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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Exciting news you share! Congratulations! I was equally excited to see an email from TomKat! It’s been too long.
You are such an inspiration. I have followed along for at least 12 years and wish you and your family the best.
I’ve been following long enough to remember theme party packages! The paper goods, invitations, all the yummy stuff. Then the homes… I have loved watching your willingness to pivot and embrace change!
So excited for you Kim! That building is just gorgeous!! It’s been fun following you all these years! I sure do miss the old blogging days too!.
Hi! I just found you in the Chandler City Lifestyle mag last week— it truly is amazing that anyone anywhere can put there talents online and be recognized for them!
I’m excited to see the studio—
I plan to come by sometime soon!
That is so awesome! Thank you, Caleb!
What an exciting time for you Kim! I started following you when you were posting parties on the blog for your young kids. I visited your shop many times for my own kids’ parties supplies and have loved following along in your journey. You are creative and inspiring…way to go! All the best❤️
I’ve been following you since the printable days on Etsy. Love seeing how you’ve grown! Love all your designs & remodels!
That is amazing, Samantha! Printable days on Etsy is way back when and I can’t thank you enough for continuing to follow along!! xoxo
I have followed you since 06’ 07 maybe I have my years off but I do believe I had dial up, haha! I’ve even reached out and bought party supplies you always had the most beautiful style. I’m a party planner now and I know you inspired me. Love seeing you grow! Your real followers will always be here to cheer you on.
Thank you so much, Lisa for being here and way back then! WOW! Knowing that I can still reach people via this blog is so encouraging and I can’t wait to share more. Hearing that I inspired you to be a party planner makes my heart so happy and wish you much success!! xoxo
Have miss you. Enjoyed you ideas, decor and creativeness. Please continue to post and I will follow. Happy for your expansion, but not interested in purchasing anymore real estate at this point of y ife
Thank you, Karen! I appreciate your encouragement so much! Our goal is to continue inspiring in both the decorating/holiday realm, as well as renovating and real estate! I hope we can bring you some content that you love! xoxo
I am so proud of you. I got choked up reading about where you started and your early blogging. I was one of those moms you mentioned! I couldn’t get enough of your stylish birthday parties and holiday design. My husband even knows your brand because I talked about your blog all of the time to him!
You truly set the tone for me by showing me that everything can be much more beautiful than just store bought invitations and character themed parties. I would say you are 100% the pioneer on that front. Best of luck with your new endeavor! We will always be rooting for you.
Thank you, Kelly. This made my day. I told myself that if my blogging reached one person who related or cared about what I was writing I would be happy. It felt so good to be back and to just let the words flow! Reading your comment is so encouraging and I am so thankful you took the time to say hello. Thank you for still being here and for being so kind! xoxo
Congratulations!! Wishing you continued success in this new & exciting chapter. I have been following TomKat since 2009 when I was planning my daughter’s birthday party / 🙂
Thank you so much for still being here soooo many years later! WOW! I sincerely appreciate your continued support and encouragement! I hope you are well! xoxo Kim
Im so excited and happy for you! Chasing your dreams and doing what makes you happy is essential to survival in this crazy market and world we live in. You go girl – its well deserved!
Thank you so much, Jen for taking the time to read my post and comment here! I am so excited for this new chapter! Come join us! 😉 xoxo
So motivational to read your post filled with uplifting quotes and your plans! I started following about six years ago maybe. My life has changed drastically…I lost my 50year love to cancer a year ago and I’ve moved into our family cabin on the lake. I’m preparing to sell our turn of the century home. Thoughts? Advice? ☺️ Continue sharing your thoughts via blogging…..you’re inspirational! Thanks!
Hi Cindy! Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so sorry to hear about your husband. That is a huge change for you. The family cabin on the lake sounds beautiful. Let us know if we can help with any advice on getting your home ready to sell. It’s our speciality! xoxo Kim
Been following since the beginning…. I too miss the days of blogging! So many great connections came from that season! You are an incredible inspiration Kim!
