LeRoy Pennysaver & News - page 12

TwoFor $20
If you have ever wanted to
outfityourentire football team,or
soccer team,or family,orallyour
grandchildren in Jell-O T-shirts,
now is the time!! For the month
saleon theoriginal Jell-OboxT-
shirts.We’reoffering theT-shirts
at the1991price.My suggestion
is tobuy themwhilewehave the
sizes and colors youwant.
Allofyou folks fromSyracuse
University need orange shirts.
The first Jell-O shirts were sold
in the spring of 1991 - - I think.
I know that we needed a way
to raise money to have original
Jell-O paintings restored for the
exhibitat theStrongMuseumand
theJell-OCompanywasn’t inter-
ested inhelping, sowedecided to
sell T-Shirts.We placed an order
and they were sold out immedi-
ately andwe didn’t have any left
tosellat theOatkaFestival, sowe
took orders.
I remember the day theywere
delivered - - hundreds of them.
We set out large grocery bags
with the names of the people
whohadordered shirts andfilled
orders. One large raspberry, two
small lemons, one extra largeor-
ange. Thebagsfilled thefloorsof
the front parlor ofLeRoyHouse.
Then when the Jell-O exhibit
opened at the StrongMuseum in
Rochester, everyone wanted to
wear their Jell-O shirts, but we
stilldidn’thavea licensingagree-
mentwithJell-O touse their logo.
I had called the archivist in
Morton Grove to thank her for
helpingwith some Jell-Ohistory
and offered to send her a Jell-O
T-shirt andwaswarned that since
wedidn’t havepermission touse
their logo, they would have to
have their trademark lawyers get
involved.Youhavegot tobekid-
dingme, I thought. I didn’t hear
from the lawyers and I figured I
wouldask forgiveness rather than
permission. Sowhen themarket-
ing team from Jell-O called to
say they wanted Jell-O T-shirts
for the opening of the Jell-O
exhibit at the Strong Museum,
I told them I couldn’t sell them
for fear of getting in troublewith
trademark lawyers.They toldme,
not toworry, and to sell them the
shirts - -whichwedid - - at cost,
ifmemory servedme.
In the meantime, we did en-
gagewith the trademark lawyers,
and had to submit - free - shirts
for their review. I was told that
they had to look at the quality,
and make sure that if some kid
decided to eat his t-shirt, that the
shirt material and the inkwould
not be harmful.
Well, fast forward to 1997.
We still didn’t have a licens-
ing agreement with Jell-O, and
when it did arrive, it was good
for only a year - - and we were
already into thebetter part of the
year – and we could only sell
it on premises - - which meant
that weweren’t supposed to sell
the shirts at the Oatka Festival.
We opened the Jell-O exhibit in
June. Everyoneshowsup in their
Jell-OT-shirt.Wesell shirtsat the
Oatka Festival and the licensing
lawyersdidn’tshowup.Well, that
licensing agreement expired and
we renewed it againayearor two
later. The Jell-Omarketing folks
have bought T-shirts on and off,
and the phone number that I had
for the licensing lawyer is no
longer in service.
A few years ago, we start-
ed selling embroidered Jell-O
T-shirts (no they are not on sale
thismonth) We used a “closed”
O on the Jell-O. When Jell-O
marketing team
came to visit, they
wanted us to use
their “new” logo
with the “swoopy”
on ( that is on the
box of Jell-O) Be-
cause, as I learned,
it is not just Jell-O
that is trademarked,
it is the font of the
When we went
for approval to put
the billboard up
on the Thruway, I
wanted to use the
old Jell-O font – I
thought it looked
more historical - -
but was told that I had to use the
swoopy O. So when it came to
embroidering the swoopy O for
the marketing people, we went
aheadanddid it (ifyouhaveone,
it is a collector’s item.) Because
as it turns out, it costs a lotmore
money to embroider the swoopy
O than the closed O and we do
not have swoopyO embroidered
T-shirts for sale.
Another sto-
ry about the
swoopy O. The
marketing team
was so proud of
their new logo.
I didn’t have the
heart to tell them
that 100 years
ago, Jell-O had
a swoopy O. It
shows up on a
wooden Jell-O
crate.And, then Iwondered,how
much the new marketing team
had to pay the graphics designer
to come up with the swoopy O.
Oh, my - - that’s a teachable
So I askedTerry - -howmany
Jell-Obox shirts didwewell last
year? And I wonder howmany
wehavesoldsince1991. During
the first couple of years, we had
other companies print the Jell-O
startedprinting theshirts in
1998. Iestimate,wesellbetween
500 and 600 a year – times 25.
One year, we asked folks to
take a selfie in their Jell-O shirt
and send it back to us. I’ve lost
thenameof thisguy inEgypt,but
there’snoquestionwherehe took
the photo. In fact, if you have a
chance, send us your photos of
folks - teams - - the family dog
- - in their Jell-O shirts. It gives
us a chance to look forward to
checking our email each day - -
Thurs.8-7pm, Sat.8-3pm
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