About Us

Propel LLC is  a product innovation management company focused on the development, sales, and marketing of innovative textile driven technologies.  Our primary markets are the US Military and Fire Service.  We are  problem solvers and solution finders.  We are avid listeners with a solid understanding of the science and nuances required in these markets.

Propel has received US Army R&D contracts  to develop  textile technology solutions that have transitioned to acquisition, and has been  competitively awarded two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contracts by the US Navy, for Stitchless Seam Engineering (Phases I, II and III contracts) and Advanced Wireless Textiles (currently in Phase I Option).   We also consult for clients, with current and past clients including Globe Manufacturing LLC, Patagonia Inc., Cascade Designs, Aspen Aerogels, Infoscitex, Miltech, SSM Industries, Mustang Survival, and Sheep Venture Company.

Our knowledge and networking skills offer our clients exclusive and unique resources.  We are  not tied to a single technology - instead  we work  back from the problem in order  to develop collaboratively across companies and industries the best solution for the user.  We are an adjunct to our clients, both government and commercial, taking on the difficult & innovative tasks essential to the success of each project.


Clare King, president of Propel LLC, handling the material used to make one of the coats they are producing for the US Navy. The coats are produced with limited thread & needle, instead they are made using bonding and welding of the material.

Our Team


Clare King

President and Owner

Clare started her career working in economic modeling, only to shift gears and start Cherry Tree, one of the first technical outdoor clothing companies for children. From there she followed her passion for technical textiles, working for companies both large and small, including GE, before founding Propel in 2006. Using a wealth of experience in textile materials and processes she is able to think about a problem and its solution from conceptualization through full scale manufacturing, with attention to both design and business detail.


Bethany Pollack

VP of Business Innovation

Bethany joined Propel LLC in 2007. Working closely with Propel’s clients, she is an expert in taking an innovative technology from an idea to full commercialization. Bethany is known for her exceptional organizational capabilities, clear-sighted business sense, technical insights and her amazing ability to  focus  a project for success.  


Birgit Leitner

Head of Product Development

Birgit is an accomplished designer with years of experience in product design and development of technical apparel for both start-ups and global brands.  Her well rounded approach and understanding of the client’s unmet needs allows her to provide sound solutions to complex problems. Birgit holds several patents and joined Propel, LLC in 2014.


Brigette Robichaud

Office Manager

Brigette oversees finance, accounting, government contract compliance, human resources, and facilities. Brigette is customer focused, a good communicator, and a great problem solver. Before joining the company in 2015, Brigette worked in a broad range of accounting management roles in the construction, healthcare, insurance, and not-for-profit sectors.


Arianna Buonanno

Design Associate

Arianna joined Propel LLC in 2013. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design from the University of Rhode Island. Arianna uses these skills here at Propel and also at her own design company, Arianna Nicola Designs, specializing in custom bridal accessories and garments. In addition, to participating in garment design and development projects, Arianna works with her colleagues at Propel on development of project specific garment design as well as writing and executing garment testing protocols.

Case Studies

Stitchless Seam Engineering

As a small business a source of inspiration for projects is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.  In 2012 the Navy put out a topic, Seam Engineering: Stitchless Seam Technology, that resonated with us. We saw in this project a technology innovation footpath to the future in what to date has always been the…

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Smart Integrated Uniform™

Naval uniforms do not exist to keep pace with the evolving multifunctional human-system interface technologies envisioned for future ship command, control and operation. A need exists to advance the state of wearable technologies capable of seamlessly integrating with evolving ships systems. In response to this knowledge gap, Propel LLC was competitively selected and awarded in…

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