Lykke Communities was born out of a burning desire to make a lasting impact on the communities that we serve in how people connect to one another. The idea was inspired by an observation I made in two neighborhoods–within the same small town–and the different experiences my family shared.
A Tale of Two Neighborhoods
Our first neighborhood in New Ulm was in one of the historic streets, blocks of 100+ year homes–most with back alleys and uninterrupted sidewalks. Within 24 hours of moving into this neighborhood, we knew all of our immediate neighbors and many from within the surrounding blocks. We found that the alley garage gave each of us a minimum of two opportunities daily to interact with other people as we ventured from the house, to the detached garage.
These casual daily interactions led to a sense of community that we had not previously experienced in a neighborhood, and resulted in close friendships, babysitters, and a network of people who had each other’s back. When our grill was inadvertently delivered to our next door neighbor’s house, he and his son realized the error and hand-delivered the 250-pound grill to our patio before my family even realized it had been delivered to the wrong location.
A science teacher across the back alley brought my three-year old an aquarium in the spring and taught her how to find and feed caterpillar larvae that we then got to watch grow into beautiful butterflies that we then released.
Our next door neighbors became some of our closest friends, and there were many evenings that we would see the beacon of their campfire and know that it was an open invitation to join. It was close enough to allow our baby monitor to reach, so we could still enjoy the social time with friends without needing to arrange for a babysitter.
When our dryer quit working abruptly during my son’s infant stage–a moment of parent panic!–our neighbors gave us use of their dryer so we wouldn’t need to run to a laundromat….and interfere with my child’s naps.
The sidewalks were safe places for my child to play without worrying about vehicles backing over the sidewalk–and my daughter spent hours on our front porch reading books and greeting neighbors and passersby. We felt safe and secure, knowing that our neighbors had our back, and we had theirs.
Two years later, we moved across town to a shiny, newer neighborhood where garages were attached to homes, and where we were told gaggles of kids lived–more of a suburban feel. After several weeks, we still had not met more than one or two neighbors. To this day, I still do not know the neighbors living across the street from me.
Even though we now had the creature comforts of a more modern home, I found myself missing the community from our previous neighborhood. This idea planted a seed of inspiration–highlighting for me the benefits of social connection, and how critically important the physical design of our communities is in influencing how we interact with one another….or how we are isolated.
About Our Founder – Brianne Taralson
Brie is a visionary, a joy-seeker; a musician and photographer; a mom of two, a wife, and a demonstrated healthcare and community leader. Her family moved frequently during her formative years, building a skill set at an early age for adaptability, openness to change, and the ability to form and maintain relationships.
Brie spent the first 10+ years of her career serving in a large healthcare system in the Fargo-Moorhead area, first as a Lean Six Sigma-certified continuous improvement expert, and eventually shifting into regional operations leadership for cancer care. During her time at the Cancer Center, she was asked to take on additional responsibilities by representing the health system on regional community health efforts including ReThink Mental Health and The People Project. During this time, Brie discovered a passion for mental health and well-being–particularly on the prevention side of the spectrum. This is where she began learning about the foundations of Lykke Communities: namely, positive psychology, the importance of social connections as protective factors for mental health, and key indicators correlated with the world’s happiest people and communities.
In 2018, Brie and her family relocated to New Ulm, MN where she served as a senior leader for a hub of rural multi-specialty clinics within another large health system. Life was full–she was expanding her family and was on the career climb. Enter: COVID-19.
The pandemic left healthcare delivery organizations–and virtually the entire world–in a state of disarray and crisis. Brie found her workload exponentially increased overnight at a time she was expecting her second child and when every project seemed like an emergency. She experienced firsthand the symptoms of burnout and isolation that affected so many people during that time–prompting her to step out of senior leadership. Within the next few months, Brie experienced a series of losses.
The trauma of this unfortunate sequence of events prompted Brie to re-evaluate her values, her priorities, and how she was spending her time.
Brie’s vocation became suddenly clear: to help heal the community by focusing work on creating meaningful social connections, and building more resilient structures that help us weather the storms–and celebrations–of life. In August of 2022, Brie founded Lykke Communities LLC.