Hello friends! WOW, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged and don’t worry, it’s for a good reason. I’ve been working on something new for many months. It’s an idea that just really finally fell into place. If you have been following me for awhile, you may already know much of my story. Last summer, right before my 40th birthday, I posted an update, along with this super inspiring quote…
This gorgeous print is hanging in my office and it’s a constant reminder to live life to its fullest. It asks such an important question and dares us to take risks with our one wild and precious life. I believe in pursuing your passion and trusting your instincts. I also believe that everything happens for a reason and our experiences shape what’s next for us. I believe that what is meant to be, will be, but that we also create our own path and need to plan and visualize our future.
If I’m being completely honest, for the past year, I have been a little lost. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been sitting around eating bonbons. I’ve been really busy with our home remodels and projects for HGTV, but I’ve been feeling unsteady and unsure about what I want to do next. There is an enormous pressure to share everything online, especially as a blogger/influencer. It used to be pressure to share a great post or pretty photo once a day, now it’s pressure to constantly be sharing video and stories all of the time. As a perfectionist, I find it really hard to share constant updates, nor am I particularly sure you want to see every waking moment of my life. I struggle with getting with all of my work done AND sharing it all in real time. I want my story to be told in a planned, logical manner with beautiful, perfect photos and it is really holding me back. I think this feeling also comes because I’ve been keeping a little (big) secret…
I am so ready and so excited to finally share what I’ve been up to the past few months and where I’m going. Today, an enormous amount of pressure will be lifted as I announce my move into the next chapter of TomKat. Writing this, I already feel a huge sense of happiness and relief!
So, let’s start at the beginning. My story really starts as a creative little girl obsessed with stationery and decorating, but for your sake, let’s start at age 18. On a summer off of school at Arizona State, I went to to real estate school to get my real estate license. My mom had been in real estate since I could remember and urged me to go to real estate school, on top of getting my business degree. I had been working at Coldwell Banker as a receptionist since high school, and having my license opened up more opportunities. I ended up working for a high-producing agent in Scottsdale until it was time for me to intern in the field I was studying: marketing. My first job after graduation was at the advertising agency I had interned for, but I quickly realized my degree put me in the wrong department of the advertising business (the non-creative side!). My mom came to me with the idea to partner to start our own real estate brokerage and I made the leap! For 8 years, as the market was steadily moving upward, our business grew and thrived. In the meantime, my husband had also decided on a real estate career after ASU, and worked for D.R. Horton Homes, a home builder, in sales and management. During this time, our hobby became buying, updating and selling the homes we’ve lived in and a few on the side. Finding the ugliest homes that were the best deals and making them beautiful became our passion (and still is, 17 homes later). With three incomes from the real estate industry and the market climbing high, we were having the time of our lives!
Until the market crashed. We were stuck with two renovated custom homes that were no longer worth what we paid for them before the renovations. At the same time, I realized it no longer made sense to put my kids in daycare to work in real estate during a recession. I left the real estate partnership (sorry, mom!) to stay home with my babies, who were one and three years old at the time. If you haven’t read my breaking point story, pick up this book. Not one to sit still, I decided to start a blog. It was 2008, and blogging was just becoming a thing. I figured it would be a great outlet for me to share anything creative I was doing, like parties, decorating and crafts. I was right. The TomKat Studio was created on a whim, combining my kids’ names (Tommy + Kate) and a room in our home that became my creative “studio”. Who knew what would come of The TomKat Studio. I could have never imagined it would lead to what it did: a huge reader base and social media following; incredible partnerships with brands like HGTV, DIY Network, Pottery Barn Kids, Shutterfly, Coca Cola and more; meeting Martha Stewart (twice!); running an online party shop with 2,000+ products; opening a local retail shop; television and media appearances. Crazy.
Which brings me to the last year’s update post. An unexpected turn of events with a partnership left me to make a big decision about the future of my business. My instincts told me it was time for a new chapter, as I was maturing, my kids were maturing and it was time for my brand to mature. I really struggled over the last year trying to figure out what that meant and what I want to do next. The party market became saturated (have you seen the party aisle at Target?) and I could tell that the highly-detailed, styled party trend wasn’t what it once was. I turned down a lot of work that didn’t fit the direction I knew I was heading, and instead focused on our two big home renovations. I continued styling for HGTV and focused on new opportunities with brands focused on home. After finishing my design work on our current home in January, I knew it was time to make some decisions. After many heart to heart conversations with my husband, we decided on plan.
I went back to real estate school in January. I had let my license go, back when TomKat became so busy, so I had to go sit through the 90 hours of licensing. Fun! The vision is to combine my previous real estate experience with my design experience. Not only for the homes we live in, but to flip investment properties and eventually help clients with their own homes. The plan is for me to focus on identifying properties, managing renovations, staging and marketing them to sell. With this said, I knew I wanted to continue using the brand I’ve built over the past 10 years so this makes perfect sense…
I’ve been holding it back for months now because I’m a perfectionist and I really wanted this announcement to come with a shiny, new website that reflects my new focus and brand. I am happy to report that my new website is live!
Since this idea came about, I have dreamed of the moment that a TomKat sign would be in front of a house. It happened. Yes, that means you nearly missed my first flip, but don’t worry, we’ll catch you up soon on all of the details in another post! If you can’t wait… see more here.
I am seriously so excited about this new beginning! I am working on building the TomKat team to help you find your dream home, find a home to renovate, re-design your current home, or help you stage your home for sale. If you are in the Phoenix area, let us know how we can help!
I have so much to share with you.
Stay tuned in the coming days for more details and the future of TomKat.
Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to receive the latest updates!
And follow me on instagram… I might just start sharing some stories.
adventure handlettering (top): marked by m
Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to our email list to keep up with our latest projects, listings, blog posts and giveaways!