Pedicure No More: The Backstory

Like so many women, I had beautiful feet—once upon a time ago, certainly as a kid and into my late 20’s. Back then, I had little appreciation for this gifted time in my life. As I recall, I barely clipped my toenails regularly, moisturized my feet or even bothered to paint my toenails. Ironically, what I longed for more than anything at the time was to have feet like my kinfolk and friends who lived in the South. Those were the feet I wanted—rough, tough and almost hard as nails. 

As a kid growing up in Jersey City, I spent many summers down South visiting my Grandma. Like clockwork, when school let out every year, my sister—Alicia and I were loaded onto a Greyhound bus bound for North Carolina. With us, was a large trunk and a few comic books for the ride.

Growing Up

My sister Alicia & I—Sherri Reid, in North Carolina.

One of the fondest memories of my summers down south was the freedom that I always had to run around willy-nilly and free on my grandmother’s farm—wind blowing through my hair and my bare feet pressing down onto thick lush grass with every step. The utter peace and quiet, and sometimes boredom that I experienced during those summers was truly profound.

Usually, when I arrived at Grandma’s I would eagerly cast aside my shoes and walk around happily in my bare feet every day. Yet, it was not without incident like my cousins. Their feet had developed a certain endurance that mine had not. Allowing them to pad around all day without shoes, running or walking across stick-like blades of grass, rock-hard red clay dirt and jagged-edged stones—never thinking twice about it. Their feet had developed a second skin that rendered them immune to the feel of rocks, pebbles, briars, bugs and whatever else their thickened soles might come across.

Tagging along as a city kid, it didn’t take long for me to give in and put my flip-flops back on just to keep up and not be left behind. At the time, the admiration and envy that I had for my cool country kin was complete. Not only did they have an abundance of space and fresh clean air to enjoy but they could go outside and run around unencumbered, foot loose and fancy free for what seemed to be hours.

As a kid from the city, this was pure heaven, and I wanted in. So, soon after arriving at Grandma’s, I would wholeheartedly embrace the task of toughening up my feet. I too wanted to enjoy my fair share of the good life.

With the passing of time, however, those memories would stand in stark contrast to my current reality. I began to stare down at my feet, remembrances aside, and not like what I would see. The sweet and tender feet of my youth were long gone.

The Problem

As my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s set in, so did the dry, flaky hardened skin. With a deep sigh at my own folly and the irony blazing bright before me, I came to realize that the tables had turned. The tough country gal feet that I longingly sought for as a kid had come back to stay and were dogging me relentlessly with each passing day.

Having long since returned to my senses, I have spent years now craving the soft, smooth kitty paws often displayed by the gorgeous models in fashion magazines. Thus, it was only natural that I set my sights upon the vast array of salves and store-bought solutions that seem to abound for dry, cracked feet. And, this is where my journey began.

With abandon, I threw myself into at-home pedicures—foot soaks and foot files, scaling (wet and dry), then moved on to massaging in Vaseline and donning a pair of tube socks for the night. Next, I invested in foot masks and Baby Feet, which finally progressed to salon pedicures every other week.

The results, I must admit were pretty good. The pedicures really seemed to help, and they made my feet look soft and smooth. At the same time, they were fleeting and often lasted less than two weeks at best. It never took long for my feet to turn back into an ugly mess—dry and crusty like the paws of a scraggly stray mongrel running the city streets.

To make matters worse, because I had no good alternative, I continued to invest a lot of time and money into expensive but largely disappointing pedicures yearly until a lightbulb finally went off in my head. That is when Roots & Bloom Foot Therapy was formally born.

The Birth of Roots & Bloom

At the farmers’ market selling my first Roots & Bloom products

After many hours of research and an array of experimental formulations, I developed a line of high quality, herbal infused skin care products, designed specifically to treat problem areas like the feet. The Regimen is simple and works to remove thick hardened skin from your feet, fast and gently, preventing it from coming back and infusing your feet with tons of skin-loving nutrients and hydration.

Honestly, my feet have never looked better. While I will still go to the nail salon for a manicure and a wax, I have mostly done away with the pedicures. Currently, my nail salon visits consist mainly of pampering and polish. In other words, I now go when it’s convenient and fun and because it’s a treat—not because my feet look crazy and I can’t take another day.

The Problem with Pedicures

While the Roots & Bloom Foot Therapy line has transformed my feet and helped to improve my foot game, I also discovered something new about pedicures that had not occurred to me before. The pedicures definitely helped my feet look good in the short term, but in the long run, they prevented me from having feet that were soft, smooth and beautiful.

In other words, all of the soaking, scrubbing, scaling and filing only served to make matters worse, stimulating my skin to grow back faster, thicker and even tougher than before—ugh! 

Today, however, I am proud to say that the chains have been loosened and my feet finally set free. Unlike the days of my youth, I still enjoy walking around in my bare feet but for a whole set of other reasons.

Right now, when I look down, my feet look beautiful to me. All thanks to Roots & Bloom, the dead dry skin is gone and what’s left is super soft and smooth. It feels quite good to know that I can truly feel again—the world I once knew—underfoot, whether it’s the smooth, subtle woodgrain of my kitchen floor or the feather soft blades of grass in my backyard. And you know what? As an older more mature version of my younger self—this alone—to feel the world that is around and beneath me, is a really amazing feeling.

About Roots & Bloom

About Roots & Bloom

Roots & Bloom is a proud black woman-owned small business located in Maryland. We specialize in a variety of footcare products that are designed to help heal dry, cracked feet once and for all. All of our footcare products are formulated with the purest ingredients including Avocado Oil, Rose Hip Seed Oil. Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Shea Butter.

Each Roots & Bloom product is specifically designed to tone, soften, and smooth feet. Our product formulas incorporate active AHA and BHA ingredients to target those stubborn dry, rough areas on your feet. Our goal is to offer a new way to keep your feet soft and supple on a daily basis with minimal time, cost and effort.

Show your feet the love they deserve and thank them for all their hard work with Roots & Bloom footcare products.

To learn more, visit our Shop Page for more information about each Roots & Bloom product.

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