Party styling was not Kim Stoegbauer’s original career path. She got her start in 2008 when her career in real estate hit a wall. “The market basically crashed,” she recalls. So she took her kids, then 3-year-old Tommy and 2-year-old Kate, out of day care and pursued more creative endeavors from home. Using an IKEA gift card from her husband, she created a studio in their Phoenix, Arizona, home. The resulting space, The TomKat Studio (named after her kids), became the headquarters for what would become a national following in creative party inspiration and DIY how-tos. The studio, an online shop, and new brick-and-mortar store are a go-to for fresh, modern entertainment ideas and essentials.
TomKat is especially well-known for the printable designs Kim provides online. She set up an Etsy shop and started taking orders, printing, cutting, and shipping everything herself.
As TomKat has grown, so has the popularity of children’s party design, something Kim says can cause moms more stress than necessary. “What we want to do is inspire,” she says of the parties featured on the blog. “I’m trying to make it easier so that every mom can create what we create,” Kim says.