Thursday, May 26, 2011

The One & Only Kim of The TomKat Studio plus a giveaway!

Oh Kim. How we love you? Let us count the ways. Yes, we absolutely adore Kim of The TomKat Studio. Let's be serious could you not?

Kim Stoegbauer doesn't need an introduction. But, for those who aren't familiar with the name - Kim is the amazing & talented Designer and Editor of  The TomKat Studio. Kim is also one of the sweetest ladies we have worked with and we are truly thrilled to share our chat with you + thanks to Kim - giveaway a $50 shop credit! If you have never browsed The TomKat Studio - it is sure to be a favorite now. We guarantee it! 

{Read all about Kim here.}

{1} Tell us about how you started The TomKat Studio and where the name came from. 

In December of 2008, I made the decision to leave my real estate career to stay home with my two little ones. Staying home allowed me more time to focus on creative projects and crafts. We decided to turn an empty room in our home into a craft studio for me to play in. Shortly thereafter, I decided to start a blog to share decorating, crafts, baking and party projects I was creating. I called the blog "The TomKat Studio", named after my kids Tommy & Kate. It quickly gained a loyal following and before I knew it, my readers were asking me to sell the party items that I was making for my own kids' parties! I opened up the Etsy shop in March 2009 and it has continued to grow and grow. I couldn't be happier working from home, doing what I love and also being there for my family. 

{Kate's Fairy Garden Party}
{Vicki Lynn Photography}
{2} Your blog is filled with amazing ideas, parties, designs. It is just so pretty to look at - great eye candy! Do you have a favorite party you have worked on so far? Favorite collection?'s so hard to choose! I have been so lucky to work on over-the-top parties for my own children, as well as styled photos shoots for designers, magazines and HGTV. I would have to say my favorite party would be my daughter's 3rd birthday, which was a Fairy Garden theme. The colors were so vibrant and fun. It was first fully styled dessert table and the response from our readers was incredible! 

{A beautiful theme inspired by Barbie}
{Vicki Lynn Photography}
{3} Could you share with us a few must-know party tips? 

1. Choosing a Theme :: When planning your child's birthday party, always take a cue from what he/she loves. Choose a color scheme or theme based on your child's favorites. If your child is old enough to have an opinion on what type of party he/she wants, decide on the theme together. You can create a beautiful elements for any theme, even if your child prefers a certain character. For example, my daughter wanted a Barbie party this year. She chose between a fashion theme {inspired by Fashion Fairytale} and a mermaid theme {inspired by A Mermaid Tale}. She picked the fashion theme and so we went with a pink, black & white French theme. The only actual Barbie elements were the cake and the music!  

2. Make Lists :: While you don't need to write down every little detail {the party should be fun for you, too!}, keeping lists of tasks that need to be completed, shopping that needs to be done is very helpful during the planning process. Don't wait until the day before to prepare everything for the party. Do as much as you can in advance! 

3. Create a Timeline :: Have a general plan of the order of events, to keep things moving along during the party. Be sure to come up with a couple fun activities to keep the kids busy in addition to serving cake and opening gifts. 

{LOVE these Free Printables Kim designed for Kate Lander's post over at Layla Grayce}
{See the post + download them now}

{4} As a mom, how do you balance work & family? 

I believe that balance is an ongoing process. I do my best to give my attention to my family when they need it, and to my business when it needs it. Both seem to be constant! I have come to realize that I can't do all by myself. I have help with my business {three amazing assistants} and plan on adding help with my household duties soon. On a sidenote, one thing that can go the wayside is adding "me time" to that balance. Allocating time for myself to relax and enjoy is one of my priorities right now. As working mommies, we need to take some time out to rejuvenate and refresh. 

{DIY Party Project: Mini Cake Bunting Tutorial & Free Printable Alphabet Pages}
{Image by Laura Winslow Photography}

{5} What party trends do you see for 2011? 

