Hi, I’m Kjirsten!
Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to help people discover, explore and realize their full potential through authentic connections with themselves and others. It took me years to develop an awareness of who I am and the courage to engage with others authentically to develop strong social and professional connections. I have a passion for helping others discover the power of authentic connection and live the life they want.
What we’re doing with Connection Zoo® is very personal for me. Growing up I didn’t know how to talk about my anxiety or ask for help. When my anxiety made it difficult for me to breathe, the only tool I had was a paper bag (Read Learning to Breathe). My journey was tougher than it needed to be. The good news is, I’m healthy and happy and using the gifts I’ve gained – like courage, in particular, to do great things for myself and others. I also had the experience as a parent with kids who experienced anxiety; each of them with different triggers and behaviors.
After many years of corporate business experience, I decided I needed to make a change. My experiences inspired me to partner with my son, Taylor, to further develop Connection Zoo®, the product he designed to address the needs of children with social worry and anxiety. I continue to provide coaching and consulting services to individuals and organizations to build connections that raise performance and create greater well-being for themselves and others.
Hi, I’m Taylor!
Throughout my life I have been very comfortable making authentic connections with people and have found a great sense of happiness and well-being as a result of the meaningful relationships I have developed. I would love for everyone to be able to thrive, or at least be more comfortable, in social situations and have people in their lives they can lean on when they need support.
I graduated from college with a degree in Industrial (Product) Design from Iowa State. The idea for Connection Zoo® came as a result of research that revealed the growing prevalence of social anxiety and the strong link between our social connections and our health and happiness. I discovered that many of my classmates were affected by social anxiety. It was important to me to create a solution for younger kids so they can develop and practice confidence and skills during their critical development years and be more equipped to manage anxiety they may experience when they enter the pre-teen years, which is the time many kids struggle in social situations.
Together, we are on a journey to create human connection that improves lives.
Our Core Beliefs
We believe it’s important to:
- We are all capable of great things when we discover, accept and share the gifts that come from who we are authentically.
Create More Human Connection.
- We must prioritize human connection as we continue to rely more on technology for work, play and connection to ensure our well-being and performance don’t suffer.
- Awareness and Conversation are power tools for connection.
Use Technology as a Tool.
- We must use technology to enhance human connection and play, not replace it.
Ask for and Accept Help.
- Together we are stronger than we are alone. We all need to have a support team that tells us what we need to hear and cheers us on, but doesn’t try to “fix” us.
- We need to play, move, experience and experiment to learn, develop and grow.
- When parents and kids engage in play together stronger connection, understanding and bonds are created.
- Social and emotional intelligence and skills are key to our happiness, health and performance.
- Attention to our mental health is as important as to our physical health; we should all have regular mental health fitness practices
- There are no quick fixes. Practices that become habits are the key to change.