We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Haugen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kimberly, how does your business help the community?
I started my Etsy business so I could help my Dad. My mom passed away on January 27th, 2020. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in September 2019 and with the stress of losing his wife of 47 years, his Parkinson’s progressed very fast. In April 2020, I quit my job and moved in with him to be his full time caregiver.

I had no income, and I have always enjoyed being creative, so I thought I would try to earn a bit of income by starting up an online business. I started out by designing T-shirts and baby clothes, but have since expanded to backpacks and sportswear. When I get a create idea for a product, I add it to my store.

While the focus right now is caring for my dad, my desire is to assist non-profits by donating portions of the sale price of specifically created products designed to showcase their mission. As my store builds a great reputation, I will be designing more to help those individuals and organizations continue their impact in their chosen outreach, whether it be animals or people.

My first product is a rhino shirt to help care for endangered white rhino’s in South Africa. They are always struggling for the funds to care for over 2000 of these amazing creatures and bring them back from the brink. I lived in South Africa for several years and it is my second home. The people and animals of this stunningly beautifully country has imprinted upon my heart and I will always be drawn there.

I was a missionary in 20 different countries for 8 years and it is my passion to help those in need. I would like to fulfill that passion while I’m caring for my dad. Anyone who has been a caregiver for someone they love, knows how demanding that roll is. This is one way I can get my thoughts out of the house and his declining health and know I’m helping others as well by using my creative juices. Allowing those creative ideas to flow, allows me to get a mental break while still being there to love on my dad.

My online business starts by helping with my mental health, then goes to allowing me to keep my dad safe by being by his side as we maneuver through the struggles of Parkinson’s and finally out to the world to help those who are giving their everything to help those around them. This is a cycle that never ends and I want to take part in that amazing cycle.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
If skills, loves and passions are passed down from one generation to the next, this would have to be my answer for pursuing the two things in my life. Photography and believing that Jesus is the Christ, just as He claimed.

My great-great paternal grandmother, Thyra Kringelbach Haugen, was truly a woman before her time. Her love for the relatively new art form of photography put her into a class all her own. In the early 1900’s, she would take a covered wagon on a week long journey into the wilderness of Choteau, Montana. The wagon was her darkroom where she would process glass plates. She took one photo that was a collection of upwards of 12 glass plates. She had to send to Germany so the multiple plates could be printed into one long final product. When she got the finished prints back, it was a long photo of about 6 feet long. In the early 1920’s she opened her own photo studio on Missoula, Montana and gave the iconic photo to her customers at her photo studio. It was known as “Fifty Miles of the Rockies”. Haugen Photography Studio was well known for the quality of her photography.

Several other family members, including my father, had a passion and skill for their photography. I continued on in the tradition and adding video to my visual story telling skills. I have a degree in Digital Photography and graduated from the School of Videography in Fish Hoek, South Africa via the missions organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM).

This is where my maternal side of the family crosses paths with my paternal side.

In 1997, I starting going on short term missions trips to Mystora, Russia to work with children in an orphanage. In 1999, I entered into full time ministry with YWAM. As it turns out, my 8 times great grandfather came from Bern, Switzerland just before the Revolutionary war to escape religious persecution. Several of my great grandfathers were ministers in the Mennonite church and missionaries.

So, the artistic and faith in Christ appears to be in my DNA.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

I grew up in Arizona and there are so many amazing things to see and do here, a week really isn’t enough time, but let see what we can pack into this adventure.

I would take you on a journey from top to the bottom of the state, starting at the Grand Canyon. To stand on the edge and look into this Wonder of the World site will literally take your breath away. This is an all day adventure because the beauty of the canyon changes as the sun moves along its path in the sky. Colors explode before your eyes while parts of the rock glisten in the sun. It is hard not to be mesmerized by it’s beauty.

Mule Ride!! Reservations made as soon as I heard you were coming for a visit, I’m so glad you plan your visit so far in advance. I book this memorable adventure for the two of use. We will be riding the Grand Canyon Mules down to Phantom Ranch for a one night stay at the bottom of the canyon. Once we get past the nail biting ride down the narrow, pin turn path where one misplaced hoof could be the end of both you and the beast of burden, the scenery changes at the bottom the closer we get to the ranch. It’s still desert, but there are tall, green trees providing shade to weary travelers. After getting settled into our “if these walls could talk” basic accommodation, we walk down to the Colorado River and dip our toes in while looking up at the colorful striations in the canyon walls.

The next morning we ride the mules back up to the top and after 5 and half hours, our bottoms are stiff and sore, but there is no time for the weary. We have Sedona on the list for tonight’s dinner reservations.

Taking our time, we arrive in Sedona and check into our hotel before heading out to Casa Sedona Restaurant for dinner. Another wonderful selection to please any pallet. The tamales are tradition, the tacos timeless and the enchiladas are enchanting. And in the morning, a return visit is called for due to their amazing breakfast choices. We’re going to need a full belly as we head off in a pink jeep from the world famous Pink Jeeps Tours. Whereas the Grand Canyon was a burst of color from the entire rainbow gamut, the red rocks of Sedona are known for their different shades of red.

