Megan Martis applies knowledge from ISD to sew up profits for her earth- and body-friendly CLOVO startup company
Megan Martis is living proof that necessity is the mother of all invention.
While growing up as a nature-nurturing, hike-happy, beach bum in warm Redondo Beach, California, Martis would wear sheer tights when it became “California cold”. It wasn’t until she attended Colgate University in freezing upstate New York in September 2016 did she wear them regularly out of necessity.
“I absolutely hated how they felt,” Martis said. “They sagged, ripped easily, and were incredibly itchy.”
Using physics and science as an astrogeophysics major, Martis researched the impact of clothing, and in particular tights, on the environment. What she found was not surprising: Tights were not made of natural materials, were not durable, and were bad for the environment. So she started CLOVO, which stands for clothing revolution.
During a global pandemic, it took two years to evolve CLOVO to market.
Meanwhile, after earning her BA degree at Colgate in May 2020, Martis started her master’s degree at the University of Michigan in Energy Systems Engineering in Integrative Systems + Design in September 2020. It was here, as a U-M graduate student, she began marketing her two plant-based product lines: EverTights and RevoTights. On its website, CLOVO promotes using natural materials with three goals in mind for customers: comfortability, durability, and sustainability.
Running a Tight Ship
To manage the company she founded and trademarked, Martis has formed a tight team of only women with science and engineering backgrounds who work to continuously make the brand more comfortable for women of all body types, more sustainable, and bring a diversity of skill sets, but one with a shared love for creating a better future for the Earth.
With 1,000 product sales to date, Martis hopes CLOVO will loosen the market.
“People love our products,” she said. “They are more comfortable and better for the environment. They’re ideal for Gen Zers and Millennials looking to buy the most cost-effective and sustainable products.”
At ISD, Martis has been involved in the Zell Lurie Institute at the Ross School of Business, where she placed second in the Michigan Business Competition in March 2021. She also placed second in the Michigan Entrepreneurship Summit and was chosen as a Zell Entrepreneur and Applebaum Fellow.
Martis chose ISD and is applying the integrative knowledge she learned in the classroom and group discussions to further the growth of her company, including how to pitch to customers and solve problems.
“I enjoyed my ISD classes,” Martis said. “I love the heavy emphasis on hands-on learning, focus on integrative, and I learned a lot of project management skills, which helps my business grow and helps me pitch my business better.”
Since January, she has been a Fellow in U-M’s Multidisciplinary Design Program, collecting data using a sensor package to model if micro-mobility technology is more sustainable than other ride options and coding energy, economic, and environmental impact models that website users can use to calculate their impacts for mobility sources. She has also worked as a student intern at Tech Lab Climate Change, SkyBaron, in charge of analyzing the carbon product market space, creating a marketing plan, and onboarding vendors.
Martis graduated from ISD in December 2021.