Hidden Spring Lavender Farm is a hidden gem in Skillman. For owners Steve and Marie Voorhees, growing lavender started off as a passion project to brighten up their fields, but it turned into something much more. 

Six years ago, the Voorhees began growing lavender. They started with only 1,000 plants, but have now expanded to over 5,000. Three years ago, they opened the lavender shop, which became Marie’s full-time job in 2015. The experience, as she says, has been delightful and satisfying.

Unlike other lavender farms in the area, everything at Hidden Spring Lavender Farm is done by hand, from the harvesting to the production. They offer a variety of products, like soaps, lotions, pillows, flower arrangements and gift baskets, at a wide range of prices that are accessible for everyone. 

“A special thing about lavender is that it’s great for calming, soothing and clearing the mind,” says Marie. It also makes for a great corporate gift! Hidden Spring Lavender Farm’s gift baskets are a popular item, and can be customized for any occasion. 

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  

 

Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 

 

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.