It’s that time finally, when I sit down and write here on the blog! It’s been a while and our blog posts have been few and far between. I truly miss blogging and the connection it brings. Social media today moves so fast and is so disconnected that I long for the days when things were slower, posts were meaningful and true connection was happening.
We can talk more about that later, as today I am here to update you all about the growth and focus of TomKat and share some incredible news about the next chapter! About 5 years ago, I decided to completely pivot the brand and business. I went from running a shop and creating party and holiday content for brands like HGTV, to building a new team to take on real estate and design for clients.
A little bit of history
If you don’t know my career history, my degree is in business marketing and while on a summer off from ASU, I obtained my real estate license. I worked in both real estate and advertising during college, and took a position with an ad agency here in Phoenix after graduation. Quickly thereafter, I realized I was in the wrong field as my position did not allow me to be creative at all. I left that advertising industry to start a real estate company with my mom, who had practiced real estate my entire life. As far back as I can remember, I was obsessed with homes and design. I loved the home magazines my mom would bring home, in particular the ones that featured luxury homes. It was a natural fit for me to go into real estate. For nearly a decade, my mom and I had great success with our real estate business. However, when the market crashed in 2008, I made the decision to leave the company as it didn’t make sense to put my toddlers in daycare with the market in such turmoil.
From the desire to have something of my own to work on, TomKat was born! The name “TomKat” was inspired by our children’s names, Tommy & Kate. It started as a blog, and quickly became successful. Blogging was new, and jumping on a trend early always reaps its rewards. Social media didn’t exist yet and blogging was a way to put things out in the world and connect with people who truly cared about what you were sharing. As a born entrepreneur, I secretly hoped it would eventually be something that would be lucrative. I couldn’t possibly have imagined what it would become! For 10 years, I enjoyed directing photo shoots, creating content and publishing here on this blog. I traveled to incredible places, met Martha Stewart (twice) and worked with amazing brands like Pottery Barn Kids, Coca-Cola, Barbie, Vera Bradley, Shutterfly, and the list goes on. I built a huge, loyal following of mostly fellow moms who wanted to create beautiful homes, parties and holidays for their families. It was a dream job with new and exciting things always happening. It was a gig that allowed for freedom and creating my own schedule, which was essential while raising the kids. As the kids grew, my business/blog grew and I look back so fondly on those years and the amazing opportunities I was given. If you really think about the evolution of the internet and social media, anyone from anywhere can put their talents out in the world and be recognized for it! It truly is incredible!
5 years ago
Fast forward to 2017, and by then, blogging essentially stopped and social media took over. Influencers were everywhere and being heard and seen became a lot more difficult. Content became quick and less meaningful and the world stopped taking time to “read” anything. Now 5 years later, things are even more fast-paced and content needs to be loud and entertaining to capture any attention. It’s a different world and I honestly get sucked into it just as you do. However, it’s exhausting both as a viewer and as a business trying to be heard. The pressure to post intriguing content constantly is real, and I’m tired.
Combining my passions
With these changes, along with several other reasons including the fact that my kids are now older and very independent, I decided it was time for a big change for the brand. My husband and I have a very strong shared passion for buying and remodeling homes. We have lived in 20+ homes since our first home in 2001. Whenever I would share our homes (before + after!) so many friends and followers would ask if I could help with their homes. Since that wasn’t my business focus, it wasn’t something I ever did for others but it always sat in the back of my mind as an idea to be pursued. In 2017, I took the plunge and decided to pivot the business entirely and combine my design, real estate, and flipping expertise with the TomKat brand that I had built. I started the real estate brokerage, TomKat Real Estate and redefined the TomKat Studio as the design branch. I assembled a new team, focused on helping local clients design, renovate, sell and buy homes, along with flipping our own homes and investment properties.
Here we are today
The last few years have been exciting, exhilarating, and challenging all at once. In essence, it was really starting two new businesses at the same time (real estate + design) and offering all new services including listing, buying, remodeling, decorating, staging and also flipping homes. Every client and transaction has been a learning experience to fine-tune our processes. We have focused on figuring out how to run things better and how to continue growing the business. Our team has evolved and changed, and with covid and market changes, we have stayed flexible and adapted to what’s happening in the world around us.
After many months of talks and the full support of my husband, earlier this year, I decided it was time to take the business to the next level. It was a bit lonely working from home by myself. I really missed the team camaraderie that I had built in the past. I knew in my heart that it was time for the next chapter of TomKat. I could continue doing what I was doing, or commit to taking things to the next level. It was go big, or go home and lay by pool all day. Ha! Which may sound nice, but I would be bored out of my mind! I am so passionate about everything that my business and brand is, I want to share it with everyone… more clients, more staff, more agents, more designers.
In February, I took the leap and signed a lease for my dream office space located in Downtown Ocotillo. I have inquired about available space in this center for years (but I was never ready until now!), as the style and vibe is so TomKat. Gorgeous, white buildings with black accents, patterned tile and Modern Mediterranean style. Beautifully designed restaurants and a new darling coffee + wine shop, which is perfect for meeting clients. I never imagined a brick + mortar office location anywhere else, and I honestly don’t think I would have opened one if it couldn’t be there. It is truly a dream come true!
After months of designing and construction, we moved into the office a few weeks ago! As soon as it is fully complete, I will be having the space photographed so we can share it with you. The space will serve as both a design + real estate office, as well as a design center for showcasing our favorite materials for our client remodels! We will be growing the business, growing our team and growing the brand that has evolved so much over the past 14 years!
Is it exciting? Yes! Is it scary? Yes! But I am ready for a new challenge and nothing lights me up more than new business ventures! Let’s go! Come visit us anytime! We’d love to see you!
Thank you for being here and I would love to know how long you have been following TomKat! Let me know in the comments below!
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