Sensipreneur Series [no.1] Poets for the People

by Caroline van Kimmenade

“If I let my advisors tell me what to say, I’d be quoting Shakespeare and the Nasdaq all in one sentence!” ~Jennifer Styperk

In the Sensipreneur Series I interview HSPs who have made sensitivity a big part of their own business. This (e-mail) interview from early 2013* is with poet and CEO Jennifer Styperk from

* Sadly, as of December 2019, PoetrySalon is no longer in existence.


photo of poetry salon bespoke giftA quick intro to Jennifer’s business: At* you can order a poem that is especially written for the person you want to honour.

By means of a personal interview, a specially selected poet from will gather all the needed details to capture the emotions you so want to convey to someone special.

The end result is a professional poem written just for the occasion. This poem can be delivered as a simple words-on paper product or in the form of a design object.

At “abstract emotion” is truly made tangible.


How has – when you look back – your sensitivity proven to be an advantage in having and running your own business?

“My sensitivity has kept me on this long road to inventing As a child, I felt everything I saw go on for each of my family members with such intensity, I thought for sure I could do something great with the observations and feelings.”


Could you share a little about how these observations led to creating

“I have based a business on sharing the talents and gifts of HSPs, that is deeply feeling, sensing, intuiting, listening and longing to give back.

As a poet, I wanted to share the lens of metaphors and imagery within everyone’s relationships and each individual’s life. That is, at, we listen intently to your memories and stories and mirror these feelings and memories, adding the insights of the poet, to create a poem to read aloud to a loved one or colleague.”


image of bespoke poem with penWhat are some of the ways in which your business inspires you as an HSP?

“As a sensitive, listening to another and mirroring back their stories, feelings and memories creates a great sense of satisfaction. One of course that I must, as a sensitive, balance by validating my own actions, feelings, thoughts, stories, memories and experiences as well.

I love speaking to people, once you get me out of the house and to an event or speaking engagement, I’m inspired by the people I meet, stories I hear, and the feedback we receive from our clients, some of whom became fast friends.

With I remain inspired to help others enhance, celebrate and even at times heal relationships.”


Healing relationships with poetry, that’s intriguing. Do you have an example that you could share?

“Well, there is a portion of clients who come to us talking about a separation and recent reuniting with a spouse.

One particular client said that her husband’s complaint was that she does not tell him her feelings, she does not express to him what she feels about him, hence our services and her poem.

Others come back to us later and say that we highlighted or observed something in their relationship that they were not yet aware of and this new found awareness helped them to grow.

Anytime you tell someone why you appreciate them you are making way a road to more clear and open communication, you are making it possible for someone to hear you because they feel that they have been heard.


What are some of the unexpected aspects of being a Sensipreneur for you?

“I’d say that the business world is not expecting a sensitive. So when I speak up and out, or share or help someone else with their marketing, or anything, I often bring intuitive and unexpected insights and improvements.

I can notice more quickly than most (the non sensitives) what a person is feeling and how to redirect their reactions and responses. That is, once I learned how to identify my own sensitivities, apply this awareness to myself and others, I am better able to close sales more efficiently! We all want to feel listened to and understood.”


photo of bespoke proposal poem with ring around the rolled up poem


What is one thing you still struggle with with regards to being a Sensipreneur?

“Oh, I hate to admit it, but it is incredibly hard for me to get out of bed. It is as if with each new day, old struggles, whether from my dreams or memory, come down and scream in my face to stay in bed, for the world will be a better place with out my silly, intense feelings all the time.

My high school friends lovingly but mockingly made fun of me for always asking each of them, “how are you feeling,” and truly wanting an honest answer.

I can get lost in my own feelings. And getting lost in my own feelings can trap me and prevent me from helping other artists and poets to get their gifts to the people and receive the validation of appreciation and monetary validation for their creations.

I suppose my greatest struggle is to daily reset, start anew, and remember the lessons I’ve learned to help harness my sensitivity rather than allow the defense mechanisms of this gift to weigh me down, to anchor me, to sink me.”


What is the one thing you would have liked to know (and that you now do know) about being a Sensipreneur when you first considered starting your own business?

“There is still so much more to learn. The most important lesson I learned was that I am not alone. That there are others who struggle with their ability to feel the energy around them and that many have risen up and expressed these gifts and traits for the greater good, rather than stay under the covers.”


photo of poetry salon gift packaging


What are 2 ways in which you have diverted from classic business models to suit your sensitivity?

“One of the devils that I have put upon my shoulder, a means to try not to be sensitive, is the devil that prods and pokes me to be someone that I am not.

Each day, I deliberately and actively thank that devil and let her know that I am choosing the path of being my sensitive, happy self. For example, when I’m interviewed for a press piece for, I am sure to let my loud laugh loose, ask any questions that I intuit or that come to mind, and share my energy and passion without reserve.

Rather than trying to act like a CEO, I strive to share my whole, sensitive, wonderful self. And if there is a time for feedback or press (positive or negative), I surround myself with my brother and fiancé before taking a look. They help me to celebrate who I am and also offer light and encouragement for when the answers or feedback seem to misunderstand me.

So, um, striving to share my sensitive side is one way in which I deviate from a classic business model, because if I let my advisor’s tell me what to say, I’d be quoting Shakespeare and the Nasdaq all in one sentence!

It is hard to separate out the sensitive versus classic elements of my business model. The crux of my innovation for the greeting and gift industry is that I’ve taken a mass market industry in the, eh-hem multi-billion dollar profit range, and personalized it by aggregating talent and creating an exclusive matching system.

That is, we learn a lot about each and every poet in our network of over 600 professional, published poets, and have created a system to match their talents with the needs of a client. In this way, I am not asking any artist to change their methods, style, process and being. I am merely learning about it and leveraging their unique talents by matching each artist with the right client, and therefore each client with the perfect artist best suited to reflect their stories, feelings and memories in a poem.

I see this matching system as taking a strong stand for sensitives, many of whom are artistic, by saying we want you and your talents exactly as you are and we can offer pay to validate, warmly receive and appreciate your talents.”

Visit Poetry Salon here:

Twitter: @thepoetrysalon

Facebook: Poetry Salon


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