Jackie Rodgers a mom from Apex, NC, was eager to celebrate Christmas with her son Eli three years ago. After compiling all his gifts, Jackie started to wrap them up, only to run into one problem: there were no options with a brown Santa.
And it's not like Jackie only checked one or two stores in North Carolina. She had some of her sorority sisters from Detroit, Atlanta, and Chicago search their local stores to no avail. After finally looking online and coming up empty-handed, the 35-year-old mom knew she needed to do something about it and created Greentop Gifts, a wrapping paper company featuring a brown Santa she called "Clarence Claus" after her father.
"I wanted him to look magical. I wanted him to be the perfect chocolate brown and look plump and jolly, and he definitely does. I like the look of his eyes; he looks happy and whimsical."
Jackie believes children seeing a piece of themselves in the real world is critical. "It's important for children to see images that look like them and reflect them," Jackie told People. "If a kid has glasses, it's important for them to see images of kids wearing glasses."
With help from her husband Shaun, the pair got to work tracking down an illustrator to make Jackie's dream a reality. "I wanted him to appeal to children and adults," said Jackie. "I wanted him to look magical. I wanted him to be the perfect chocolate brown, and look plump and jolly, and he definitely does. I like the look of his eyes; he looks happy and whimsical."
Unsurprisingly, Greentop Gifts has taken off this holiday season. In fact, the brand is doing so well Jackie had to hire a fulfillment company. "We filled orders out of the garage until Black Friday," Jackie said, adding that, "It's a good problem to have."
According to the fan mail she's received, parents are grateful for her work. "I read the letters and think, 'Oh, we're doing the right thing.'" Now, Jackie is hoping to expand Greentop Gifts by including paper for graduations, birthdays, and other milestones. Scroll through to get a look at the inclusive paper.