Bubbling and brewing deep below our (well-manicured) feet is one of the most commonly used, but likely least understood, tools of any self-care arsenal: the mighty pumice stone. Millions of years in the making, each one-of-a-kind stone is ejected from the earth during a volcanic eruption. After months of being polished by the sea and sand, each stone washes up on shore and waits to be discovered. Mimicking the sparkling carbonation in your favorite champagne, each stone’s porous configuration gives it a unique texture, hue, and potential use.
The use of pumice has been ubiquitous throughout history. From ancient China to Rome to the Mayans, it’s impossible to know who stumbled across this versatile stone first, but one thing seems to be for certain - its popularity shows no signs of waning. Ancient Romans included pumice in the durable, lightweight cement used to build the famous structures we still admire today. Around the same time in Japan, the ability to easily carve and shape pumice made it a common choice for coffins of deceased loved ones. Even as recently as 2018, a pumice coffin dating back 1,500 years was discovered in the Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Japan during some road construction. What a day at the office that must have been!
Now more commonly used to buff dry, dead, skin from hands and feet, the humble pumice stone has lived many lives throughout the centuries. Like generations before us, our pumice stones are hand collected from their final resting place along the remote beaches of Mexico & Belize. One man is responsible for the highly sought-after stones we sell – Samuel Jackson, III. And just like the stones he collects, Samuel himself has lived many lives.
After countless global adventures and a life that sounds like it could only originate in an adventure book, it was a chance encounter on a beach in the Yucatan more than 25 years ago that changed the direction of his journey and introduced him to this new passion. Stumbling across the stone on a walk, Samuel found the texture and buoyancy very curious and decided to collect a few for a geologist friend. After returning to the United States, Samuel learned about the history and possible origin of the stones he held and that there could potentially be an interest for them in salons and health food stores. And as they say, the rest is history!
Different in size to any pumice stone you will find elsewhere, the Baudelaire stones are special because they fit right between the sizes desired by Europe and America, in a way connecting our heritage of European craftsmanship to the modern American customer. All through his journey with pumice stones, Samuel has rebuked any suggestion to expand his product focus. He knows what he’s passionate about, and he has devoted his career to sharing his love for this unique stone with the world.
Samuel’s devotion to his product is what makes Baudelaire’s partners so distinctive. This fire inside our suppliers to bring the best of what they know to customers all over the world helps ensure the tradition and craftsmanship we pride ourselves on is carried directly to the hands of the people who use our products. One of the things that Samuel finds so fulfilling about his work is that when he picks up a pumice stone from a remote beach on the coast of the Yucatan, he knows that only two people will ever touch this stone, himself and the customer who welcomes it into their home. That’s the kind of supply chain worth raising a glass of champagne to.