Maud’s Journey

    I reclaimed an ACID (brand) cigar box and adorned it with an image of Maud Stevens Wagner (1907). It was one of the first cigar boxes my sister and I customized. I wanted to keep the special box for myself. Maud was the first female tattoo artist in the United States. She learned the art from her husband, tattoo artist Gus Wagner. Maud pulled off her look quite beautifully in the early 20th century as a circus performer. I thought she was stunning on the lovely cigar box of sturdy dove tail construction. Sometimes the cigar box lids warp after they come out of the warm humidor and are exposed to the elements of the outside world. But not this Maud box, the lid shut almost perfectly. It wasn't just the image of the artfully ornate Maud and the quality construction of this exclusive box that made it charming. Kathy and I carefully selected and cut the paper so that a delicate bird peeked out to represent the feathered creatures embellished on Maud’s fair skin. We cut blue skies and maps with green landscapes to symbolize her travels. I was very proud of what we had created with this Maud box and we made more. I thought, “Who wouldn’t love this woman?” Tia took some pictures of our lovely Maud boxes we posted them on our catalog, brought some down to Autonomy and wouldn't you know after a bit of time those boxes were all sold. 

     Except one, Maud the ACID box was MIA and couldn't be accounted for. I was perplexed, and I was convinced that Maud had been lifted at one of our shows. I hid her haunting image on our web site catalog and hoped she would find her way back to us. I was very excited when Jon handed me a dusty Maud box. If my memory served me better I would have recalled whisking Maud off a shelf for Zoe to fill with sample sniffing bars to share with her co-workers at Daube's bakery. Maud may have been forgotten in the trunk of Zoe’s Chevy serendipitously. Maybe the spirit of Maud watched over and protected Zoe during her accident which totaled the Cavalier and left my youngest daughter with a concussion.  Zoe has fully recovered and is driving again. Luckily Maud was discovered in the trunk of the demolished vehicle, unharmed from the unfortunate incident, just before Dillon’s salvage towed her away. So you see, Maud’s journey has been a tumultuous one. I was coveting this lovely box once again so I didn't ‘unhide’ her in our store.

     It became clear to me however, where Maud’s journey should end when I read this post on the Great Soap Company’s face book page. I met Lizzi about 30 years ago. Lizzi is a gifted writer and a busy mom, She home schools her three children and is a small business owner. I have always admired Lizzi’s creativity and it’s been awesome re-connecting with her after so many years. I am quite admittedly passionate about our product and I am convinced that it can add value to our customer’s lives. Because I am so passionate about adding value to people’s lives and the quality of our product Lizzi’s story really touched my heart. It was evident to me that Maud would be welcomed and loved in the little red house of ADHD. So I loaded up Maud the ACID box with our family friendly Gin & Tonic. This round is on us, nobody gets drunk and everyone ends up clean and smelling great! We thought it would be a nice way to thank Lizzi for sharing her family’s story (we can’t have her clan fighting over soap after all) and to raise awareness of this form of autism which affects a growing number of families. To find out more about Asperger Syndrome and how you can help visit autism speaks. Since Locke is so fond of the slippery soap I am excited to give him our newest product to try. Jon has created a super slippery shaving soap. Bentonite clay makes this puck of soap slippery, also scented with Gin & Tonic. This puckin soap is sure to be a hit with Locke. (that inappropriate little pun was for you Lizzi) I have been washing my hair with the Gin & Tonic shaving puck and I really dig it. Look for Gin & Tonic soaps in our catalog soon! Thanks again for the awesome words you shared about how The Great Soap Company added value to your family – we are sure Maud was destined to be with you on her journey.



The Great Soap Company - Chief Executive Artist


  • Kathy Akerson

    I used the Gin & Tonic shaving puck this morning and love it!! Love the blog too… Lizzi isn’t the only talented writer!

  • Carol Shipman

    What an awesome story, Lisa! In case you don’t know it, I am so proud of you and love you soooo much! Hugs back to you! Mom

  • lizzi

    Not long ago I was exhausted from the demands of my life. But karma presents itself when you most need it & least expect it. My dearest Lisa’s intentional act from her soul brought Maud to my front porch. It is truly only now, reading Lisa’s words, that all the parts of the story & so many lives are now intertwined & connected. Maud is with Locke, as she is his, without question. He knew this instantly when he saw her. Because Lisa is sharing who she is with the world, I am beyond blessed to be a small part in that journey. “It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of life you have lived.” Because she makes, as their names states, “Great Soap”, I have a happier & more connect little boy, whom I worry less about & can hug & love more. I have a clean & great smelling family! And more than the product, I have the sincere pleasure of shouting to the world, my dear friend Lisa has only begun to show you what she’s got. Thank you Lisa will NEVER be enough. Lots & Lots of hugs & of course all my love!

    The Little Red House of ADHD & other Shenanigans!

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