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 Rina Bovrisse, activist and founder of the Chateau School
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting – The Accidental Activist : From Chanel to Governor of Tokyo? – we’re featuring a quick Q&A with speaker Rina Bovrisse. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Join us for an insightful discussion next Wednesday, September 12, as Rina […]Published on 9th September 2018
Insider Intel on the Japan Market Expansion Competition
When the opportunity to apply for a Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) scholarship through FEW arose, FEW members Jane Szafraniec (pictured center left) and Nina Cataldo (pictured center) jumped at the opportunity. To understand the full extent of why this was such an amazing space to be in, they’ve shared what JMEC is, their experiences […]Published on 7th September 2018
Event Recap: TELL & FEW Presents The Feminine Eye
On Saturday, August 8th, a group of 11 people interested in learning more about photography gathered at the National Art Center in Roppongi for a women-led photo walk by Selena Hoy, TELL Outreach Coordinator and FEW Community Services Director Tia Haygood, who also is a professional photographer of TopTia Photography.Published on 3rd September 2018
September 2018 Strategic Partner Member Offers & Other News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners and other FEW Community Events 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 […]Published on 27th August 2018
How I got Here: Kirsten O’Connor
I decided at age 7, quite resolutely that I wanted to be a teacher. All my decisions thereafter created the path to a teaching qualification, a first teaching post in London, a promotion and then the biggest decision of all – to apply for a teaching job overseas. In Japan no less. Accepting a […]Published on 27th August 2018
Masterminding – Supporting your Success
People buy things because they like the story behind the brand. YOUR story is a key element to your success. Join us as we kick-off the fifth season of the FEW Women's Start-Up Club focusing on the overarching theme of shaping Your Business Story.
FEW Fundraiser Event with Strategic Partner Mom in Balance Tokyo
Start your Sunday with an energetic and fun workout in Yoyogi Park hosted by instructors and FEW members Julie Mangen and Tanja Kinnen from Mom in Balance Tokyo.
October 2018 Members Exclusive Wine Night
Join FEW for our twice-yearly members-exclusive wine night, courtesy of our Strategic Partner Oakwood Premier Midtown. Come along, network, and share your stories around a nice glass of wine in the stunning ambiance of the resident's lounge!
Midweek Lunch Mixer
Take a break from work and join us for delicious food and great networking at our monthly midweek lunch gathering at Blu Jam Cafe in Daikanyama!
Note: The Lunch Mixer will take place on a Wednesday!