Haley Haynes, SHOP TEAM Lead
Haley is a born & raised Tucson gal. She’s lived in this city for her whole life, but she didn’t fall in love with it until she moved to the downtown area at the beginning of her college career. The charm, history, and diversity of community caught her eye and heart. She’s a student at the University of Arizona, a creative who enjoys using a variety of mediums, and a desert enthusiast. Haley can’t wait to talk to you about Tucson food and the U of A’s basketball team when she sees you in the shop. When she’s not at work or school, find her creating at Haley Makes Things.
EMILY RICH, SHOP TEAM
Growing up, Emily never knew how to answer the question, "where are you from," since she moved frequently. Ask her that question now and she won't hesitate to say: Tucson, Arizona. Moving around allowed Emily to appreciate different regions of the country but never did she find a place quite like Tucson - with its unique beauty, warm people, and small-town feel. Emily has been a self-proclaimed "Why I Love Where I Live fan-girl" since early on; now that she has joined the team, you will find her at our events and in the shop, excited to meet other locals and visitors embracing the spaces around us!
GRACE BECK, SHOP TEAM
Grace is a native Tucsonan with a huge love for elephants, chips and salsa and anything floral! She left Tucson to attend college in Flagstaff, but recently moved back about three years ago with her husband. When we asked her to be a part of the shop community, she says she’s found just that — a community. Her work inside the shop is important to her because it brings her closer to her city roots and the people who live in it. Being a part of something unique in her city like Why I Love Where I Live brings her great joy! Find Grace arranging and styling florals at Wyld Root.
RYAN TRAYTE, LEAD DESIGNER
Ryan runs a small graphic design studio called Saywells Design Company. He has been working and designing for local business owners in downtown Tucson for more than 10 years. And each relationship is built on pride of work, community, and environment. Ryan, his wife and two kids are true desert dwellers with a huge appreciation for the little things—like the smell after a storm, desert wildflowers, and great-horned owls. He is inspired by the passion his design work brings to friends, family and strangers spotted locally and elsewhere. When you create something for others with love, the love spreads!
RYCARDO BIA, PHOTOGRAPHER
Rycardo was a big fan of the brand, when WILWIL shared a couple of his photos on their social media accounts. When he was asked to do a couple shots, he jumped to the idea of working with a brand that he felt had seen Tucson as a beautiful as he saw it. He’s lived in Tucson most of his life. Starting out by taking pictures of the amazing Tucson sunsets with his phone, he eventually picked up his old camera and began taking pictures of things he wanted to showcase about Tucson. Beyond the images you’d always find from Tucson, he wanted to present unique perspectives of the city, the desert, and just things that caught his eye in generall. Through becoming a self-taught photographer, he’s developed a deeper appreciation of the beauty in his city and landscape it has to offer. He’s found support from the local photo community and enjoyed the beautiful cultures that inhabit this place called Tucson.
Kristin TovaR, Owner & Founder
What started out as discontent for where she lived turned into a surprise “happily ever after” story that continues to shape the way she lives every day, with purpose and intentionality. She’s seen an experiment in gratitude grow into a movement of encouraging others to appreciate their surroundings and take notice of all that Tucson has to offer. She has the great honor of getting to do a variety of work in her city and community, including raising two beautiful humans.
TEENA DARE, WRITING CONTRIBUTOR
Teena has only lived in sun-soaked cities and plans to keep it that way. She moved to Tucson from Phoenix with her husband, Reese, when he matched in an ER residency at UMC. So far her favorite things about Tucson are the historic homes, hospitable people and the diverse topography. She spends her nights mixing drinks and her days with her daughter and pointador puppy while reading and writing at local coffee shops. She loves capturing the passions of others in words that can connect their vision to the community. That is why she’s so excited to highlight the many local gems around Tucson.
ALEX TovaR, CHAMPION
As a native of Tucson, Alex never felt compelled to leave his hometown. However, it wasn’t until his wife Kristin began her journey of learning to love where she lives, that he truly started to understand the importance of appreciating his surroundings. He enjoys exploring the places that make cities unique, and has a special love for urban spaces that bring people together. Alex is often found walking around downtown with his wife and kids, looking for new things to love about Tucson. He hopes to inspire others to engage with what's happening in their local communities. You'll find him at special events supporting our team!