The original Tiptoe trio of Tara Showen, Lisa Mercer and Jennifer Gustines met in 2004 while working together at a local bank. Lisa left in 2006 to pursue a financial management career and Tara followed shortly afterward to raise babies, leaving Jennifer behind to hold down the fort!
In late 2007, Jennifer tossed out the idea of starting a business together; something brilliant and successful that would keep them forever out of the clutches of a "regular job". They brainstormed their mutual interests; shopping was an obvious candidate but didn't seem to inspire any real way to make money; event planning sounded interesting but didn't look promising for the area. At this time, photography was taking a new turn toward photojournalism and this really struck a chord within them. Partnered with a mutual love of taking pictures, the idea of Tiptoe Studios was carefully pieced together. All of the tedious beginning details were taken care of; the business was formally made an LLC, they became joyful contributers to the West Virginia State Tax Department and acquired their business license. In July of 2008, after taking classes, attending seminars and mastering how to edit, Tiptoe Studios was officially born!
In the early years, Tiptoe Studios was primarily an on-location studio, traveling to Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, Charles Town and Winchester to conduct photo shoots and ordering sessions. In October of 2010, the Tiptoe trio signed a lease for studio space on Washington Street in downtown Charles Town. After an interesting and far too involved decorating process in which 3 different visions had to be satisfied, Tiptoe Studios debuted their new studio space with smashing success! Things were moving along beautifully and business was not only booming but bursting at the seams...so what next?
Our next addition to the Tiptoe family was Miss Ande Compton, our talented office manager and Charles Town photographer! Each year we receive numerous emails from people wanting to work with/for us. Ande's email came at precisely the right time and she made a big impression on us at her initial interview. We were smitten right away and are delighted to have Ande onboard! She recently made the decision to sign on as our new photographer based in Charles Town. She has a fresh, modern style that adds a dash of excitement to the Tiptoe brand!
Because we love to keep ourselves busy and set an insane pace, we recently took on several new projects. We recently came across a fabulous opportunity to expand our business in the form of a new and severely larger studio space. After being shown the space and instantly falling in love, we have finally settled into our new studio at 217 W Washington St in downtown Charles Town. Feel free to stop in and visit!
At the beginning of 2014, we again decided that we were ready to grow! Since it has already been noted that persistance pays off, we turned our eyes to Beth Williams, a longtime client of ours who had always expressed a great interest in becoming a Tiptoe girl. We made it official January 2015 and love watching our business expand into the Winchester, Virginia area. Her drive and enthusiasm have already proven that great things are in store!
The girls of Tiptoe Studios know that customer service is the cornerstone of any successful business. They are constantly brainstorming to come up with ideas that are fresh, new and original. Tara is head of ordering sessions, communications, scheduling, marketing, finances and everything behind the scenes. If you would like to book a session, need information or have any issues, she's your lady! This frees Jennifer and Lisa up to concentrate on YOU, the client, and give you the best Tiptoe experience possible.
The girls love what they do and share a passion not only for photography but for people. With the help of their loyal clients, the Tiptoe girls are living their dream!
Want more about each of us? Check out our blog and search the "real life" category.