Get to Know Kat and Mike Stickler, Hosts of HGTV Obsessed
The couple gets real about influencing and life after an unexpected pregnancy.
Kat and Mike Stickler: If you’re on TikTok, you’ve probably seen their names. The young couple has taken the platform by storm and now, as a result, are the hosts of HGTV’s newest podcast, HGTV Obsessed. Considering the vast number of followers the Sticklers have on TikTok — a whopping 5.3 million — you might not think that this new role would faze the couple, but that’s not the case.
“When we first heard about [the opportunity to work with HGTV], we couldn’t believe it,” Mike, 25, admitted. “Once we did get the gig and we talked to them, they were like, ‘We wanted you guys to be the hosts and nobody else.’ And we were like ‘What?!’ We couldn’t believe it. They had already had their eyes on us for awhile which is super humbling — I never would have thought that HGTV would be looking at me to be on a podcast.”
Mike isn’t the only one pinching himself over the new podcast, however. Kat, who is 26, is just as awestruck.
“You get to connect with these people that you’ve seen on TV and they’re even better in person — well, in Zoom. But … I don’t know, it’s surreal,” she admits, noting that Ty Pennington, one of the guests on HGTV Obsessed, actually came to her hometown to do an Extreme Home Makeover on one of her friend’s homes when she was a little girl. “HGTV has so much history, so it feels very cool to step into that history in this new chapter in life that we have. Everyone that we’ve interviewed has been so kind, so sweet. They’re really good eggs.”
As much as we love listening to the Sticklers on the podcast, there’s no denying that we first fell in love with the sarcastically comedic, completely unfiltered couple on TikTok. From their witty banter, epic pranks and “Things I Love About My Husband” series, there’s truly so much to love (and laugh over) about the young parents.
Indeed, the fact that they are young parents is how they believe they became TikTok famous in the first place.
“I think that Mary-Katherine was the key in everything,” Kat says about their 1-year-old daughter. “She just added so much more weight to our message and also we really showed that we owned our life, and we took the responsibility. It just gave this possibility of hope to people that were going through something because I know when it happened and I found out that I was pregnant, I was like ‘This is the end of my life, this is it, I’ve had a good run and I’m done.’”
But her pregnancy ended up being the catalyst for so much more.
Before getting TikTok famous with the help of Mary-Katherine, Mike ran his own sales team as a director of business development and Kat was studying to be a lawyer.
“I was trying to be this perfect version,” Kat admitted. “And then I got pregnant and this blueprint of my life that I had in mind went down the drain, so everything was out the window and I was like, I might as well just go with it.” “It” being her longtime dream to become an influencer.
“I knew I wanted to be — this sounds so dumb — I wanted to be TikTok famous,” Kat shares. “But I’ve always aspired to be something that my parents would admire — or people would admire — and I always thought that it was kind of childish to be an influencer and that it wasn’t grown up…”
“…until you get into it,” Mike added. “And you’re like, okay … there’s a lot more behind the scenes.”
By navigating the behind-the-scenes challenges of influencing and keeping it as real as possible on their channels, Kat and Mike have been able to amass millions of followers on TikTok and a few hundred thousand on Instagram in less than a year, something that is no small feat in the world of social media.
Along with their newfound fame, Mike was able to quit his job and Kat put down the LSAT books to focus on churning out content full-time. Additionally, the couple has since upgraded from a 600-square-foot apartment to a home where MK has plenty of room to run around.
“Our first apartment was this really small, like 600-square-foot apartment, so [MK’s] crib was in the kitchen where the dining room table should have been,” Kat shared. “We loved watching HGTV because it presented this possibility of what could be in the future or even making what [was then] — this 600-square-foot apartment — as homey as possible. And I didn’t realize the importance of that until A) after I had the baby, you’re in the house the whole time, and B) the pandemic, you are in your house a lot so you might as well be in a space that inspires you.”