prodding from the man that would later become her fiancé.

“I met Josh in 2002 and he came to Hampton. I had never even heard of Hampton before Josh, but I applied, and here I am,” she said.

Last year, Kirby and Josh became engaged. According to The U.S. Census Bureau, the median marriage age for women is 25. Some say that the age 21 is too young to consider marriage, but Kirby disagrees.

“Relationships can make you change for the better. Being young and committed, you can grow together,” she said. “Is it scary? Yes, but I’m with a great guy that I’m not afraid to go there with.”

She said sometimes she is bothered by the critics of her decision.

“It’s aggravating. People get on your nerves,” she said. “There are people who think we should already be married and they’ll say ‘make sure he sticks around.’”

Despite the critics, Kirby said her education is what is most important.

“He has that piece of paper in his hand, and I want that piece of paper in my hand,” she said. “I don’t want to make that sacrifice. My education is extremely important to me.”

As a technical theatre major, Kirby has participated in several productions on campus and is also an active member of the Hampton Players, HU’s theatrical organization. She hopes to one day become a makeup artist or costume designer.

As for now, she is concentrating her creative skills on a new entrepreneurial venture.

“I was bored in the house looking up pictures of Obama, and I found a picture and painted a bag,” she said.

Now, the tote bags with painted images of Barack and Michelle Obama are catching the eyes of several people in the community. She now has so many orders that she is having a hard time keeping up with the demand.  She said she hopes this venture will be the start of something new.

“I want to own my own cosmetics line, but I need something to put me out there,” Mullins said. “This could be it.”