IlluminEssence is run by Margaret Sherwood, B.Sc Hons (Geology). She is a geologist, environmental scientist, landscape designer and lover of birds, especially her African Grey parrots.

IlluminEssence started out in the 1990’s as a company supplying custom handmade corporate gifts to the South African and British markets and branched out into custom products for local functions, schools and high-end craft suppliers.

Gerry Hickey came on board as Margaret’s partner and marketing director in 1998, helping to take the company to new levels and in new directions. The famous necklace scarves were added to the portfolio in 2011 and took the world by storm. Sales were limited to exhibition stands in major shopping centres and annual festivals around the country. Exports to USA, Great Britain, Angola, Zambia, India and Australia followed. The scarves are now available online still with their unique customisable options.

Gerry passed away unexpectedly in 2014 and Margaret closed IlluminEssence temporarily to explore new avenues in property development and renovation. Although retail trade in shopping centres has ceased, the scarves are now available online with secure payment options through PayPal as well as improved shipping rates and delivery times.

Covid-19 has caused major delays in supplies with almost all suppliers having shut down due to lockdown restrictions, and some companies sadly did not survive the crisis. Margaret has been able to source alternative suppliers and is committed to delivering the same upmarket quality as always.

She currently lives with her partner and an assortment of feathered and furry friends in the beautiful, tranquil indigenous forest in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains, Knysna, South Africa.