Angela Moore has been a respiratory therapist for more than 20 years at a local Indianapolis hospital, ever since graduating from Ivy Tech Community College in 2000.
Although a respiratory therapist by trade, Moore is no stranger to owning her own business and taking her concepts to the next level.
The 54-year-old has owned a boutique, written short stories, written a book series, started a Black children’s book drive, and become a playwright.
“I’ve always had the gift of creativity,” Moore said.
Now Moore is adding a positive-affirming crayon company to her list of endeavors. Through the Garatoni School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Moore has started her crayon production company, “You Are LLC.”
You Are makes boxes of crayons with positive affirmations for children from marginalized communities.
“Any image of a child that might get them bullied, that might get them teased, I want them to be able to go home, open up their box of crayons and get the positive reinforcement that they need that they might not get while they're at school being bullied,” Moore said of the mission behind the You Are crayons.
Featured on the first box of You Are crayons are the founder and CEO Angela Moore’s cousins Olivia (left) and Taj (right), wearing crowns.
The You Are boxes feature 10 jumbo crayons, each with a positive affirmation, such as: “You are strong.” “You are unique.” “You are talented.” “You are brilliant.” “You are beautiful.”
The inaugural box of You Are affirmation crayons represented the Black community. Next, You Are is launching crayons representative of the vitiligo community. Soon after, Moore will add boxes for the albino and cleft lip communities to her line-up of positive affirmative crayons.
“Every single day, they can look at this box, and inside this box is a color that says, ‘you know what? I am beautiful in spite of what everybody else says. I am magnificent. I am dazzling. I'm valued,’” Moore said.
How Ivy Tech Indianapolis Helped You Are LLC
In 2021, Moore was already an author, playwright and owned a brick-and-mortar with her cousin. Although she had several business ventures, Moore says she was just “winging it.”
“When I came up with my crayon invention, I said, ‘I want to be a better steward.’ And, ‘I want to learn how to run a business efficiently,’” Moore recalled thinking.
Not long after having this thought, Moore attended an event in Broad Ripple where small business owners pitched their ideas to potential investors. It was there she learned of Ivy Tech’s Entrepreneurship program.
“So, I submitted my paperwork to apply for the program. And it ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made for my business,” Moore said.
Through the Ivy Tech Entrepreneurship program, Moore found a circle of like-minded peers and gracious mentors who wanted to see each other succeed.
Angela Moore, founder of You Are LLC, poses with a banner of her positive-affirming crayons at a Malcolm X College vendor event.
“The instructors are very attentive,” Moore said. “They give you so many resources that you wouldn't get if you've never taken the class.”
Moore said it was through Ivy Indy’s Entrepreneurship program that she learned about and acquired a business bank account, insurance, an accountant, and a business attorney.
“If I hadn’t taken those classes, I wouldn't have met all these people and have all these resources. And it doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to need them right now. What it means is what if I need them a year from now? I will always have those business cards. I will always have my notes where I can go back and be like, ‘Who was that one guy who gave that one presentation?’” Moore explained.
“The resources that they (Ivy Tech) give are invaluable,” Moore said.
You can learn more about You Are and purchase the crayon boxes at youareluv.com. For every box ordered, Moore donates a box to a child in a low-income area.
If you or someone you know is interested in starting or growing their business, visit ivytech.edu to learn more about our Entrepreneurship program and apply today. Entrepreneurship program chair Steve Thrash also hosts informational sessions twice a week on Tuesdays (11 a.m. - 12 p.m.) and Thursdays ( 6 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.). For more information, contact Thrash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.