Making it with beeswax: An interview with Susan Shashok of Caroline’s Dream, skincare products crafted with integrity

A slightly different version of this article has been previously published in Bee Culture Magazine. 

harvesting honey

By Alice Eckles

Thinking of the uses of beeswax and the myriad of businesses that rely on it from fine art to food wraps my mind turned to my neighbor and friend, Susan Shashok of Middlebury, Vermont, who regularly buys bulk beeswax from my husband and I at Dancing Bee Gardens, for her skincare business, Caroline’s Dream.

 They say good business is about relationships and I think it’s interesting how circles of relationships overlap in this example:

 Dancing Bee Gardens’ relationship with honeybees, Ross Conrad of Dancing Bee Gardens and Susan Shashok of Caroline’s Dream both involved in local politics are friends, and Susan Shashok buys DBG beeswax for her cosmetic line. Susan Shashok sells her products at Elmer Farm Community Supported Agriculture in Middlebury where Ross Conrad has one of his bee yards and where we also sell our products. It starts to seem like it’s all one ball of wax! But beeswax has a different place in different businesses. My talk with Susan about beeswax in her business sheds more light on the comb.

Beekeeper businesses stimulate the local economy in many ways by wholesaling products from their hives as well as through pollination and other services. Beekeeping businesses provide supplies and services for mead makers, farmers, artists, health and beauty product makers, and still other industries. Recognizing this good that comes from what we do as a beekeeping business inspired me to ask Susan Shashok about her business and how beewax comes into it.

 Alice Eckles- How did you get started making your products? 

Susan Shashok- I started because I wasn’t finding the products that would work with my sensitive, acne prone skin. I tried them all and got so frustrated, that I took a class on how to make my own. That first moisturizer that I formulated specifically for me worked so well that I started making some for gifts and experimented with making other formulas for family and friends. In a few years enough people wanted to buy them that I was able to start a company.

 Read the rest of Alice's Interview