Illume announces two senior executive promotions, Liz Barrere from Senior Vice President to President, and David Gustafson from Chief Financial Officer to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Known for its sophisticated and trend-forward home fragrance products, Illume candles, diffusers and body care can be found in over 4,500 stores nationwide. The privately-owned manufacturer also partners with major retailers to create unique private label programs.
“As our business enjoys steady growth, David and I are focused on driving strategic initiatives that will differentiate Illume from our competition and grow our market share,” said Barrere. “For instance, we are looking now for opportunities beyond home fragrance.”
Barrere’s responsibilities include oversight of all aspects of sales, marketing and product development for both the Illume brand and private label accounts. A trend and design expert, Barrere translates her art and design expertise into her task of making Illume the leading home décor and home fragrance manufacturer.
Prior to joining Illume, Barrere directed product development for major retailers including Marshall Fields and Target Corporation. Among her accomplishments, Barrere has collaborated with artists and designers including the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Isabelle de Borchgrave, and Thomas O’Brien to design unique private label programs.
David Gustafson is promoted to Executive Vice President and COO after seven successful years as Chief Financial Officer at Illume. He remains responsible for all financial operations, forecasting and fiscal planning as well as overseeing all operations and manufacturing at the 100,000 square foot Bloomington facility.
“We continue to partner with our customers and global sources to carve out our niche in the $6 billion home fragrance industry,” commented Gustafson. “Our talented creative, sourcing and in-house R&D experts ensure our products have not only the best designs and fragrances available, but also have superior quality and execution.”
Prior to Illume Gustafson was Vice President of Finance at Quality Ingredients Corporation, a supplier of processed food ingredients to the food industry. Previously he spent 14 years at Pillsbury Company where he held a variety of leadership positions including Finance Director in Cost Accounting and Planning and Analysis. He holds a BA in Accounting from the University of Washington, a MBA in Finance from Indiana University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Illume moved all of its manufacturing from Los Angeles in 2009 to its location just outside of Minneapolis. It has about 80 employees year-round, although during the peak summer season, the work force expands up to 200 employees. Illume was founded as Starlight Candles, a private-label candle manufacturer in 1994. In 2002, Starlight merged with Sun Valley-Calif.-based Illume Candles as part of a management-led buyout backed by Sycamore Hill Capital Group, a San Francisco-based private equity firm.
At ILLUME we find beauty through fragrance. Travelers and seekers, we study culture and color, listen to trend and to instinct, and create signature fragrances and designs. Our craft is a mix of inspired elements: The scent. The style. The wax. The wick. We demand flawless execution in every product we create. For the things we make become the experiences of peoples’ lives. Explore and collect at illumecandles.com and at more than 4,500 specialty and department stores internationally.