PRO-PORTRAIT: Art Consultant Francie Kelley: “I think it is really important to have beauty in our lives.”

Francie Kelley runs Paragone Gallery, an art consultancy whose mission is to bring art into people’s lives through relationships between clients, designers and artists. “It makes me happy to bring beautiful art into people’s homes, knowing that they are going to look at that piece, probably every day, and it is going to make them happy.” 

Like most creative professionals, the secret sauce to Francie’s success in her chosen field is one part passion, one part creativity, and one part savvy business skills. She has a keen visual aesthetic and intuition, and mixes it all with the ability to bring together other creative visionaries—artists, designers, dealers and clients to see the big picture.

Like many of us, Francie didn’t start out her professional career where she’s ended up. In the 1970’s she moved from Northern California to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music and acting. After finding good work in commercials, television, and singing in clubs, serendipity reared its head and changed her plans. Strictly by happenstance, she met a guy in the art business who ended up convincing her to work for him while her career in Hollywood was growing.

Serendipity and happenstance can be a funny thing. They are more often than not, end up being life-changing.

The man she met was interested in expanding his art business, wanting to sell art to interior designers. He told Francie that if she came on board as a freelance consultant, he’d teach her the business. She hadn’t thought about being an art consultant, but as is often the case with people in their twenties, she said yes to opportunity.

“He just threw me out on my ass. The core to this business is taking some art, and selling it to designers. I was mortified at the idea of cold calling people, but there were a few people who said yes.”

She was now an art consultant.

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