In Her Element: Lily Morgan
Farm gal & skin care entrepreneur, Henderson
Photo by Eleanor Williamson
Born to a sixth-generation farmer father and an agricultural activist mother, it seems Lily Morgan was destined for a rural lifestyle. But as a kid, she never saw it that way. “I spent my entire childhood praying to God to get me off the farm,” she says with a laugh, recounting the weekends and summers she and her four siblings spent tending to crops rather than playing with friends.
Though Morgan did get off that Michigan apple farm—at 16, she moved to Colorado with only $132 and a pair of used skis to her name—a teenage dilemma eventually brought her back to her rural roots. Morgan suffered from cystic acne for years, and without the funds to afford prescription treatments, she concocted her own remedies.
“I used to go to Kmart and write down the ingredients in creams and face washes,” she recalls. “I’d look them up and say, ‘I don’t get it, how do propylene glycol and parabens help my skin?’ And they didn’t, so I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll mix up some of this on my own.’ ”
Morgan crafted moisturizers out of natural oils, herbs and flowers, and when she couldn’t access organic ingredients, she started growing them herself. This resourceful approach proved effective; her skin cleared up and her entrepreneurial spirit bloomed. She founded Lily Farm Fresh, Colorado’s first organic skin care company, in 1986—long before organic was a buzzword.
From planting the seeds to labeling the bottles, Morgan now oversees the production of 17 all-natural cleansers, toners and Colorado-tough moisturizers—all on her own 15-acre farm just outside Denver.