Andrea – You have always been here and I appreciate you so much! Can we bring back blogging? Start a movement towards meaningful, real content? I would love to spend my downtime reading rather than watching short silly videos! Hope you are well and thank you for being here after all of these years!
Best of luck in your new diggs! I know it will be a great success.
Thank you, Michele! xoxo
Congrats friend! So excited to see this new adventure begin. Many blessings to you and your business. xo
Thank you, my friend! Please come stop by when you are down in our area! I would LOVE to see you!! xoxo
Wow, I’m so happy for you and your staff on this great endeavor! I’ve been impressed by your ideas and beautiful renovations since I found you at…Found, haha! Have several rentals but thinking of getting into the flipping business. Sounds like you could help me with that. Please put me on any email list or any other list you have to keep me informed on your progress. Wishing you an amazing future at your new site!
Hi Joni! Thank you so much for your sweet words! I love that you found me through FOUND! I adore the Albers and was so grateful of the opportunity they gave me when we had our shop there! They are such an inspiration to me. We are now approaching a real estate market that is opportune for flipping. We can absolutely guide you through that! Stop by the office or make an appointment when you are ready and we can chat more! xoxo Kim
So so so proud of you!! I have been around since the beginning, as you know. 😉 I loved my time working with you during the blogging & party chapter, and have loved watching you grow from there. The next time I am in the East valley, I will have to stop by. ❤️
Oh Toni, my love. Gosh you know me and you know my heart. You’ve been there since the very beginning and I can’t thank you enough for your continued encouragement and support. I will never forget all the fun and amazing memories we made together in the early years! You taught me to be brave, put myself out there and to not be afraid to ASK. Thank you for being you! xoxo
I have followed on since the beginning my kids were born in 2005 and 2007 so similar ages and I adored your kids parties and a few of my kids parties were modeled from yours. Being in Australia it as a little challenging as we took a little longer to catch on to having readily available colour co ordinated party decorations and tableware. I also loved your Christmas pictures especially the snow. They inspired me to take my kids to New York and Toronto for Christmas 2016 and were lucky enough to get snow the week before Christmas. Thanks for always sharing it has been fun following along.
That is so amazing, Shannon! Our kids are the exact same age! It’s crazy you say that about Australia because I feel like the BEST design comes from there! First with parties… now with home design. I just love the vibe of everything I see coming out of Australia! I am so glad that I inspired you to visit NY for Christmas and that you got snow! Thank you so much for being here for so long and your continued support! xo Kim
It’s been so fun watching your journey!
I think you found “IT”. This seems to really look like your thang!!!!! Good luck!!!
Thank you, Jennifer! I am very passionate about so many things, but home and design will always be one of my biggest! Thank you for reading my post!
Congratulations!!!! Thank you so very much for taking the time to share this post. I have been with you since the beginning. I discovered you after my son was born and I was planning his first birthday party. I had a vision and you helped me make that happen. I’ve been following you every since.
Thank you so much for being here since the beginning! This means so much to me!
Kim, love seeing your words and heart out in the world again! While I am one of the lucky people to have had a front-row seat to your journey, I love reading how much joy and inspiration your talents and journey have brought to people as far away as Australia! People have stuck around for so many years, because of your ability to tell stories thru your passions… whether that be thru making parties beautiful, or making homes beautiful… Can’t wait to not just watch this next chapter from the sidelines, but to be a part of it. It is so incredibly exciting. You are so talented and can’t wait to see how big this can be. Love you!
To my forever best friend in the world, I can’t tell you how excited I am that you are now part of the team and joining me on this journey. My only question is… why didn’t we do this sooner? With you by my side, I know that we can accomplish so much more and have so much fun doing it! I love you so much. xoxo
So proud of you! So excited for you! I’ve been around since 2010 and the dreamers into doers event that connected so many amazing party gals. Your style and creativity is by far one of the sweetest out there. Cheering you on always…your friend from Miami. 😘
Oh my lovely friend, Andrea. I love you so much!!