Hidden Spring Lavender Farm in Skillman started with a dream and 1,000 lavender plants almost four years ago, after owner Marie Voorhees’ 36-year corporate job was eliminated. She decided it was time to turn her side job into her full-time career and business.

Today Hidden Spring has more than 4,500 plants on the farm, and that number is always growing. “We make our own products with our Skillman-grown lavender and distill a large part of our lavender crop for essential oil,” Voorhees says.

Hidden Spring features a renovated cow barn that is home to Hidden Spring Lavender Gift Shoppe, which is filled with more than 200 unique items that make customers feel great the minute they walk in: lotions, soaps, aromatherapy, culinary, pet, floral products, or a Buena Bear ‒‒ so soft and squishy you’ll need one of your own the moment you pick one up ‒‒ and even some items for the gentleman.

“Our goal is to make people feel good,” Voorhees says. “We use only 100 percent pure essential oil in our products. We also sell essential oils for many medicinal purposes.”

Running Hidden Spring is most gratifying now that the former corporate executive has the time to turn her dream into reality. Voorhees began her career at age 17 with RCA in Princeton, working her way up from the mailroom to senior management. Today she converts her business savvy and abundant personal drive into an oasis designed to help people find some beauty and calmness in their lives.

And more than just customers are taking notice. Voorhees has been recognized as a Distinguished Professional in her field through Women of Distinction Magazine and will be featured in an upcoming edition of the magazine this year.

“My husband and mother have inspired and encouraged me through their positive motivation in my business,” Voorhees says. “They are very supportive and believe in what I am doing. It’s also very gratifying when customers love visiting the Shoppe. I am dedicated to the work I do and the farm we live on, and it has been a dream to own a farm for most of my life. I feel very fortunate and blessed to be living my dream.”

Hidden Spring’s products make fantastic gifts, and the Shoppe has many gift baskets to choose from. “Or we will be happy to make a custom one,” Voorhees says. “We will make all of your gift shopping a breeze.”

And that counts for whatever holiday it is: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day; or any special occasion, such as graduation, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. There are great gifts for teachers, co-workers, friends ‒‒ you name it, Hidden Spring has your back.

Hidden Spring Lavender Farm is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. January through March and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April through December. During November and December the Shoppe is open on Fridays from noon to 6 p.m.

Hidden Spring Lavender Farm, 890 Route 601, Skillman. www.hiddenspringlavender.com.

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