MEET OUR SUMMIT SPONSOR: Elysian by Emily Morrison

Nov 17 2022

by Katelyn Whelan

“Leap and the net will appear” has been my mantra for the past three years since stumbling upon The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron while working on Wall Street in a cutthroat, male-dominated environment. The book focuses on unleashing your inner creative, and I rediscovered my imagination, sense of play and ability to find beauty in everyday objects. I began writing poetry and decided I needed to change the
direction of my life. 

After traveling to Turkey in the spring of 2019 and falling in love with the culture, history, people and traditions of Istanbul, I tossed around the idea of bringing back items to sell to friends and family.  This mantra was my internal cue to leave finance and start a textile business, Elysian, working with artisans in Istanbul, selling silk and silk velvet fabrics that I had made into products.  I set out doing pop-ups at friends’ stores and then went on to build a brand in the midst of the pandemic, feeding off the enthusiasm of my customers.  

I had always loved textiles and design, but I had never been much for color, preferring muted hues and neutrals. The discovery of color and pattern play has been part of my awakening journey to let go of the ordinary and revel in the unexpected. I love how colors brighten your mood and elevate a space with just a single pop of it. Mixing and matching prints is joyful, fun and enhances energy. These centuries old techniques have been passed down for generations and the result is one-of-a-kind pieces 
that are true art.

After building my lifestyle business, I thought my creativity had been satiated, but I kept hearing this voice that said I needed to publish my poetry.  I wanted to pass along the messages of imagination, goodness, humor, laughter, friendship, and all the numerous gifts that poetry had given me over the years. My first collection of children’s poetry,
Lila Duray & other Delightfully Delectable Poems will be available in Spring 2023, but I wanted my first publication to speak to a larger audience. 

Several years ago, my cartwheeling five year-old niece turned to me and said “Aunt Emmy, what color is goodness?”  Sometimes children have insight that adults have lost sight of. Immediately, I sensed the profound nature of this childhood query. I went upstairs and wrote What Color Is Goodness?, realizing the importance of this question for all ages, especially at this time in our world.

My hope was to get the book into the hands of readers from all backgrounds, into schools and libraries, young and old audiences–with the message that the world cannot define goodness for you. As individuals, we can look into our hearts and see what is important to us and act to create and grow goodness in the world.

Like the handcrafted unique textiles I discovered in Istanbul, goodness can be represented in a multitude of ways and found in the most unexpected places. This book is meant to be a treasured keepsake book, accompanied by the exquisite original oil paintings of accomplished Memphis artist, Pam McDonnell.  

I am so pleased to share this debut book along with our one-of-a-kind winter pieces.  Both make beautiful gifts to give and receive!


Katelyn Whelan View More Blog Posts from this Author

Katelyn is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a dual degree in Marketing & Visual Communication Design. Settling in her hometown of Savannah, GA, she has spent the past 5 years building a career working with female owned small businesses. From events to retail, she has learned the art of translating ideas into action. Specializing in digital marketing, she seeks to bring the passion of her clients to life through the power of social media & e-commerce. She is the digital arm of a design firm founded with her two sisters, The Whelan Girls.

When she is not working, you can find her at the beach. She loves spending time with her family and can whip up a killer batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts