This has been months in the making from my first phone call with Kait Masters, the RTS Group Coordinator, to now, but I am SO excited to announce that Payson, AZ is home to one of the newest Tuesdays Together chapters of Rising Tide! We had our first Meet-Up on April 10th at the new Starbucks in town!
But first, the back story:
After graduating from UofA, I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself or my English degree. I loved photography and knew I wanted to check that path out more. I looked in various places for community and instead found closed doors, and sometimes unfriendliness from other photographers. I remember feeling so alone and so frustrated.
And then God brought two friends into my life. They were in the same boat. We didn’t know what we were doing, but just having someone to bounce ideas off of, to commiserate with, and to buoy up made a world of difference. I’ll forever be grateful for Erin and Trisha coming into my life when they did. Suddenly there was community. And it was amazing!
It wasn’t long after that I started to hear about a movement rippling through the creative world. Community over competition? Rising Tide? I was hooked. I was in! It resonated so strong! The closest groups to me were 5 hours away, so I didn’t get to be a part of the physical community, but being in the online groups was better than the loneliness before.
Many times since then I’ve dreamed of living somewhere with a Rising Tide TuesdaysTogether chapter, but we’ve always lived in small towns. I didn’t think it was possible. I travelled to the Phoenix valley twice for meet ups (once when we lived in Winslow, and once since moving to Payson), but it wasn’t feasible to make the all day trip every single month. Especially with two kids in tow! So I watched online, until one day I realized I could do something about that.
Submitting that email about starting a group here was scary and exciting, and I’m so glad I did. There are so many creatives in the area that I can’t wait to meet and buoy up.
To say I was extremely excited and extremely nervous for the first meet up would be an understatement! I desperately wanted those who came to feel like it had been worth it (because growing up rural I know firsthand the frustration of making sacrifices to attend something only to have it not be worth it), so I prepped hard core.
There ended up being three of us at the meet up and we chatted, drank our cocoas, and discussed the April theme of Lead Generation and Inquiry Nurturing. It was so much fun and we all went home with action items to put in place! Each of our websites has been tweaked and worked on since to reflect what we learned from each other.
To help us celebrate our first meeting, the amazing crew over at Showit donated a gift card to supply the drinks and treats for the meeting! Showit has a HUGE heart for community and buoying up creatives. If you’re in need of a killer website platform, check them out! With Showit supplying the treats, I had to bring my little Showit Robot to be at the party!! (Did you know you can text the Showit Robot?!?! Ahaha, best discovery ever!!)
We were all so excited to see each other and jump into the material that we didn’t think about taking a group shot until we were all done, and it was dark. #PhotographerFail, bahahaha. But we’re glad we at least got this shot to commemorate the first meetup! From left to right is Mikaela of Mikaela Durfee Photography, Deborah of Deborah Allen Photography, and me!
Deborah did snap this super fun shot midway through our discussion though! Thank you so much Deborah!!
If you’re a creative in Payson or the surrounding area (which can totally be interpreted loosely as after the Phoenix Valley chapters, the other chapters are all 6 hours to the northwest or east-northeast of us!), we’d love to join ranks with you as we work to buoy up the creative economy in the spirit of Community over Competition!
A few quick links for anyone interested in more information about our Tuesdays Together group or the Rising Tide Society!
You can find our Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/218783708699658/?ref=group_header
And our Instagram Page here: https://www.instagram.com/tuesdaystogetherpayson/
And the main Rising Tide Society Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/RisingTideSociety/