About Sun Sticks

I am a pale person who has used sun care with questionable ingredients. These products irritated my already sensitive skin by leaving sticky residues or stripping it before a burn could even happen. Yeah, I've had a lot of sunburns.  

.Sunburn  photo | Caroline's Dream

A few years ago I carefully formulated a sunscreen with coconut oil, shea butter, essential oils, beeswax and zinc oxide powder. I sent it off to be tested for an official SPF rating/ water resistance and was very pleased with it's performance. Then, I learned that SPF labelled products can only be sold if manufactured in a certified drug manufacturing facility. It was a crushing blow to my plans to make a healthy and effective sunscreen. I shelved the whole project and walked away for a while.

This year I am making and selling it without any SPF rating on the label. You'll find it in my limited edition collection with a functional but basic container and label. This gives me time to decide on the perfect packaging and appropriate label. Feedback from customers will directly shape these choices. You won't find an SPF listed but you can enjoy all the benefits anyway. 

beach photo | Caroline's Dream

Shop Sun Sticks

So let me tell you a bit about my sun sticks and you take it from there. The sun is your friend but cover clothing, a nice hat and reapplying protection throughout the day are wise things to include in any outdoor adventures.

All the ingredients included in my formula have their own natural sun screening properties but it's the non-nano zinc oxide that takes it to the next level. Non-nano means the particles are large enough that they do not penetrate the skin surface. This maximizes the sun blocking factor and you won't have any zinc oxide inside your body at the end of the day. 

Susan bike riding photo | Caroline's Dream

For my 2 hour or less bike rides, I only apply before I go. For longer rides, I apply before and then reapply while I snack at approximately 2 hour intervals. It will add a whitish layer to your skin which doesn't bother me but remember, I am a very pale person! My skin loves all the added moisturizing the stick provides and my tattoo is staying sharp and colorful. 

If you are already burned because of another company's product, you'll want some Super Skin Salve

Please feel free to ask me questions anytime.

Susan Shashok
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you really make all the products yourself?

A: Absolutely. Caroline's Dream is a one woman operation. I do all the formulating, production, packaging, shipping & marketing. I've had two interns over the years who worked a couple of weeks for experience. I have been known if orders get a little nutty, to ask friends and family over to help me put on labels. 

I don't sew the lip balm pockets, they are designed & made by my sister Mary!

Production photo| Caroline's Dream

Q: What do you mean when you say your products are really concentrated?

A: I mean that you can use less of my skincare in comparison to big commercial brands. Only a small amount of cream is needed to cover a large area of your skin. Only two swipes of deodorant per armpit... you get the idea. A little bit of product goes a long way and in the end, mine last longer and are far more effective.

 Botanical Face Cleanser photo | Caroline's Dream

Q: What is up with the statement on the shipping note cards about shipping creams in cold temperatures?

A: When creams are shipped or stored in sub-zero temperatures, the coconut oil can form small harmless beads. These are a temperature reaction and will smooth out easily into your skin upon application. Keep in mind, it might not happen but is a possibility if temperatures are -15 degrees for weeks like they were earlier this year.

I hate when anything interferes with the smooth texture of my creams but I am not willing to add artificial emulsifiers that would then be absorbed by your skin to overcome a few weeks of cold weather.

 Product photo | Caroline's Dream

Q: I am not sure which cream to choose for my skin. Should I get a Caroline's Sampler?

A: A Caroline's Sampler has a travel size jar of each of my face & body creams plus a foot cream. It is a great way to discover your favorite cream and the sampler is much less expensive then buying the jars separately.

Caroline's Sampler photo

Alternatively, please feel free to email susan@carolinesdream.com or call/ text 802.388.5458 and ask me a question. I appreciate the opportunity to help customers find just the right product.

Susan Shashok
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More about Caroline

Customers love that my business is named after my grandmother, Caroline. She is not of myth or legend but a real woman that should never be confused with being ordinary. She was the daughter of two celebrated artists: father William known for his pen and ink magazine work and paintings and mother Grace for seed catalog illustrations.

