Kim Stoegbauer started her personal blog, The TomKat Studio, as a place to showcase all things pretty. She developed a loyal following and a high demand for her gorgeously styled parties which led her to first create a printable party collection on Etsy and then ultimately, the career of her dreams. For Halloween, Kim’s concept of a ‘sassy witch’ party has the perfect balance of whimsy and sophistication she is known for. Created using her new Halloween Glam Collection, we’re inspired to call over our favorite friends for an evening of girls-only delightfully wicked fun. Check out all the details on Kim’s website, but first let’s find out where Kim comes up with all these brilliant ideas!
How did you get your start?
I was in real estate, and with the downturn of the market, I decided to stay at home with my kids. I had never blogged before, but started a personal blog that became really popular. I have always loved all things to do with entertaining and decorating, and always wanted to include my original ideas. When I styled a lollipop party for my daughter’s 2nd birthday, it got picked up by Hostess with the Mostess and I grew from there.
I didn’t set out to do it, but I couldn’t be happier. It’s so rewarding to do a beautiful styling and then have a professional photographer capture it so well. We’ve grown tremendously and sales are crazy. I am self taught as a graphic designer, but people like the ideas and simplicity of the designs.
What’s the meaning behind the name TomKat?
When I first started the blog, it was only for personal reasons. We had an extra little room in the house and my husband gave me some money for Christmas to decorate it with. It was my “studio.” And TomKat is named for my children – Tommy and Kate. I had no idea what I was sharing would become a business!
What is your personal style and how do we see it in your designs?
Simple, clean and modern with a touch of girlish whimsy.
How have DIY printables changed the way we entertain?
The economy is forcing people to do so much themselves that printables have become a popular. Most moms like to go all out for a party, but most aren’t graphic designers. We give them that piece in the context of a whole styled party, they can use as much or as little as they want. A printables collection frees people up to be able to throw the type of party they want and have sense of accomplishment that they did it.
What is your favorite kind of party to style?
Anything girly. I love pink – anything pink! My new line is vintage princess pink, pink and white with a little black.
What are your tried and true tips for styling a Halloween party or gathering?
- Color scheme: begin with a clear color scheme. For the glam party I wanted something different and wanted it to stand out.
- Picking a theme: one year my daughter was really into Tinkerbelle, and though I love her too I didn’t want to style a character party, so that inspired a fairy garden theme. Take what your children love and find something that inspires you.
- Create one well-styled focal point: when you walk into the party, there should be something that you’ve styled that welcomes your guests and sets the mood, whether it’s the chair the child will open presents in or the buffet table. Many people are using the concept of a dessert table, inspired by Amy Atlas. It’s fun to make a full display and when the kids walk in the room and see a table full of treats they are literally like a kid in a candy store.
How can we use your ideas and products in our Halloween festivities even if we’re not having a formal party?
You don’t need to have a big party to use the printables collection. They can be used just for a family dinner to celebrate a birthday or holiday, and we also have items that are fun for when you’re bringing something to an event. For Halloween, there are candy bag toppers for taking treats to school or elsewhere. We also have popular collections with fall themes for Thanksgiving and gift tags for the holidays.
If we don’t have a theme that works for your event, we also doing custom work, where you pick the colors and fonts and we’ll match it.
Let’s get to know Kim better with a “quick-fire” round of questions:
- Blogs I check daily are: project nursery, hostess with the mostess and Amy Atlas
- My favorite color is: pink
- My first job was: receptionist at a real estate company
- I cannot live without: my family, coffee
- The best advice I ever received is: be original and always stay fresh by coming up with new ideas
- My favorite guilty pleasure is: cupcakes
- A cause I care deeply about is: curing childhood cancer
It’s giveaway time: Kim has generously offered one lucky winner a $50 shopping spree on her site! To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page telling us about the most creatively inspired Halloween costume you’ve seen. Contest ends Friday, September 24th at 6pm EST.