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Hidden Gems: Meet Colleen Moore of The Crown Up

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colleen Moore.

Hi Colleen, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
The Crown Up has successfully been in business for a year, and it continues to grow from the love and support we receive every day. I had an idea to create something that would inspire the next generation, and I knew I had to push this idea right away. Looking at society and how much the world is changing it’s putting a lot of pressure on our kids to be perfect. That type of pressure, having to look, dress, talk a certain way, all just to be accepted, can cause major anxiety. I know personally how that feels, so it’s important to me that the African American youth see themselves as I see them. They are trendsetters. They are beautiful, geniuses, and unapologetically amazing from birth. I’m gifting them their crowns, reminding them of who they are, and that’s Royalty. It is through my apparel clothing line where I focused on reaching the youth.

One of the movements that I have going on right now is my Representation Matters Collection, which I started at the beginning of the fall season last year. There are the black hoodies with the phrase, “My Melanin is Crowned in Royalty,” and it’s also printed on t-shirts as well. This movement is very powerful and I feel like it’s a confidence builder and teaching self-love. I’ve also created a way to empower young girls and teens, using the same similar strategy. Royalty Rise Up, which is attached to The Crown Up, is a celebration of black girls all over the world. I have some past modeling experience myself, so I put together a photoshoot that would highlight their strength, beauty, natural hair and features. Everything combined, every idea I come up with for The Crown Up is mainly focused on uplifting the culture. We are where we are today because people see and understand the vision that I have.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
In the beginning, it seemed like I had things figured out, but over time you learn that your business has to go through constant upgrades. I’ve made a few mistakes, made a few bad choices and it does come back to haunt you. Automatically, you’re going to get discouraged when things go wrong or when you feel like you’ve wasted time and money. I had to force myself to take a few breaks and work on rebranding and figuring out different strategies that would grow my business. I started to reach out to other business owners for counseling, I went out more to network and got more education on how to run a successful business. I’m still educating myself every day and I have formed strong business partnerships with people who constantly push and motivate me. It’s never going to be a straight walk in the park and I’m fine with that. This is a challenge that I decided to take on and I must persevere.

We’ve been impressed with The Crown Up, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Crown Up was founded in 2019, We are a family apparel wear business, but we also created our apparel line to Inspire and Empower the African American Youth. Especially those who struggle with depression, low self-esteem and struggling to love their Natural Hair. The idea was to teach them to have love and pride for themselves and within themselves. Teach them to Support and Respect each other. Remind them that they’re Royalty and can do and be anything they want in life. To Encourage them to never give up. To help them to see that they’re beautiful just the way they are. Overall, we realized that we could maximize our social impact by addressing the needs of the African American Youth. By uplifting the younger generation, we would help build a stronger culture and improve the future of those children. And that’s what’s most important to us. The Crown Up also recognizes the need to join forces with other organizations to carry out our mission. Those organizations that specialize in teaching, motivating and strengthening the youth. I’m most proud of the impact it has made on others, including my own children. My youngest daughter just happened to be the inspiration for starting this company. To see how much it has built her confidence and is teaching her to give love back to others that’s fulfilling.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I’m a true southern girl. I spent the majority of my childhood in Georgia and I now reside in Florida. I was that kid who enjoyed my spaghetti with fried chicken and a cup of Kool-Aid. I played outside a lot, I made friends here and there, but I enjoyed spending time alone as a kid. I was always a day-dreamer, writing stories, poetry, drawing, listening to music, watching professional ice skating every day. Anything that took my mind to another world I focused on. I have always been creative. I just never had the courage to express it to others the way I do n0w. I am the only girl out of six children, so sports was definitely a big deal in our household. I’m still a sports fanatic, but I was a hardcore basketball fan as a child. I also had a love for collecting porcelain dolls. Well, that part still remains.

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Image Credits
Adrian Bracy, Bracy Photos Professional, Daniel Lauer, RD Multimedia, LLC

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