1. The Full Package :: Most of customers are inspired by the parties they see on our website. They want to recreate the party they have seen showcased and therefore want the entire party package along with resources for everything from the desserts to clothing. The TomKat Studio aims to provide all of the vendors so that our readers can easily access the amazing vendors we use. 

2. Cake Pops :: Everyone loves cake pops, so I think they will continue to gain popularity and become a staple at birthday parties! Thanks to Bakerella for creating such a yummy, festive treat! Isn't it amazing that they are even sold at Starbucks now?

3. Birthday Cakes with Mini Cake Bunting :: This trend is popping up everywhere these days. We created a free printable files with lettered flags in a variety of colors last year and it has been an incredibly popular download!

{The SO Sweet Lollipop Collection}
{Image by Laura Winslow Photography}

{6} Currently, in your Etsy shop, what are you favorite items?

My favorite collection will always probably be our Lollipop Collection. I originally designed the invitation, party circles & favor tags for Kate's 2nd Birthday. It was one of the first collections that I offered in the shop and it was published on many fabulous party inspiration websites including Hostess with the Mostess and Amy Atlas Events. It continues to be our best selling theme.

I also LOVE the our Alice in Wonderland inspired collection. The photos of the collection are from an incredible photo shoot by Laura Winslow, that I styled and featured the party collection in. It was our first of many collaborations and will always be a favorite!

{Pretty cakes from The TomKat Studio's Pretty on Pinterest series}
{7} When you have the time what magazines do you love to read & blogs do you love to browse?

I love to snuggle up with great magazines. I always browse my Martha Stewart Living from cover to cover the moment it arrives. Martha is such an inspiration to me, as both a creative genius as well as a savvy business woman. I adore Celebrate magazine by Phyllis Hoffman. Not only because I was just featured in it {yippee!} but because it is filled with amazing entertaining ideas and gorgeous photography. I recently received a copy of Summer with Matthew Mead and nearly fell over in my chair with the turn of each page. The styling and photography in every feature is absolutely beautiful. 

As far as blogs, I following tons of entertaining blogs, including great inspiration sites like Hostess with the Mostess and Amy Atlas. I also love home decorating blogs like Decor8, HGTV and HomeGoods Open House. To get my crafty fix, I love House of Smiths and Tatertots & Jello. 

{Kim was recently showed off in Celebrate Magazine. Check it out here}

{8} What is up next for your FAB empire :) 

Let's see....what's next? More styling, more party designs and more fun! I have little dreams and I have big dreams. I will just continue doing what I love and I know things will fall into place!

1. I love sweets.
2. But, I've been eating way too many.
3. I love margaritas. 
4. But, I've learned not to tweet after cocktails.
5. I love taking pictures.
6. But, I don't know how to use Photoshop.
7. I love to inspire.
8. But, I hate being copied.
9. I love my work.
10. But, I love my family even more! 

Enter to win a $50 shop credit to The TomKat Studio
{Giveaway has ended! Winner was #52 and was announced on Twitter}

Head over to The TomKat Studio and tell us what you MUST have! This comment is mandatory. You also MUST be a follower of cupcakeMAG and cupcakeMAG for Littles.

For extra entries please do the following and make sure to leave your email in at least one comment. Good luck! 
1. Follow cupcakeMAG on Twitter.

2. Follow The TomKat Studio on Twitter.

3. Make sure you "Like" us on our Facebook page.

4. Make sure you "Like" The TomKat Studio on Facebook!

5. Subscribe to our updates (top right corner above) - just sign up with your email!

6. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag -- you must tweet, not just follow.

7. Tweet about this giveaway and include @tomkatstudio -- you must tweet, not just follow. 

8. Make The TomKat Studio a favorite on Etsy. 

9. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog and send us the link.

We will select a winner via on Friday, June 3rd at 11pm! Please make sure you enter the mandatory comment first before doing the extra entries.

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