Westminster’s field of purple flowers

Dawn Pritchard, owner of Silver Linings Lavender. Photo by Gunnar Ward.

Before even walking through the doors of Silver Linings Lavender, customers are welcomed by the scents  and sense — of being surrounded by lavender in a field of vibrant purple flowers.

However, instead of opening their eyes to glowing lavender plants, customers take in the rustic interior design of Silver Linings Lavender, which sits peacefully on 235 E. Main street in Westminster. With each customer drawn in by the lavender aroma, the shop’s roots dig deeper into the community since breaking ground earlier this year.

Soon customers and nature lovers alike really will be in a lavender field, as the current goal for owner Dawn Pritchard is to open a lavender farm in Carroll County, filling the area’s void currently, there is a lack of public gardens.

“A few years ago I was visiting family in England, and while there we happened across a lavender farm and instantly I wanted one,” Pritchard said. “It became my job [to establish a lavender farm in Carroll County].”

With over 1,000 likes on the company Facebook page, Silver Linings Lavender has positive reviews from Westminster residents.

“The store is fun to shop in,” Westminster City Councilwoman Mona Becker said. “It is small and cozy with a wonderful selection of lavender products.”

Products ranging from bath bombs to body spray are available both in-store and online at www.silverliningslavender.com. With the holiday season approaching, supporting local business is more important now than ever.

“Buying local is extremely important,” Pritchard said. “When you’re buying from a local company, you know the ethics behind it are solid, you know that money is going back into the community and helping [others].”

All products at Silver Linings Lavender are made by hand, and in addition to lavender products, Pritchard is active in beekeeping. The honey and beeswax collected from her beekeeping have both been used in her formulations Pritchard said. She also plans to sell honey at Silver Linings Lavender in the future.

Actively working with real materials for her business and personal use reflects the dedication Pritchard has to her crafts.

“I’ve never met an owner more passionate about her products than Dawn, and it’s obvious from as soon as you walk in the door that these products are carefully crafted with a great deal of love and knowledge,” said Tiffany Hepding Noone, owner of Little Cuddlebug Photography in Westminster.

Pritchard’s knowledge of her products stems from her degree in horticulture the science of growing plants  from Temple University, where she graduated with honors.

Like any entrepreneur, Pritchard overcame obstacles in opening her business.

“I almost had the farm,” Pritchard said. ” I spent months getting the mortgage and meeting all the hoops, then the very last minute [I was told] I didn’t have enough experience and [the other business party] backed out.”

Despite the lavender farm being postponed, Pritchard says, the city of Westminster has encouraged and assisted in the shop’s establishment.

Pritchard was the winner of the 2013 Carroll Biz challenge and was granted $5,000 for outlasting 14 other companies in pitching her business to a panel.  Since then, Westminster and its residents continue to assist Silver Linings Lavender. Pritchard said Tiombe Paige, owner of the Cultivated boutique in Westminster, helped her establish the store.

“The business community of Westminster has been amazing,” Pritchard said. “They have been super supportive.”

In addition to the ultimate goal of opening a lavender farm in Carroll County, Pritchard looks to spread the roots of Silver Linings Lavender across the country.

“The sky’s the limit [and] I am never content,” Pritchard said. “I always want more [business] and would love to have more stores.”

“Watch out, Lush,” she adds with a laugh. Lush is a handmade cosmetics retailer with chains throughout the country.

Editor’s note: In connection with McDaniel College, Silver Linings Lavender offers student discounts and are looking to hire interns for accountants/bookkeepers and marketing.