    

 

In my eyes, Caroline's talent shone in everyday items such as the quilts and crochet work she made for her family. I have four of her quilts and enough Christmas tree decorations to decorate several trees at a time! She was prolific and kept her three children and their families well supplied over the years. She crocheted entire fashion lines for Barbie & Ken dolls and I witnessed her joy in sharing work with the people she loved. 

 

Caroline Nortenheim quilt

 

Her large garden had a supply of fresh veggies on hand throughout the summer. I remember the abundance of herbs and flowers marked the season in planting, growth and harvest. She made my favorite homemade waffles with honey when we visited and bread dough was continually rising or baking in the house. She had multiple floor to ceiling bookshelves absolutely stuffed with books that she read often. I will also call out her passion for soap operas, leather moccasins and wild, Hawaiian print fabrics. She was not one to hide who she was from the world.

 

Caroline and my Grandfather, Ed were world travelers who enjoyed visiting our national parks. I got to enjoy a few local adventures in their Volkswagon pop up van (pic is a van similar to theirs). They owned a hunting cabin in northwestern PA that had the coldest, most delicious water I have ever tasted and an outhouse that made me cry more than once because of the spiders. 

Sadly, Caroline died when I was still a teenager but her work ethic and pride in handcrafting was the inspiration to start my company. She was a strong advocate in learning to value both beauty and function. I wish she could have seen my business in action but I have no doubt she would see shades of herself in the path I have chosen.

Susan Shashok
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When I get sick.

Sick

 

When I don't feel well, over the counter remedies don't help because of my autoimmune thyroid disease. A thyroid malfunction can make my immune system attack the rest of my body and cause inflammation, pain, plus a host of other uncomfortable conditions. Immune stimulants like Echinacea and Zinc make the reaction even worse.

I approach being sick in a different way, see if you want to try any of my suggestions.

 1. Stay home and rest. So simple and so hard for many of us to accomplish. It's why sick days were created, if you've got 'em, use 'em. Bonus - your co-workers will thank you for not exposing them to your crud and having to listen to you sniffle, sneeze or cough all day. 

2. Aches & chills? Take an epsom salt bath. 1-2 Cups of epsom salts per full, very warm bath tub. Add a few drops of essential oils: Lavender for relaxing and soothing sore muscles and joints. Eucalyptus and/ or Rosemary to break up phlem and breathe easier.

3. Stay in your jammies, take lots of naps. Hydrate with lots of water, teas and bone broth (I keep some in the freezer). 

4. Sore throat or cough? Gargle with warm salted water several times a day. It makes a huge difference. Soups, bananas and applesauce go down easily when throats are swollen or irritated.

5. What kind of teas? Glad you asked.

Chamomile or Hibiscus, Lemon juice or a few slices of peeled Ginger Root with Honey, Decaf Black or Green (don't forget - go take a nap) 

6. Feeling over the worst part but not really yourself yet? Short walks and gentle yoga poses can help get you up and moving. Then take another nap!

Susan Shashok
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Why function is just as important as beauty.

Beeswax | Caroline's Dream

Great skincare products are supposed to nourish your skin, supporting and increasing your health in a functional way. Not just temporarily plumping, stretching or hiding skin that is dry, aging or damaged. I carefully choose base oils, herbs and essential oils that each play a valuable part in my formulas. No harsh chemicals, preservatives, fillers or concealers here, we don't need them!  Let your own beautiful skin have the spotlight.

Great skincare doesn't have to cost $200 per half ounce. I have been criticized for not charging more for my products. Yeah, I could compete equally with high end lines but I want mine to be accessible to everyday people. It's about integrity, I would never prey on people's desire to look and feel better about themselves. We both deserve better than that narrow way of looking at the world. 

