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About the business


Plants, like humans and animals, have certain needs for nourishment and growth. Through years of healing and personal growth, our founder Karen Haugen, was inspired by the amazing spiritual process of a sunflower seed developing into a tall, strong, intricately beautiful and proud plant. The sunflowers in Karen’s garden represented resiliency and authenticity; they didn’t compete with other flowers, nor did they get stuck in a spiral of shame and suffering after a strong wind storm knocked them around. They naturally turned towards the nourishing light, anchored themselves with a strong root system in the earth, hydrated through the roots and leaned on each other for extra support. Karen continued to evolve in her beliefs that there are many ways of knowing and being; wisdom doesn’t only come from traditional education systems. In 2019, recognizing how lived experience and wisdom found in nature can help all humans heal and grow, Karen founded The Sage Sunflower, Inc. 

The Sage Sunflower’s mission is to help humans reach their full potential, heal, grow and connect with community by bridging the gap that currently exists in our institutions and systems. After years of working in public service, our founder recognized the need for more support and educational resources for front-line service workers and their leaders. Our services are specialized to build knowledge and skills for positive mental health integrated into workplace training and wellness support.

About our founder

Karen Haugen


Psychological Health and Safety Advisor

Certified Wellness Practitioner

Grief Recovery Specialist

Karen has been helping and teaching people since the age of 6; she had a school set up in her childhood home where she taught neighborhood children how to read. She has a strong intuitive ability to connect with humans, animals and nature- often bringing the three together. Since her first job 18 years ago as a grocery store cashier, Karen has gained a wealth of experience working in public service roles.

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Combining life experience (sage) wisdom with formal education, Karen designed education modules for service industry staff and business leaders through the start-up of her company, The Sage Sunflower, Inc. Karen is brave and open to discuss difficult topics, while maintaining confidentiality and trust with the people she serves. Businesses and teams have noticed a shift in their cultures in part due to her efforts to build healthier practices.  Clients describe Karen as someone who is easy to talk to, who understands their pain, while offering inspiration and hope to build resilience and confidence.

Karen holds a Bachelor of Education degree through the University of Alberta. In addition, Karen is a Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor through the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and a Certified Wellness Practitioner (CWP) through the National Wellness Institute.

These experiences involve serving, educating and coaching humans aged 5-85 in schools, sports, mental healthcare, emergency services, hospitality and the airline industry. Throughout these roles it became apparent that Karen was someone people feel safe to go to for help when they are struggling. Karen has successfully led a provincially recognized program on effective helping skills- paving the way by bringing it into schools in need of support. Passionate about building sustainable healthy cultures, Karen volunteers as a Health Coach with youth football teams to enhance their mental health and relational skills.

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