September '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 5 S E P T E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 37 apply to become licensed to sell Greek gear and pay a percentage of each item sold to the relevant Greek organization. The fraternities and sororities that require only licensed decorators to create their products take this requirement very serious- ly. Decorators have been sued for offering unlicensed goods, and the Greek organiza- tions customarily win the suits. This forces the decorators to pay the licensing fees or stop offering the merchandise. Members of fraternities and sororities are also directed to purchase their goods from decorators that offer products labeled with the Official Li- censed Product seal. Some Greek organiza- tions will actually penalize students who get their Greek gear from unlicensed vendors. Getting licensed to offer Greek apparel is not necessarily a simple process, either. Many would-be Greek gear vendors start at This website is run by Affinity Consultants and admin- isters the licensing requirements for more than 90 national and international Greek organizations. To become licensed, a deco- rator must register for an account and sub- mit an application on the website. Samples of proposed products must also be sent to Affinity Consultants to be examined against existing quality standards. If custom prod- ucts are proposed, a licensee must submit all proposed designs for approval before any product is produced. Once the application and samples are submitted, the potential licensee will be notified if their application is approved or denied. If approved, a licensee agrees to pay a royalty of 8.5 percent at present on all li- censed products sold. There is also a $20 renewal fee annually, for each organization a decorator wishes to license. Each licensee must also report sales and pay royalties on a quarterly basis. Any licensed establishment is also required to have a one million dollar comprehensive general and product liability insurance policy naming Affinity Consul- tants clients as an additional insured party. A license is issued for one year and automat- ically renews each year unless termination is requested by either party. Getting licensed to sell Greek apparel can be a complicated process. (Image courtesy Sheila Burks, After 5 Printing and Graphics and Rhinestone Queen)

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