I had to increase prices for a few items in 2018. Not my favorite thing to do but the cost of travel sized glass jars and some of the essential oils skyrocketed. I changed prices only on the items affected. I am firm in my mission to source only quality ingredients, not cheap fillers and handcraft each batch. 

Susan Shashok | Caroline's Dream

Handcrafted products means I am tied to every aspect of production, sales and customer interaction. Do I love sourcing the best ingredients, making a batch of cream extra smooth or writing personal notes in each order that goes out? Absolutely! I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Susan Shashok
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What makes Caroline's Dream lip balms so nice to use?

Lip Balms | Caroline's Dream

 

First of all, your lips deserve to feel soft and supple without having to constantly reapply product. The big manufacturers encourage lip balm addictions. How?

Did you know that one of the most popular drug store lip balms contains three ingredients that are acids? It performs a mild skin peel every time it is applied. That is why your lips feel so soft then quickly dries out and feels tender. So you reapply and the cycle continues again and again.

My lip balms are excellent at doing their job, which is to moisturize your lips without feeling greasy. You will only need to apply a few times over an entire day because it is not stripping away any layers. Instead, it is healing dry areas and keeping your lips ready for a day at the beach, that big presentation at work or welcoming your sweetie home.

The highlight ingredient is calendula oil which I make by hand. Organic calendula flowers are steeped in extra virgin olive oil for hours over low heat, stirring frequently so the flowers impart their healing properties into the oil. 

Calendula has a long history of soothing and healing dry, irritated skin. It is safe yet powerful, gentle yet effective and my favorite herb to use. Its beautiful golden color assures me that it is making every batch of lip balm you use - very special.

I source only the finest ingredients and treat them with care during production to maximize their effectiveness. Local Vemont beeswax, expeller pressed almond oil and organic essential oils.

Enjoy - Susan

Susan Shashok
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Vermont Gran Fondo is coming!

Vermont Gran Fondo is coming!

Written by Addison County Chamber of Commerce  - June 14, 2017


Middlebury, Vermont—For the first time in its four years of welcoming riders from around the globe to Addison County’s world-class cycling routes, the Vermont Gran Fondo will invite cyclists to literally ride into the event’s après-ride party.

Woodchuck Cider House at 1321 Exchange Street in Middlebury will be the staging ground for the Fondo’s start and finish on Saturday, July 1—and, from 2 to 7 p.m., the site of live music, farm-sourced food, and craft-brewed beverages.

Vermont Gran Fondo

As part of the event’s registration fee, Vermont Gran Fondo registrants will receive tokens to redeem for food and drink. But friends and family, are welcome to join them and, if they’d like to share in what’s available, pay cash.

Food purveyors will include the internationally inspired tacos of Caja Madera Food Truck; the pan-Asian delicacies of Thai at Home; homegrown pies from the NOFA-VT Pizza Oven; and the farm-to-spoon sweetness of LuLu Ice Cream.

In addition to hosting and Gran Fondo founding sponsor Woodchuck Cider, two other local establishments, Lincoln Peak Vineyard (wine) and the Drop-In Brewery (beer), will be vending. Non-alcoholic drinks will be available too.

Shane Murley and his six-piece band will provide music in support of the mellow, cool-down vibe.

Riders who want to scrub up before enjoying the après-ride party can take a complimentary shower until 5:30 p.m. at Vermont Sun Fitness Center, just a few pedal strokes away at 812 Exchange Street. And a hose in front of the Cider House will be available for cleaning bikes post-ride.

Registration fees are $125 for the Gran route; $115 for either of two Medio routes (difficile and facile); $80 for the Piccolo route—but rates will increase on June 16th to $140, $130, $85 respectively. In addition to après-ride food and drink, participants receive professional ride-day photography, SAG and mechanical support en route, well-stocked rest stops, and a Klean Kanteen stainless steel cup. Riders who upload their climb times to Strava will also have a chance to win KOM and QOM honors.

