Alumna Making Her Mark One Sip at a Time

Kent State Works Stacked Graphic

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that boosts energy and alertness. However, this natural energy booster can have negative health effects such as anxiety, insomnia and digestive issues, among others. For alumna Sharon Taylor, the combination of loving coffee and an unexpected health diagnosis changed both her diet and her career. 

Sharon Taylor of Velty CoffeeFor years, Taylor thrived in fast-paced environments working for brands like Sir Kensington’s, Anthropologie, BHLDN and Terrain. As a past creative director, Taylor has experience in creating a brand identity, branded content, logos, packaging and editorial designs. 

Taylor studied Visual Communication Design in Kent State University’s College of Communication and Information and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2007. 

“I had been building products for other people for a really long time,” Taylor said. “I always knew I wanted to build something of my own and when COVID hit, I was burned out. So I took a sabbatical and was diagnosed with ADHD.” 

The pandemic forced Taylor to reassess her life and her career, and to come to grips with her new health reality. 

“This diagnosis was a real awakening in how my body was dealing with caffeine in particular. I had to go off caffeine, and I realized I loved coffee,” Taylor said. “But I was using it as a way to function when my body needed something different.” 

The problem was that Taylor loves coffee. 

“I looked around for a good decaf coffee but they were all really bitter and burnt. So I saw a real need for a premium decaf.” 

Combining her health concerns, her love for coffee and her passion for design led Taylor to create Velty, a female-owned, operated and ethically sourced non-caffeinated organic coffee brand.