Kelli Ronati.jpg
Kelli Ellis, celebrity interior designer and European director of dealer e-commerce software provider Ronati, will share strong views and advice on sustainability at the LAPADA conference in March. She is pictured here in front of a 19th century Bokhara rug from Aaron Nejad at the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair in January.

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Kelli Ellis, who counts US celebrities amongst her design clients and has appeared on TV shows such as Takeover my Makeover and Real Housewives of Orange County, uses antiques as focal points in her room designs.

She is one of four panellists debating sustainability in the antiques trade at the 2020 LAPADA Conference on March 3.

Talking to ATG ahead of the conference, Ellis said the trade needs to “get the message out” that antiques are sustainable, despite not having the marketing budgets of high street retailers.

She said younger dealers were more likely to use sustainability as a marketing tool.

“Going beyond that, such as saying to shippers, ‘I can’t use you because you haven’t got an electric truck,’ I think it’s too soon for that, though we will get there.”

At the conference, Ellis will share advice to dealers on how they can take advantage of rising green awareness, her opinion of how dealers market themselves and shed light on how antiques "fit into the mix" for designer buyers such as herself. 

'Opportunities' theme

This year’s LAPADA conference takes places at RSA House in central London and is based on the theme ‘Opportunity Knocks’.

Keynote speeches and panel discussions will explore potential areas for dealers to grow their businesses in a post-Brexit world, as both green awareness and purchasing via digital channels accelerate.

Confirmed speakers include Dr Xavier Bray, director at The Wallace Collection and Ewan Venters, chief executive of Fortnum & Mason.

"Many dealers have recently felt under pressure from mounting red-tape and changes in legislation," said Freya Simms, chief executive of LAPADA. "It is crucial we support members through these changes, but at the same time it's our responsibility to promote trade and focus on the opportunities for the art market."

She added: "My sincere hope is that the audience will leave with a spring in their step and a list of reasons to be optimistic.”

Full panel

In the afternoon’s final session, sustainability will be discussed by Ellis alongside paints and colour specialist Ed Bulmer of Edward Bulmer Interior Design and Adam Hills of salvage, architecture and interiors company Retrouvius.

Antiques dealer Nigel Worboys, who founded the Antiques Are Green consultancy in 2009, completes the panel, chaired by this writer, ATG's editor-at-large.

Where to buy tickets

Tickets are still available to purchase and prices include refreshments, lunch and a networking drinks reception after the conference. They can be purchased online via LAPADA here or by calling +44 (0)207 823 3511.