My name is: Kyleigh Kuhn.
I’m known for being: A lover of humanity and beauty, creating projects that celebrate transformation.
I'm talking about: Theory of Care, Saffron Tea for the Spirit.
You can find it at: theoryofcare.com.
Before I created this line, I was: Working with Roots of Peace to replace minefields with vineyards and orchards in Afghanistan, collaborating with Pamela Love to produce an Afghan artisan jewelry line, restoring a dilapidated houseboat named, “Whim,” in Sausalito.
What inspired me to launch this was: I needed some relief from the anxiety I was experiencing during Covid. My pal sent some studies asserting that saffron might be an effective alternative, or addition, to pharmaceuticals for me. She knew I was working with farmers in Afghanistan to import saffron and suggested I give it a try. It felt like serendipity: a solution to the symptoms of my own generalized anxiety was already sitting right under my nose!
How it works is: The studies followed subjects taking 30mg of saffron a day to ease anxiety and depressive symptoms. So, I used my jeweler’s scale to measure out 28 doses with a plan to test the theory by drinking a cup of daily saffron tea for four weeks.
Around this time, as I was driving out to West Marin, I noticed a shop dubbed, Tea Museum. Intrigued, I pulled over and wandered into a tea tasting hosted by a man who happened to be the world-renowned tea purveyor, David Lee Hoffman. He was very familiar with Afghan saffron from his travels. We reminisced about the flavors and vibe of Afghanistan as he taught me how to properly prepare saffron tea. He instructed me to pour only a quarter cup of hot water over the saffron and let it steep for at least 10 minutes until the water becomes amber. His enthusiasm ignited my fire to create a product I could share with others.
What makes it special is: I named the company after a theory I’ve been kicking around in my head. “Theory of Care” is the idea that our attention and soul can transform anything. I was in awe of the power of care while I worked restoring our dilapidated houseboat. We transformed something destined for the dump into a little oasis. It felt like magic.
By naming the company after my theory, I built in a reminder to myself to weave care into each step of creating this product. The intensity of care that I have imbued into this project touches those who enjoy the tea. You can feel the care of the women in Afghanistan, harvesting and drying the flower’s stamen. The mini apothecary bottles that hold 30mg of saffron induce a sense of ancient wonder. And that care trickles down to the packaging, crafted to inspire a ritual to embrace our inner light. I designed the box imagining it in the hands of a woman like me, inviting her into this expanding cycle of care.
One thing you can’t miss is: After sipping this tea every day for a month, I felt amazed by how much my symptoms of anxiety dissipated. We all know there is no silver bullet to overcoming emotional distress. The tea includes many facets that help this process. The daily ritual connected me to my intention to heal. Meditating for 10 minutes as the tea steeped also helped me get out of my head and into the moment. And the anti-inflammatory nature of the saffron itself helped lift my spirits. Together, this process conjured something within me that gave me my shine back.
My favorite secret detail is: The image of the woman on the packaging, lifting her head to the light as she clutches a flower is such an icon for me. Seeing her on my kitchen shelf is such a beautiful reminder to celebrate my own majesty as she does. I hope it has the same effect on others.
For me, what it means to create a product with purpose is: Products and services with purpose go beyond affiliating themselves with a cause. When something is built from a place of purpose, it blooms from within; it’s not an external add-on.
It starts with giving ourselves time and space to align with purpose before we step into creation. We can't rush this. Our purpose is a continuation of our soul; it’s not something we find like a lost sock behind the dryer.
I spent time watering my spirit and let it explore. When you build a trusting relationship with your soul, you can let her take the wheel. She'll guide you towards your purpose. Let your roots sink deep before rushing your bloom. I found this out the hard way, after years of searching for my purpose as though it existed outside myself. The whole time, all I needed was to get to know my soul.
One ritual you can practice with this is: My daily saffron tea ritual: I practice 10 minutes of breathing or meditation while I let the saffron steep until it’s a rich amber color. Some days, I take it a step further by lighting a candle or enjoying my tea somewhere in nature. I like placing my hand over my heart as I sip.
It can help you live your process because: Our process becomes illuminated and enchanted when we take the time to stoke our fire within.