What is TiffinTalk?
TiiffinTalk is a company that creates cards that help people build stronger relationships through the power of face-to-face, one-on-one conversations.
In a time where we have learned to rely on technology as an efficient means of communication, we are coming to realize what is often lost in our texts – and, as a result – in our lives.
TiffinTalk believes in looking up, not down, to communicate. We encourage people to scan faces not screens. We promote emotions over emoticons. Voice over text. Eye contact over anonymity.
TiffinTalk wants to help people connect directly and, in the truest sense of the word, wirelessly.
What do TiffinTalk cards do?
- prompt the return of focused time together.
- provide thought-provoking, open-ended questions.
- encourage creative and critical thinking skills.
- lead to engaging conversations.
- create stronger foundations for lifelong relationships.
Tech Off. Talk On.
Who Uses TiffinTalk?
Created by Kat Rowan and reviewed by parents, educators, and child development & mental health professionals, TiffinTalk cards reintroduce participants to each other by using engaging and challenging content to prompt conversations. TiffinTalk cards are used by:
- Parents, grandparents, foster parents, & guardians
- Classroom teachers, teachers of exceptional students (at both ends of the spectrum)
- Speech therapists, behavioral therapists, occupational therapists . . .
- Mental health professionals – including those in private practice and school settings
- Pastoral care workers
- Senior parents and their adult children
- Senior care facility staff and their clients
Who can use TiffinTalk cards? Anybody who wants to build a stronger relationship based on face-to-face communication.
But . . . What is a Tiffin, Anyway?
A "tiffin" is a multi-tiered food carrier commonly used for lunches in India and also the Indian English word for a mid-day meal.
We called the company "TiffinTalk" for three reasons: to show our intention to make globally-relevant products for a globally relevant issue; to show that we're much more than just 'lunch notes'; and to have a name that is delightfully alliterative, melodic, and rhythmic: "TiffinTalk"!
Meet the Founders
Kat Rowan - Founder, CEO, and Creative Director
A graduate of Wellesley College with degrees in both mathematics and psychology, I have worked as an educator, editor, administrator and consultant and have held positions in major corporations as well as taught classes, led departments, and founded programs in high schools and at the university level both in the United States and Singapore. I have specific interests in children’s understanding of mental health and, in the case of TiffinTalk, of not only helping children develop and maintain critical and creative thinking skills, but also in helping people talk to one another directly without, whenever possible, technology as the intermediary.
I am the mother of 2 daughters who continually remind me that I am as much teacher and role model as I am student. TiffinTalk is the product of 16 years and several thousand cards that I wrote daily for my girls. The end result was closets of shoeboxes of saved cards. But the best gift ever were the tens of thousands of conversations that we've had and continue to have. We've laughed together. We've cried. We've talked through weeks and months of separation. I am, I often tell them, a lucky mama.
In my determined-to-have spare time, I run marathons so I can think (and talk), listen to audio books, appreciate music, and care for 4 cats while learning to love dogs.
Michael Friesen - Director of Operations and Technology
Currently Director of Operations and Technology with TiffinTalk Inc and Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario, I am also a project manager and technology designer as well as a teacher, editor, graphic designer, and educational technology consultant. I was Project Manager for the UK "Jamie's 15-Minute Meals" app, which saw 800,000 downloads and #1 status, and I have been nationally broadcast as a musical satirist. I have lived and worked internationally for twenty years and find that I am most comfortable working with multicultural and neurodiverse colleagues. A firm believer in finding the balance between technology and ‘touchology’, I created several platforms for TiffinTalk's thousands of cards – truly a worthy challenge!
I have been awarded a utility patent for an entirely new kind of modular synthesizer. I run marathons, recite questionable poetry, write books (yet to be published), and chop wood. I am allergic to cats.
Photos of Kat Rowan & Michael Friesen by Tim Eulie.