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Student athlete founds company for tennis grips

Blake Deffenbacher | The Feather Online

Clovis North transfer Alyssa Melillo, ’18, has two tennis Division I Valley Championships as well as her own business, Chameolon Grips, a tennis racket overgrip company.

Senior Alyssa Melillo recently transferred to Fresno Christian from Clovis North starting the second semester. Melillo won a Division I Valley Championship in tennis her junior and senior year as sixth and fifth on the ladder, respectively.

Melillo played tennis at Clovis North for all four years of high school, but started when she was young because both of her parents were tennis players.

Melillo is currently a business partner and founder of Chameleon Grips. Chameleon Grips is a tennis overgrip company based out of Fresno started by Melillo and a couple business partners from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

“Chameleon grips are designed tennis grips,” Melillo said. “I started this business freshman year when I joined the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. I had this idea in the back of my head when I joined the class so having that idea really helped the process.”

Melillo attended the Young Entrepreneurs Academy to help her start the business and advance her entrepreneurial capabilities.

“They really walked me through the steps of starting a business,” Melillo said. “They helped us create a business plan and marketing to investors which gave us money to actually start a business and I met a couple of my business partners from that experience as well.”

 

 

Reese Brown, ‘19, purchased an overgrip from Chameleon Grips. Brown states what he appreciates about the grip.

“Compared to other grips that I have been using it was more comfortable for my hand as well as the fact that it lasts a lot longer than any of my past over grips I have had,” Brown said. “It still charges a reasonable price with this benefit. What makes them unique is that they’re made by a student and just as good, if not better than every grip that I’ve ever tried.”

The inspiration for this idea came while she was a young tennis player and felt tired of using bland overgrips.

“Overgrips go on top of the normal grip on the racket,” Melillo said. “It is the thing that we actually use and grip. Because we actually use them every day, they get worn out a couple times a month. You end up changing it a lot so I wanted to incorporate a cute design to something that is so normal to a racket.”

After high school, Melillo plans to major in business at Fresno State as a Craig Business Scholar. Afterwards, she aims to get her MBA and hopes to move to New York and work at a Fortune 500 company.

Outside of school, business and tennis, Melillo loves traveling and spending time with her friends. She is also currently on the campus softball team.

There are currently seven different colors of grips sold on the Chameleon Grips website from floral prints to various types of camos. A single grip costs four dollars and a pack of three costs 10 dollars.

If you are interested in Chameleon Grips, you can check out their website

For more articles, read Fresno residents reflect on homeless crisis, pt. 2 or Childhood events shape personality and affect adulthood

Jacob Hyatt can be reached via email.

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