Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis
October/Novermber 2012Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis, best known for her multiple appearances on HGTV, have spent decades educating and mentoring designers and design enthusiast. Not long after their “love at first sight” meeting the design duo joined forces to launch Design Camp, a bimonthly weekend event for professionals and aficionados who love to expand their knowledge of all things design and decorating. This October 24-26, Lori and Kelli are hosting Design Camp in Austin, Texas. Check out their website for more 2013 dates and schedules. DAB: How did you meet Kelli? LD: I met Kelli while speaking at Las Vegas Market on the Influential Women in Design Industry panel. It was love at first site.
DAB: What was the inspiration that started Design Camp? LD: We enjoyed independently speaking to groups of designers for years. But when Kelli and I were on stage together, it was electric. The crowd went wild, it was like we were rock starts! They were so excited, running up at the end to talk to us and learn more about what we knew, and for us it just clicked. We knew that we had found our design destiny- inspiring others to reach new heights.
DAB: Your design firm is based in LA but you travel all over the country to host Design Camp. What is your favorite city and why? LD: We select cities that are fun for us and our campers to stay for the weekend. Austin is known to be a fantastic place for live music and great food, which we both love. And I can’t wait to do a Design Camp Tuscany; we’ll have a cooking course in that one!
DAB: What made you take on a venture like Design Camp with pal, Lori? KE: It may sound corny, but Lori and I are slices from the same pie. You know when someone walks into your life and you feel like you’ve been waiting for them to arrive? That was how it felt, and Lori and I knew we would be successful together. We have the same goals, ideas and desires in this business.
DAB: What made you want to mentor other interior designers and teach décor enthusiasts? KE: Before doing TV, I almost went back to get my teaching credentials because I love to share everything I know or have learned with others. When I began the shows, it became my classroom times a thousand. But I missed the live interaction with fellow design lovers. Lori and I are social butterflies and love the one on one feel of Design Camp. We enjoy seeing the light bulbs go on over their heads!
DAB: What influences your design style and beliefs? KE: I need to know the “whys” of design. I am thrilled to take the basic necessity of shelter and combine it with the basic desires of peace and satisfaction, which led me to author the Certified Design Psychology Coaching Program offered through Spencer Institute. It teaches interior designers the importance of knowing the “whys” of design in order to truly understand the needs of their clients.
Highlighted as one of the best design build firms in the nation, our design partner, Lori Dennis, is interviewed on her leadership role at Design Camp. The summit hosts and trains top interior designers as well as the most famous architects and best contractors in Los Angeles, like John Finton Construction and William Heffner Architects.