On a trip to the Far East in 2000, Tony Cuccio spotted a lava rock in Japan and had an idea. The lava stones were rough enough to act as pumice stones, yet their smooth texture and naturally ergonomic shape made them seem a natural tool for salon manicures and pedicures. Cuccio's confidence in the potential of "the rock," as he was calling it at the time, was so complete he purchased 30,000 on the spot from a rock quarry and had them shipped to the States in ocean-bound crates. The rocks, while not fragile, are shipped in a flat box of eight, carefully laid out. As the rocks were making their way overseas, Cuccio began the hard task of naming his newfound treasure. After reject­ing numerous names including "The Pet Rock" and "Chia Rock," he decided on The Earth Stone Lava Pumice. Cuc­cio called a few of his key dealers and pitched them his new product. "I sent them information on the pedicure market, and with all of the new pedicure lines coming out, they knew the rock would be the perfect accessory," ex­plains Cuccio. "Everyone who touched the rock loved it. It's natural pumice and made up of basaltic lava, which is rich in magnesium, iron, and oxygen. As the hot lava cools, the porous texture is formed and this texture is what makes the removal of dead skin so easy. The orders start­ed pouring in.”

To date, Cuccio has sold a quarter of a mil­lion rocks, a success he says rivaled only by his launch of Cuccio Pedi Slippers three years ago. Says Cuccio on why the rock has quickly become so popular: "I studied the nail market and found something different that was mar­ketable and that was needed." Rock on.

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