By Megan Martis ’20 and Monica Dimas ’19, co-founders of CLOVO Brand, LLC
Attending Catholic school before Colgate, I was required to wear a skirt uniform. Often, I would wear tights (pantyhose) when it became “California cold”. I absolutely hated the way tights felt and how they sagged all day and ripped easily. My friends and I would wear spandex shorts under them to help with the sagging, but unfortunately the shorts did not stop the itching. The tights problem did not stop when I came to Colgate. I found myself wearing pantyhose even more due to the freezing weather. After talking about how terrible tights are with a friend, we decided to set out to stop the tight strife forever. Our original goal was to create the most comfortable pantyhose ever by reinventing their design—ultimately leading us to develop EverTights. We affirmed our idea that tights needed a renovation after surveying over 200 women in our target market. Along the journey of figuring out the design and when my co-founder Monica joined, we also realized how terrible nylon is, as it is a crude-oil based material. Monica and I both are very passionate about the environment, as we both have natural science backgrounds, so we knew that sustainability would be a core value of our brand and mission.
Our company has undergone a lot of growth in recent months. Our first major milestone was creating an innovative pantyhose design that would solve as many of the pain-points our target market experienced. Monica and I spent around eight months researching materials, contacting manufacturers, gathering expert advice, and reassessing prototypes. This process required patience through trial and error, but it was foundational, as it led us to finalize our tights’ design, our natural material, and our supply chain. Our manufacturers and the CLOVO team have tested our EverTights and found them to be more durable and comfortable than traditional tights, specifically due to the integration of our spandex short and the inclusion of Tencel. Proving our concept to mentors, potential customers, and investors has led us to keep refining our product, values, and marketing points. We believe that our diligence, vision, and execution are what contributed to our success in this year’s New York State Business Plan Competition, where we took first place in the Energy and Environment track. Concurrent with this recognition was the inception of our first ever CLOVO summer internship program, which has helped us market our product, gain an audience, and prepare for our Kickstarter campaign launch in July 2020.
Capital from the Entrepreneur’s Fund was crucial in making our product a reality, as it helped us complete our first round of EverTights. Our first 2,000 units are currently being shipped to our distribution center for fulfillment, and we plan to use our margins for future rounds of EverTights. The consistent feedback and support from our TIA mentors have been a huge contributor to our Kickstarter campaign’s success. You can learn more about our Kickstarter campaign here. Once our campaign ends, we will integrate customer feedback into future products and will continue to grow our following so that our product truly makes a positive impact on the environment.
Throughout the CLOVO journey so far, Monica and I have become integrated into the world of entrepreneurship. As we have worked through challenges, we have obtained extensive experience in business, fashion, and marketing. We could not have started CLOVO (the CLOthing reVOlution) without the help of our mentors in the TIA Incubator, which we were a part of for two years. With the foundation for entrepreneurship that we built through the Incubator, we plan to continue to create additional sustainable undergarments in the near future. Given that the clothing industry is one of the main sources of pollution in the world, there needs to be sustainable change, and we plan to be one of the main advocates. If you would like to contact the CLOVO team, you can email us at email@example.com or visit our website clovobrand.com to learn more about our sustainable mission.