To get you all in the spirit this week, here’s another Design Market Holiday Collection feature for your reading pleasure. Today we get to know the brains, and beauty, behind EW Couture Collection, Miss Elena Wilken.
What’s your favorite holiday food?
Hmmm… To make or to eat? I would have to say stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce for both! It must have been the first or the second year into our marriage when I found these two recipes that sounded really delicious. I decided to try them on our guests at Thanksgiving and both dishes were a hit! Ever since, I’m always asked to make them when getting together with family and/or friends for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The stuffing calls for veggies, pecans and all kinds of great herbs like sage and thyme. I always double the mushrooms. Nobody seems to mind it. I am a mushroom lover and so is my now 4-year-old daughter.
What’s your most treasured memory from this time of year?
The last week before the end of the New Year. The especially light and happy feel of that week has stuck with me. Growing up that meant no school but lots of play time, having guests over, visiting friends and family, and enjoying the results of a couple weeks of hard work that always came before the holidays. My dad passed away when I was 16, but even before then, it was part of my responsibility as the oldest to help mom with holiday preparations. Imagine a thorough “Spring-style” cleaning, cooking all kinds of good food, including 7-8 types of homemade cakes and desserts, to enjoy and share during the holidays!
What projects, either professional or personal, do you enjoy tackling during the holidays?
I absolutely enjoy the late Fall photo shoots! What’s not to love about the abundance of fall colors here in the Northwest? It’s always challenging planning around the rainy days Portland has during this time of the year but so rewarding. I also love organizing and cooking for our family’s celebration meals. There is something so rewarding about being gathered together; slowing down the pace of life; walking down the memory lane of the past year and making plans for the new one while kids play together and we all enjoy each other’s company.
If you went out caroling, what songs would you sing?
Funny you should ask that. I was born and grew up in Transylvania, Romania. As a teenager I used to walk the streets in our town, with friends from church all 3 Christmas nights, caroling. We visited neighbors, our own families, and nursing homes. Silent Night, Away in a Manger, Joy to the World, and O Little Town of Bethlehem were probably some of my favorites. Snowy Christmases always added even more magic and joy to the experience.
Do you have any family traditions during the holidays that you just love?
Getting Christmas tree ornaments for the kids. It continues the tradition that my mother in law started for my husband as a little boy. Our Christmas tree is covered with ornaments that were given to him by his parents every year, as he grew up. It makes it that much more special!
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
It’s a toss between Love Actually and Life is Beautiful.
Thanks, Elena, for giving us a glimpse into your life and your memories. It’s been fun getting to know a little more about such a beloved designer in the Miller’s family. Thank you for your beautiful creations and here’s to many more years of great design.
Visit the Design Market to preview the EW Couture holiday templates and find the perfect match for your clients’ cards this season.