"I wanted questions that prompted fresh conversation. Some that would lead us down memory lane and remember the good old days and those that would help us dream together."
Local mum of three, Jennifer Short, 33 from Downend, Bristol is celebrating the start of an exciting new business venture, having launched her passion-project that she’s been working on for the last 3 years, thanks to receiving crowdfunded support from backers globally.
Funding in excess of £5,000 has seen Jennifer able to bring her novel idea to market and it couldn’t be more timely as she celebrates her 10 year wedding anniversary with her husband - her first guinea pig for her business idea.
Jennifer has created a couples game, intended to help build connection and conversation as she desires to help other couples connect in a fun and meaningful way after finding this approach worked so well for her own relationship.
Q Cards contains instructions and 52 question cards working across three levels of increasing depth. All questions have been carefully curated and tested with the aim of the cards helping to spark fresh and meaningful moments of connection through interesting questions.
The three levels that are incorporated are:-
● REFLECT - light-hearted to open up the conversation
● REVEAL - eliciting a more personal/emotional response
● RELATE - questions specific to you as a couple
Q Cards are aimed at all couples, they are accessible for those 18 -118, for those that have been together for 5 days or 50+ years and everything in between, for those newly together, newly in love, newly engaged, newlywed, new parents, new empty nesters, newly retired and lovers of a new experience…
They came about from Jennifer’s own personal experience of feeling a bit disconnected from her husband, both busy and tired from the day to day juggles with full-time work and a young family. Like many couples the transition of going from newly-weds to parents (whilst relocating and starting new careers) was tough to navigate.
Inspired by an article she had read in the New York times which featured the work of a psychology professor, Dr Arthur Aron; Jennifer read how the study had taken two complete strangers who’d never met before and made them fall in love in his lab. How? They sat face to face and answered questions that became increasingly more intimate, followed by 4 minutes of uninterrupted eye contact. Six months later, they were married! Jen said: “I wondered how the questions could be adapted for someone already IN love...”
Having already completed a global marriage enrichment course, which her and her husband undertook before having children, Jennifer recalled the emphasis on communicating well, enjoying regular quality time and learning to speak each other’s love language.
Jennifer said: I still remember the first warm-up task we were given which was to simply turn to your partner and describe, just to them, the moment you first fell for them. There was so much magic in that moment – the beauty in remembering and expressing aloud how you had felt and to hear the story from your partners perspective. It created a sense of closeness through the disclosure, echoing the findings of Dr Aron’s study.
Jennifer wanted to use the theory and began looking for a conversation game to take on an anniversary weekend to recreate some of that magic but couldn’t find what she had wanted “The only products I could find had questions that were closed and a bit superficial or too crude or intense. I was surprised at how negative many of them were - who is the worst backseat driver? Which item of your partners would you like to throw away? .”
“I wanted questions that prompted fresh conversation. Some that would lead us down memory lane and remember the good old days and those that would help us dream together. Questions that would spark a conversation that was meaningful, interesting, fun and positive... so in the end I created my own.
Jen’s questions had such a great impact on her own relationship with her husband, that she decided to play cupid for some of her friends. She said: "I started out by writing some of my favourite questions on slips of paper and posting them through the doors of friends in wax-sealed envelopes - step aside Milk Tray Man! It was such a buzz to hear later how they'd been so well received and I wanted to test them on every age and stage and the overwhelming feedback was so positive that I had to keep going.”
“I believe that there is something truly magical and mysterious that happens in a great conversation; to be truly present, to share your story and to listen to theirs. To exchange something authentic that allows you to really know them and to be known by them, piece by piece. This is what these luxurious cards are designed to do – to spark fun and meaningful moments of connection for couples through questions, curiosity and conversation.”
Jen has always been fascinated by people, from her early career as a midwife, to her more recent role as a Sales Director, she was always focused on building relationships and having strong communication skills - a focus that saw her excel in her career. Following a career stop, where she was on garden leave following voluntary redundancy from a 10 year role as a Sales Director, Jen decided to launch a Kickstarter to help fund her passion-project that she had been developing whilst on maternity leave . She wanted to use this time wisely to explore the opportunity of launching this as a business opportunity and share her couple card game with the world.
After a couple of years of development and testing Jen launched her Kickstarter in October 2019 and the project was so well received that her £3K goal was fully funded in less than a week. She sent 280 packs into 20 countries, over 5 continents in less than one month! Jen said; “I was overwhelmed, I thought some of my friends and family would back me, but it never occurred to me that strangers around the world would get on board!”
Comments from her first few customers show that this is something being extremely well received: “
"I learnt real new things about my husband that we have never talked about before. We got through a bottle of wine and 11 questions in a whole evening. It was a really enjoyable experience, can’t wait to play again – next time over a pub lunch!” - Cathy
“We ordered takeaway and opened Q cards and it was the best date we have had in a very long time" - Matt
"My wife and I used to prioritise a regular date night; but since the kids came along we can’t get out as easily and if I’m honest, we had fallen into the habit of just flopping in front of the TV. I was a bit sceptical that the cards might be a bit too lovey-dovey for me but it wasn’t that at all. The questions really suck you in and we spent a whole hour just on one question once we got going” - Martin
“It sounds silly but I had forgotten how much I loved talking to him (laughs) so much of our time and energy is taken up by our busy family life but it was so nice to pause and reconnect" - Jo