Criminal Crafting: Are You Breaking Laws You Didn’t Know Existed?

Many Etsy sellers and other business-savvy crafters are unknowingly breaking the law, are you one of them? etsylogolgrgb

Almost every university, sports team, and Greek organization has strict laws in place to protect their trademarks. Creating and selling products including their names, symbols, or even color combinations without a license could be against the law.

I began selling National Panhellenic Sorority stitched letter shirts to sisters in my sorority and other girls on campus this past March. I realized I could make a profit out of this new hobby and decided to sell online, on Etsy.com. I had been selling for a about a month when I received an Etsy message from a representative of Affinity Consultants. Long story short, the sender told me I had two weeks to get “licensed” to sell Greek Organization products or my site would be shut down and I would be subject to a lawsuit. I was totally oblivious that it was illegal to sell something merely containing a specific combination of Greek letters! Especially my own sorority, Kappa Delta. I was outraged and then chalked it up to being a scam–there was no way this was a real legal issue.

greeklicensing

I did my research, reading both online forums and the Official Greek Licensing Website. Becoming a licensed seller is a big decision to be made by a 20-year-old full time college student/part-time restaurant hostess (aka slave). The process included paying initial application fees, annual contract renewal, and quarterly royalty payments–each fee was per organization. I would need to obtain general liability insurance and get each design approved for quality and appropriateness. I took the plunge and applied for three Greek organizations. A few months later, I got the email I had been waiting for–I had finally been approved!

Greek Licensing was something I knew absolutely nothing about and, at first glance, thought it was ridiculous. Now, I understand the necessity of these Greek Organizations (and schools, etc.) to protect their trademark. This ensures that the items representing their brand are of high quality and do not promote/glorify things like hazing, alcohol (ex. no Kappa Delta shot glasses allowed!). I do not regret my decision to become licensed, and encourage anyone who is thinking about selling Greek Products to get licensed BEFORE selling-don’t wait to get caught! Any vendor without the officially licensed seal provided by Affinity Consultants is not legally allowed to sell. Help protect the integrity of these trademarks and order from legally licensed sellers!

Greek Life Logo_Plain_FINAL

Advertisements

3 Ways Kappa Delta (and Greek Life in General) Has Changed My Life

On the eve of recruitment, I am beyond excited to recruit new sisters and share with potential new members my love of Kappa Delta. During “spirit week” (aka a week filled strictly with song practice, sisterly bonding, and general rush prep), we were asked how our lives would be different without Kappa Delta. It was such a simple question, but not something I’d ever thought seriously about. I could list hundreds of ways KD has improved my life, but I’ll just pick three.

1. Job Opportunities
Freshly hired at Lula Kate (an adorable ready-to-wear and bridal shop on King St. in downtown Charleston), I am proud to say I owe my new employment to KD. Highly regarded in the Charleston area, Lula Kate first contacted our chapter in search of a new sales associate before reaching out elsewhere in the community. It is because of my chapter’s impeccable reputation that I had this exciting opportunity!

2. Confidence
Being a sister of Kappa Delta has shaped me into a more confident young woman. Our philanthropies aim to promote confidence among young girls in our community. Ironically, KD has made me confident, too!

3. Pretty Little Letters
Without KD, I never would’ve been inspired to learn to sew–something that seems to be a lost art now-a-days. I’ve had the continuous support of sisters in my chapter, other KDs nationwide, and countless other sororities across the country.

Don’t “rush” to conclusions about Greek life–there’s more than what meets the eye 🙂

935760_10151667013346209_1463653822_n