When a Los Angeles film production company needed vintage wrapping paper for a scene in a movie about a talking teddy bear, the prop master beckoned a stay-at-home mom in the Omaha suburbs.
It’s been a year and a half since Kim Brokke of La Vista got that call — and almost a week since “Ted” made its debut at No. 1 at the box office — and she’s still laughing about the fact that her product, with such humble origins, ended up in a Hollywood movie.
A corner, just behind the family room, in the basement of Brokke’s two-story home is Sweet Vintage Wrapping Paper‘s headquarters, warehouse and distribution center. Boxes packed with her vintage reproduction paper are stacked several feet high.
Her “satellite office” is the main-floor laundry room, on a counter across from the super-duty washing machine (with five kids ages 9 to 18, laundry is on a constant rotation). A color-coded calendar in the mudroom helps Brokke keep track of her activities — she sings and plays the harp at church, funerals and weddings and performs the national anthem at sporting events — and those of her kids.
“It’s just a total nuthouse,” she said. “It’s usually just me here yelling at the kids telling them to let the dogs out.”