If you were to tell me that I would be an entrepreneur in a country 11,000 kilometers from my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, I would have laughed. Yet here I am running my own business, TopTia Photography.
I officially moved to Japan in 2011 as an English teacher, biding my time before graduate school. But photography had been a hobby of mine since I was 13 years old, and the beauty and unique qualities of Japan kept me on the go, camera in hand.
In 2015, I wanted to push myself more as a photographer and began to build my portfolio. In doing so, I met many people, several from FEW, who praised my work and encouraged me to take up photography full-time. Their words were kind, but the thought of taking the leap terrified me. Everyone around me believed I could do it, but I spent many months asking myself if I could. Can I create a thriving business? Can I give my clients a solution to their problems? Can I grow as a better person and photographer?
This past year my strengths have indeed grown in providing professional photographic services to my clients for events, portraits, food and products. I have worked with many of the FEW ladies this past year, and providing aid to the community has allowed me to feel a strong sense of contribution to the FEW family.
March 2017 will complete TopTia’s first year in business. In this first year, I have advanced in communication skills, technical skills, and confidence. I am confident in TopTia’s brand and look forward to providing a visual catalyst for other entrepreneurs and businesses in the upcoming years. I’m also excited to be working on a project combining my backgrounds in education and photography to create an online, and in person, junior photography course for English-speaking students.
I’m really looking forward to contributing even more to the FEW network. See y’all at the next meeting!
See more of Tia’s photographs at: http://toptia.com/
Q&A with Multiculturalism Experts Anjeli Narandran and Louise George Kittaka
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Multiculturalism through Japan’s Eyes,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with two of our speakers, Anjeli Narandran, International Coordinator at Peace Boat, and Louise George Kittaka, a newspaper columnist, university lecturer and cross-cultural trainer featured in The Japan Times and Savvy Tokyo. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal […]Published on 9th October 2017
September 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Share your Passion and Maintain it through Masterminding
26 attendees defied the rain to join The FEW Women’s Start-up Club‘s kick-off meeting of the 2017-2018 year on September 26, 2017. WSC’s goal is to provide resources, support and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs and those who want to become entrepreneurs. We invite everyone to play an active role as WSC is a “business […]Published on 3rd October 2017
October Strategic Partner News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]Published on 3rd October 2017
October Community Services Feature: Tokyo Run for the Cure
By Tia Haygood, Community Services Director The Run for the Cure Foundation is a Tokyo based non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating breast cancer in Japan as a life-threatening disease through education, timely screening, and treatment. For over a decade, organizers at Run for the Cure have provided community outreach programs and education initiatives to increase […]Published on 3rd October 2017
How I Got Here: Nicola Vote
I first came to Japan over 20 years ago as a one year exchange student to ICU (International Christian University), courtesy of the University of London, my home university. Several of my friends were taking a year off to travel in Europe or USA. I wanted to go somewhere a little more challenging, and Japan […]Published on 2nd October 2017
Disruptive Innovation: Shifts in Technology
Join us on Nov. 9 as we hear from influential serial entrepreneur Emi Takemura on the disruptive innovations driving unprecedented technological and societal change and our roles in developing "technology fluency."
FEW Members Exclusive Wine Night
Join FEW for our twice-yearly members exclusive wine night, courtesy of Oakwood Premier Midtown. Come along, network and share your stories around a nice glass of wine!
Women's Start Up Club: Marketing with a Purpose
Do you run your own business or are you thinking of starting one? Join the FEW WSC on Nov. 29 to learn top insights into marketing your business.
November Midweek Lunch Mixer- Location To Be Announced
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering. Location to be announced soon!