A gran fondo is a one-day bicycle event, first popularized in Europe, that emphasizes participation over competition. It’s typically characterized by a festive atmosphere, camaraderie, and post-ride food and drink.

For more information and to register, go to www.VermontGranFondo.com.

Event Sponsors

The Vermont Gran Fondo wouldn’t be possible without founding sponsors bMighty2 and the Addison Independent; and event sponsors Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Caroline’s Dream, DrinkMaple, Frog Hollow Bikes, Hammer Nutrition, November Bicycles, RAD Innovations, Schneider & Palcsik Injury Lawyers, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Vermont Coffee Company, Vermont Ski+Ride Magazine, Vermont Sports Magazine, Vermont Sun Fitness Center, and Woodchuck Hard Cider and the. Support is also provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.

About the Vermont Gran Fondo Organizers

The Vermont Gran Fondo is produced by Cycle Addison County, Inc., which is chartered to support cycling in the region through programming, education, infrastructure and equipment. Its members include cycling enthusiasts and athletically inclined tourism and business development representatives.

###

Susan Shashok
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Five excerpts from an article featuring some of my beeswax suppliers, working hard to keep their bees healthy.

Five excerpts from an article featuring some of my beeswax suppliers, working hard to keep their bees healthy.

County's bees healthier than in many parts of U.S.; pesticides still a problem

By Gaen Murphree - read full article here: Addison County Independent

BeeGuy2533.jpg

DESPITE A NATIONWIDE decline in honeybee numbers because of increased use of chemicals, parasites and global warming, Andrew Munkres of Lemonfair Honeyworks said Vermont bees are generally doing OK because beekeepers are getting smarter. Independent photo/Trent Campbell

_________

 Addison County is a good place to be a bee compared to many other parts of the country, local beekeepers report. And that’s a good thing.

“Roughly one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees,” according to Cornwall beekeeper Andrew Munkres.

Nevertheless, honey bees and other pollinators here continue to face serious challenges from parasites, from climate change, and most especially from an increased presence of pesticides and other toxins in crops and in the environment.

Given honeybees’ critical role in creating our food, understanding how to reverse this trend is important to ordinary folks and dedicated beekeepers alike.

“Even though we’re having some troubles, it’s far, far worse in a lot of the country,” said New Haven beekeeper Kirk Webster, whose business is called Champlain Valley Bees and Queens. “I hear that all the time from my customers (in other states).

_________

 “The real problem is that the chemical and seed companies are putting all these chemicals on seed coatings. And they went and got the seed coatings classified as ‘treated articles’ ... so that they wouldn’t be regulated by state and federal pesticide authorities.”

As Mraz described it, seed companies coat corn and soybean seed to prevent a range of disease and insect problems, but don’t offer farmers the option to purchase untreated seed or seed treated for pests and diseases likely to be encountered in their particular area.

“They’re using a prophylactic seed treatment, same chemicals used in Texas as used in Vermont as used in California, Nevada — it doesn’t matter where you are. A third to half of those chemicals ... we don’t even have the pests for them probably,” said Mraz.

__________

Webster noted that he now tries to keep his bee yards clear of corn and soy fields.

“A few years ago was the one time I was really sure something had poisoned the bees,” said Webster. “I had one location that was right next to a great big cornfield, sort of wrapped around two sides of it. And the prevailing wind just blew right across there from the field right onto the bee yard all the time. And for two years in a row those bees all just went downhill and fell apart right in early June, which is usually when they’re building up to their peak.”

Webster would like to see more emphasis on organic farming.

Beekeepers know how important local farming is to their operations and emphasize a cooperative approach in figuring out how to help bees.

Still, Mraz, who runs one of the state’s largest apiaries, with hives in Addison, Chittenden and Franklin counties, notices that his Chittenden County bees and bees in places where there’s pastures and haying but less corn and soybean production tend to do better in recent years.

