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Executives in Residence

Ann King


Founder and CEO



Brunel University London


Technology and Retail 


Ann is founder and owner of Illumine, a British brand specialising in luxury home fragrance.

Ann’s entrepreneurial spirit has been the driving force of her successful and mixed career, which started in the IT industry in the mid 80’s. With roles in training, programming and team building and management, she worked for a variety of large organisations in different sectors, including banking, car manufacturing and trading floor.

It was during this period that Ann’s innovative approach led her to become a founding partner of King of Shaves, a brand specialising in men shaving products and skincare, born from the need to create a product that didn’t cause razor burn. She continued to handle all aspects of the business related to IT while learning and developing her skills in Aromatherapy.

The birth of her son in 1999 combined with her passion for continuous learning fueled Ann’s ambition to retrain and study Interior Design at KLC. This new direction in her career path enabled Ann to develop a skill set completely detached from computer technology.

Today, Interior Design continues to be part of Ann’s business, offered as boutique, personal projects.

In 2011, Ann became co-founder of iKooky, a new business venture which allowed her to gain first-hand knowledge of the technicalities of manufacturing, patents and trademarks in the UK and the difficulty of getting funding to manufacture.

The experience gathered from such a diverse career couple with Ann’s pioneering mind has given her the knowledge to create Illumine.

Illumine was an idea she researched for a year before deciding to make it a reality in 2018. Ann has created her own signature fragrance range, bringing together her expertise as aromatherapist and interest in traditional herbal remedies and astrology.