This is one of those instances when I’m a little starstruck. That might sound silly, but I am just in awe of Kim, the uber-talented woman behind The TomKat Studio. I’ve followed her blog and admired her Etsy shop for months so it’s really, really fun to learn more about her. Once you get to know Kim and her amazing designs I think you’ll be a fan, too.
The Shopping Mama: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Kim: Hello! My name is Kim and I am the owner/creator of The TomKat Studio. I live in Chandler, Arizona.
TSM: When did you start The TomKat Studio and why?
Kim: Up until about a year ago, my career was in residential real estate. With the downturn in the market, and realizing that my little ones were growing up so fast, I decided to stay home with them. At that time, I had discovered a few blogs and started reading others’ blogs regularly. I decided to start my own to share creative projects and random thoughts & ideas I was having. I called it “The TomKat Studio” after my children, Tommy & Kate. When I decided to stay home, we even designated a spare room in our home “The TomKat Studio” where I set up all my crafty supplies.
TSM: I can’t believe you’ve only been doing this a year! That’s amazing.
Kim: One of the first blogs that I followed was Project Nursery. I have a passion for all things pretty, including parties, paper & home decorating. After a couple of months of posting on my own blog, I was honored to become a contributor for Project Nursery. Being an entrepreneur, I thought with all of the extra exposure, maybe I should open a shop to sell some of my crafty wares. Why not try to make a little side money since I was spending more and more time blogging?
TSM: I think it’s really cool that you had a blog first and that your Etsy evolved out of that.
I started my Etsy shop with my signature frames, and quickly couldn’t keep up with the demand. After posting my daughter’s lollipop birthday party on The TomKat Studio, it was picked up on tons of fabulous blogs including Hostess with the Mostess (my fave!). The additional exposure created an overwhelming response for the paper items I created for her party (invitations, favor tags, cupcake toppers, etc). I decided to add party designs to my shop.
After several months of very, very long nights, I decided it was time to regroup. I was getting burnt out and overwhelmed. My family was getting neglected. It’s always hard to find a balance, but you have to keep coming up with new ideas to make it work, especially when you are doing what you love. I decided to go digital and offer my party designs as printables. The printables have been such a success! Much less work for me and more affordable for the customers. Not to mention, who doesn’t love saying “I made it!” I have such a passion for what I am doing now, it feels absolutely amazing.
TSM: What is your favorite item to make or sell?
Kim: I love designing new party collections. I love creating the designs, printing and assembling the sample items and then staging and photographing them. I could do this all day and all night long. It’s not work for me at all, it’s fun.
TSM: What is your inspiration?
Kim: This is such a cliche, but I find it everywhere. It’s actually annoying. I can’t look at a magazine without ripping out pages that inspire a new design. I watch cartoons with my kids and see a cute balloon or flower and want to create a party around it. I just wish I had more time to explore all of the ideas floating in my mind, as well all of the custom ideas my customers request.
TSM: Do you have any plans for new, additional products or business expansion?
Kim: I do! Right now, I only have my Lollipop Collection in the shop, because it is all I can handle by myself. I recently made the decision to hire an assistant to help fulfill my orders! This way, I can focus on getting all my designs into the shop and work on new designs and products. I hope to start offering the fully printed/assembled items, as well again.
TSM: If you’re interested in working with Kim, check out this post on The TomKat blog about hiring a Virtual Assistant.
TSM: If money were no object what is one thing you would buy right now?
Kim: A warehouse, commercial printers & a team of fabulous people to help me bring all of my ideas to fruition!
TSM: What are some of your favorite online boutiques or Etsy shops?
Kim: Oh boy…there are many! Here are a few of my favorites. Not only great shops, but great girls: Pink Taffy Designs, True Love Found (Crowns), Friller Up Couture (Tutus), Le Papier Studio (Silhouettes) ~ here’s my kids silhouette, Dolce Vita Mia
TSM: I die over those silhouettes! They are adorable and surprisingly affordable. Your kids’ silhouette is just darling.
Connect! Keep up with Kim on the awesome TomKat Studio blog. It’s absolute eye candy full of beautiful parties and DIY inspiration. Not to mention, every month she provides a super cute printable calendar. You can also follow The TomKat Studio on Twitter and Fan The TomKat Studio on Facebook.
Shop! Visit The TomKat Studio on Etsy – it’s the best place for printable party projects. Because you print and assemble on your own, everything is ridiculously affordable – but still custom made for you. Make sure you check out the Valentine printables collection!
Win! Check out The TomKat Studio giveaway on The Shopping Mama.