__________

 Webster was an early pioneer in not treating bees chemically to kill the mites, but instead breeding in mite-resistant Russian bee strains to fight the plague. He feels that the mites aren’t so much a problem in his apiary. Mraz uses an organic treatment and breeding to combat mites.

Munkres, who runs Lemonfair Honeyworks, also uses what he calls the “Darwin approach” to control mites through breeding in a number of different mite-resistant strains. He likens many of the chemical mite treatments to chemotherapy — the treatments destroy the mites but weaken the bees.

_______

 Mraz encouraged Addison County residents to create safe havens for bees — even just planting a little bee balm and then sitting back to enjoy the show when pollinators come buzzing.

“I think awareness is crucial. Awareness that there’s problems and anything you can do in your own garden or yard to help pollinators is crucial. To give them a safe environment and safe forage where they can thrive.

“Bees are incredibly adaptable,” Mraz added. “But we’re coming at them faster than they can adapt.”

Susan Shashok
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Dangerous chemical, Triclosan is banned in soaps - but it's still out there.

Dangerous chemical, Triclosan is banned in soaps - but it's still out there.

 

Triclosan Quartz

A banned chemical in anti-bacterial soap is still lurking in practically everything else Americans buy

By Lila MacLellan for Quartz

The US Food and Drug Administration’s recent ban on the chemical triclosan from household antibacterial soaps was a long-overdue victory for public health advocates, worried parents, and vigilant consumers.

Less noticed was the fact that the ban only affects a tiny portion of the products on the market containing the chemical. Triclosan—which in animal studies has been shown to act as a hormone disruptor and raise the risk for all sorts of health and development problems—is still rampant in countless other self-care products in the US, including after-shave, moisturizers, deodorants, body sprays, face masks, dry shampoos, and hand sanitizers, and even a popular toothpaste Americans ingest. It—or one of its chemical cousins—is also often found in “germ-fighting” or “anti-bacterial” versions of just about any type of household product you can imagine: toys, knives, clothing, mouse pads.

Read full Article and learn more about Triclosan in your life!

Susan Shashok
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Valley Voice Article

Valley Voice Article

Blending Inspiration, Environmentalism And Social Responsibility In Caroline’s Dream

Tuesday June 14, 2016

By Cookie Steponaitis

 Susan and Caroline's Cruiser

Susan Shashok is like many Vermonters who were raised with a love of the environment and knowledge that handcrafted was best and as a child visited her grandmother and learned an immense amount about medicinal plants and home arts. “My grandmother Caroline was my inspiration,” explained Susan Shashok. “I remember her incredible knowledge of medicinal plants and her beauty regime that included products all from nature.”

Continue reading article

Susan Shashok
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Vermont Farm to Fork Fondo - 2016

Vermont Farm to Fork Fondo - 2016

Last Sunday was the Vermont Farm to Fork Fondo where Caroline's Dream set up a vendor booth and I cycled the smaller, 35 mile course. I am very proud to partner with Farm to Fork and gave away 500 Maple Lip Balms to all participants. It was a great day to ride and I am grateful to my events team for working from 5am - 7pm!

The Farm to Fork Fondo series is designed to bring awareness to, support and celebrate this symbiotic relationship between cyclists, farms and beautiful landscapes. All of the funds raised for the Fondo Volunteer Competition is donated to local farms and farm organizations. That means at the end of each Fondo, checks help local farmers with projects like building a new farm stand or creating a new website, and to help local organizations advance their causes like preserving the county's beautiful pastoral open space.


- Susan Shashok

 

 

Susan Shashok
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Made in Vermont - WCAX with Gina Bullard

Made in Vermont - WCAX with Gina Bullard

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

EAST MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -

Cruising around on her cargo bike, Susan Shashok means business, and she's doing business in a different way.

She makes hand-crafted skin care for her line, Caroline's Dream. Almost all of which is paleo-certified. Huh?

"Your skin is your largest organ, so what you put on it is just as important as what you put inside your body," Shashok said.   to continue reading

 

Susan Shashok
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