For Valerie Mason-Robinson, motherly instincts sparked a business idea.
Mason-Robinson, a stay-at-home mom, started detoxifying her house after her 4-year-old daughter was troubled with skin allergies.
"I started detoxifying personal care products, shampoos, and replacing them with organic, natural products, and her symptoms improved,'' she said.
A chemical engineer by trade, who has done cosmetic research at MIT, Mason-Robinson smelled a business idea.
"I developed a business plan and pitched it to some people,'' she said.
A few classes she took at the New Jersey Small Business Center helped too, she said.
Soon, she opened Eden Organix, an eco-conscious spa in the borough's downtown area.
A Piscataway resident, Mason-Robinson said she chose Highland Park because "I like that it has a nice little Main Street area, and it is one of the greenest towns in New Jersey.''
She leased the about 1,000 square foot space on 215 Raritan Ave. and rebuilt it using eco-friendly material, such as bamboo, recycled glass and energy-efficient lighting and computers.
Her goal: "To give our clients organic, natural, eco-friendly products and services, which include a spa and a retail store.''
Logo from Eden Organix