After a heart pounding adventure on the back of mules, I think today we deserve a break and we will be seeing Native American History on this journey. A leisurely 3 hours of exploring ancient ruins from the Honanki Heritage Site, where the indigenous Sinagua people lived and worked between A.D. 1150 and 1350. The ride isn’t so rough and a lot of it will be walking and allowing our minds to drift back to the time when these people called this special place home such a long time ago.

When we return to Sedona, we stop at Tlaquepaque to do a bit of shopping and have a late lunch along Oak Creek Canyon. The babbling sounds of the water allow our minds to drift back and recall the beautiful wonders we have experienced so far.

After a calm day exploring Sedona’s history up close and personal, we head off for the short drive to the old mining town of Jerome. Tonight may get our hearts pumping and hairs on edges as we spend what could prove to be a sleepless night at the Jerome Grand Hotel. Now, I’m not going to say it’s haunted, but a lot of people have had some unexplainable, hair raising experiences there.

Like so many western towns in the 1880’s, Jerome came grew from a small mining town into the third largest town in Arizona. And similar to other Arizona towns, like Tombstone, there was lack of moral aptitude, what with 37 saloons, 13 houses of ill repute all working against the meager four churches. It’s no wonder the town needed a hospital. Perhaps the churches were competing against the hospital as well. The hospital closed it’s doors in the 1950’s and didn’t re-open as a hotel until 1994.

We will only find out later tonight if we will be sharing a room with one of these miners of long ago may still reside in the building, believing it to still be a hospital and we are their caretakers. Don’t a lot of old hospitals still have patients residing there?

Before our possible heart pounding interaction with a spirit, I’ll take you on a walking tour of Jerome. Each store showcases truly unique arts and crafts created by those who now call Jerome home. The living that is, not the spirits. For dinner, The Asylum Restaurant patio offers us a delicious meal along with a stunning view of the Verde Valley that stretches out below us. At least the view will keep our minds off what the night holds in store.

I won’t go into how the night went. If you’re reading this, you know we made it out alive. You’re just going to have to experience it for yourself. You might not believe me if I told you all that happened.

Next, we are heading to Africa. No, you won’t need your passport and we are not “leaving on a jet plane,’ but we are going on safari in Camp Verde where we will be taking a photography safari with Kathleen Reeder at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park. National Geographic, your next nature photographers are right now. Two hours taking photos, and days editing them and reliving the amazing moments behind each capture.

Our next amazing Arizona finds are going to be on the road. A beautiful drive through the Salt River Canyon with beautiful vistas, to seeing the Superstition Mountains, we are making our way down to Tucson to see multitudes of a plant only found in the Sanoran Dessert, the mighty Saguaro Cactus. There are literally thousands of Saguaro Cacti found in the Saguaro National Park. We’ll be exploring ancient petroglyphs from ancient Hohokam people and taking in the views of these multi-centennial cacti. A cactus needs to be over 100 years old before it starts growing it’s first arm. These cacti have multiple arms and many have been here before this country was a country.

After spending a night near the park, we are heading off to our last stop on the top to bottom Arizona tour, the infamous Tombstone. “Who’s your huckleberry?”

A hundred years ago, Jerome was notorious for it’s lawlessness, but today artists have made the town their own. It’s history not on full display. Not the same with Tombstone. The town too tough to die has held onto its violent past. No artistic creations on display for all to see. The OK Corral and blood shed cemented the town’s current life blood. Let’s walk down the well preserved street where the OK corral was located and the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday walked down to the famous shoot out location. Sitting in a tall set of bleachers we can watch a re-enactment of those 30 seconds where three men lost their lives. After the dramatic recreation of the shootout, we’ll head to the The Birdcage Theater and perhaps we’ll see another type of performance. Perhaps we’ll capture something unexplained with our cameras during the tour.

After spending the night in Tombstone and visiting Boot Hill the next morning, we head back to Phoenix so you can catch your plane back home. It’s been a whirlwind visit and such a joy to be able to show you around my state, the Grand Canyon State and you can witness some of the beauty we desert rats enjoy. Come out again for a visit because we just scratched the surface. There’s so much more to see and do.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Dad deserves so much recognition for all he has done for me. See, my dad is actually my step dad. James Dunn married my mom when I was just shy of my 5th birthday. He raised me and my brothers as his own. He doesn’t have any biological children, but the way he cared and took care of use, no one would ever know we are not his.

It is now my honor and privileged to be there for him when he needs assistance. It’s hard to see him fight the changes happening in his body and mind due to this horrible disease. I will be there to fight along side him and I’m honored to call him my dad!

Website: https://www.littleknollmedia.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LittleKnollMedia

Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleKnollMedia

Image Credits
The photo of me with the kids in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa: Photo Credit: Debra Bell

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.