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/
History of FEW Series: Illustrating Women in the Workplace
In celebrating 35 years of empowering women in Japan, FEW has been looking back on our unique collection of FEW historical items and information. One of our favorites is the FEW 20th Anniversary Newspaper, which highlights the early years of our organization. This newspaper is full of great mentions, interviews and historical anecdotes, all of […]Published on 1st March 2017
February Meeting Recap: Lean In: Japanese Women
By Lisa Matsumoto, Public Relations & Communications Intern On February 9th, FEW members and guests leaned in to listen to our guest speaker, Rena Suzuki, co-founder and leader of Lean In Tokyo. Lean In is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women achieve their ambitions. Lean In Tokyo helps women gain confidence and take an active […]Published on 1st March 2017
February 2017: Welcoming our new FEW Members
This month, we are proud to welcome five new members to the FEW community! Our members hail from all over the world and have diverse and unique experiences to share with FEW. As the go-to place for personal and professional learning and connection, we’re constantly inspired by our members. If you’re interested in FEW membership, click here for […]Published on 10th February 2017
Q&A with Rena Suzuki, Co-founder and Leader of Lean In Tokyo
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Leaning In’ in the workplace, we’re featuring a Q&A with speaker Rena Suzuki, Co-founder and Leader of Lean In Tokyo. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Here, Rena reflects on following her passion, the power of connection, […]Published on 6th February 2017
The Art of Pricing and Negotiation
Join us for the fourth Women’s Start-Up Club meeting on Wednesday, March 29th, where we’ll learn about the "art of pricing and negotiation" in an interactive workshop featuring Vanessa Oshima, General Manager, Women's Category, at Nike Japan.
Midweek Lunch Mixer at Le Petit Marché
Join us for delicious food and great networking on Thursday, March 30 for our monthly midweek lunch gathering at Le Petit Marché in Roppongi.
Unveiling Japan: New Themes in Travel & Tourism
Get the inside scoop on tourism in Japan as Chiara Terzuolo and Rie Miyoshi, two travel industry experts, discuss how Japan is promoting tourism in the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as well as new business opportunities in the industry and their top picks for Golden Week.
Special Lunch Mixer in Midtown Park
Join us for delicious food and great networking over a picnic in Midtown Park on Thursday, April 20, at a special edition of our monthly midweek lunch gathering.