After growing tired of coloring Santa Claus brown on wrapping paper and holiday ornaments, Shaun and Jacquelyn Rodgers decided enough was enough. Fueled by frustration and a passion to create a legacy for their children, the couple launched Greentop Gifts, a company bringing diversity to the holiday gifting season through its character Clarence Claus. If there’s one thing you can take away from their story, it’s that representation matters.
“When we would do our holiday shopping we weren’t seeing anything that reflected us because it didn’t exist,” said Jacquelyn Rodgers. “So I decided— and Shaun agreed—[that] we would create what we wanted to see.”
The dynamic duo, who both work in sales, have a 4-year-old son, who serves as their Chief Gift Unwrapping Expert. Plus, they’re expecting a baby girl. Here the couple gives us a glimpse into how they are bringing diversity and inclusion to the holiday season and a bit of their process for working as a couple.
“We wanted our friends and families to have their very own Santa on wrapping paper, gift labels, and more every holiday season,” said Jacquelyn. “And with that, Clarence Claus was born. We are most proud of the excitement we hear from consumers about our products. Clarence Claus started as a passion project and something I wanted for my son. We did market research and found a void we believed we could fill. I’m so glad I brought Clarence Claus to life and that people have the chance to experience holiday cheer made specifically for us during this time of the year.”
“Our Clarence Claus wrapping paper is the most popular product sold. However, we also carry apparel such as sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, dad hats as well as baby onesies that feature Clarence Claus. We also have socks and buttons that make cool stocking stuffers in addition to coffee mugs which are great for work gift exchanges.”
Juggling life as a family while running a new business can be a challenge but Shaun Rodgers offered this advice, “Figure out No. 1 how and when your spouse likes to communicate and No. 2 what are each of your focus areas, he said. You might like to communicate in the evening, she might like to communicate in the morning. She might be good at finance, you might be good at logistics. That was a major adjustment for us, but once we figured that balance out everything else came together. “