Icing Designs: Can you tell us a little bit about how you got your start?
Kim: Prior to starting my blog, The TomKat Studio, I was in real estate for many years. With the downturn of the market, paired with the fact that my little ones were growing up so fast, I decided to stay home. I started my blog just to share creative projects and ideas that I was working on or that I had found on other sites. My following grew very quickly. After posting my daughter's second birthday party, which was a lollipop theme, my readers were requesting all of the items I created for the party! I decided to open an Etsy shop selling party goods including invitations, cupcake toppers, favor tags & more. My daughter's party was featured on some fabulous party blogs including Hostess with the Mostess, and the demand grew tremendously. After several months of designing, printing, assembling and shipping orders, I became burnt out from working so many hours while trying to keep up with being a mom and profitable business owner. I took a break and restructured my designs to be DIY Printable files. I realized that many moms out there have the crafty talent to do most of the work themselves, while saving money! Going printable freed up more time to be with my children, and find a better balance while working from home. Since then, the demand and exposure has continued to grow exponentially for The TomKat Studio. I now have two assistants, who are also work-at-home moms who help me run the show!
Icing Designs: Who are some of the people that inspired you as you were getting your start?
Kim: Martha Stewart is my ultimate role model. Her book, "The Martha Rules" is my business bible. Not only is she the most creative woman in the world, she is the most savvy business woman. She followed her true passion, put in hard work and long hours to explore new ideas, all resulting in a huge successful company. What could be more inspiring than that? My ultimate goal for my business is to be on Martha's show and teach the world how to make fabulous, affordable party products!
Amy Atlas of Amy Atlas Events is also a huge role model for me. Amy designs incredible dessert tables and is always bringing her many fans new and innovative ideas. As a mom, and former lawyer turned creative party planner, she is a true inspiration. I had an amazing opportunity to work with her on designs for an InStyle magazine shoot recently. I couldn't have been more thrilled!
Icing Designs: Where do you draw inspiration from now?
Kim: I find inspiration in so many places. Themes, ideas and color schemes for parties are endless, so sometimes the number of ideas that I want to explore can be overwhelming. I keep a continuous list of ideas, and try to develop them one by one! Many times my customer requests inspire new collections!
Icing Designs: What is one of the most inspirational projects you have worked on?
Kim: I worked on the paper designs for an Operation Shower event and it turned out amazing! I was thrilled to contribute my time to a fantastic cause!
Icing Designs: How would you like to inspire others
Kim: I hope to inspire other moms and young women who want to run their own business from home. I believe that if you are willing to work hard and strive to find a good balance between business and family time, you really can "have it all"!
Here are two amazing parties that Kim designed and styled for her own little sweeties! This magical fairy garden party was for her daughter Kate's 3rd birthday and the fabulous crab shack party was for her son Tommy! Serious eye candy, don't you agree!?!