Letter from the Publisher: Spring 2018

by Karen Floyd

A light exists in spring, not present on the year at any other period — when March is scarcely here. Emily Dickinson

Spring is a time of growth and new beginnings. As Emily Dickinson suggests, spring represents a light that is not present throughout the year. Emblematic of this light and as elegant as is ELYSIAN, we are proud to recognize the new Executive Director of Graceful Living. Rhonda Wilkins represents the style, refinement, and sophistication of the publication. Rhonda’s Inspiring Women interview is both authentic and raw, thus underscoring life’s complexity. Her attention to detail, coupled with world experience, lends itself perfectly to expanding the vision and content of Graceful Living.

Inspiring women. (Anecdotal stories) 

The honorees in this issue’s Inspiring Women are as diverse as the professions they represent. From Texas rancher to New York diplomat, D.C. public official to Florida businesswoman, each honoree shares her story of struggles and triumphs. Remarkably courageous and strong in the face of what others would consider impossible, these women motivate and encourage through their antidotal life journeys.

To enthuse our younger readers, the Young Creative boasts the exceptional talents of Christina and Krystal Phillips, two designers who just happen to be sisters. Making their way and name in the world of New York fashion, these young women took the “fashion plunge” and launched Marie + Annette. A line of affordable luxury, the collection represents their two distinct styles, creating designs specifically for women in their late 20s and 30s.

Featured and Focused spotlights Trisha Yearwood, who for the sixth year, is hosting the Southern Kitchen Brunch at South Beach Wine & Food Festival. One of the country’s largest and longest-running culinary festivals, it takes place every February in Miami. Trisha talks openly about everything from Southern comfort dishes, the three-and-a-half-year tour spanning more than 400 cities with husband and legendary singer Garth Brooks, and a constant theme of “Living to Give.”

Graceful living. (Deliberate, spirited and bold) 

Spring is a time of beauty and is perfectly captured in outdoor Entertaining through our uniquely southern-inspired tablescapes. With a renewed focus on Gardening, The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show breaks the male-dominated tradition with a record number of women participants in what is heralded as the most exquisite gardening exposition worldwide. In a separate piece, through stunning “teachable photography,” the ELYSIAN reader has glimpses into the world of award-winning journalist and “Queen of Succulents” Debra Lee Baldwin.

Graceful Living also embodies the idea of giving. Our Philanthropic focus is on Hunger in America. Day after day, millions of Americans are without food, including an estimated 13 million American children. In strident contrast, an estimated forty percent of food is discarded every year or the equivalent of $165 billion. Our philanthropic arm spotlights outlets for giving in several nationally recognized programs.

Finally, nothing speaks more to Graceful Living than our Equestrian focus on Courtney Cooper’s journey to the Land Rover Kentucky, where her unflappable determination has landed her a place once again in this prestigious competition. As we welcome Rhonda Wilkins into the ELYSIAN family; we thank you for joining us in this wonderful adventure.

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