Former student-athlete and University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication graduate Minyon Moore has gone from playing basketball for two Division 1 women’s college teams to creating a clothing line.
Moore graduated with a communications bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California in 2019, where she also played for the women’s basketball team, the Trojans. After graduating from USC, she moved to Eugene to join the Advertising and Brand Responsibility Master’s program at the UO and continue her basketball career.
Entrepreneurship has always been one of Moore’s main goals, but she prioritized her education and basketball commitments first. Soon after graduating with a master’s degree in advertising, she created her clothing brand, Top2 Not2. Through her time at the UO, she learned valuable lessons and skills that helped her get to where she is today.
Why did you choose to study advertising?
I chose to study advertising at the University of Oregon because I wanted to be a part of a program that went hand in hand with my bachelor’s degree in communications and impacted the world. The Advertising and Brand Responsibility program deals with real-life issues affecting us at this very moment, and I thought it was important to broaden my knowledge on those topics.
I knew I eventually wanted to run my businesses, and this program would teach me lessons on how to do so in an ethical way. I also heard nothing but great things about the program directors, Deb Morrison and Kim Sheehan. When I was on my official visit, my family and I had the opportunity to meet Deb, and from that point on I was sold. I knew I’d be in good hands with genuine people who cared about the work they did and their impact on the world.
How would you describe your time at the UO?
I’d describe my time at the UO as a blessing. I was only physically there for a little over six months, so it was shorter than I expected. However, the time that I was there and the relationships that I built felt as if I had been there my whole college career. Not only was I on the best women's basketball team in the world, but I also had the best staff and cohort in my master’s program that made my experience at the university complete. I can wholeheartedly say without the great people I was able to connect with and the support system I had, my experience wouldn't have been close to what it was. For that, I am forever grateful.
How did college athletics impact you as a person?
College athletics has impacted my life in many ways that I can’t put into words. It’s taught me vital lessons that can only be taught through the experiences I have had — the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s pushed me as a person physically, academically, mentally and much more. Through college athletics, I’ve learned skills and life lessons that will forever impact me, and without it, I honestly don’t know where I’d be today.
What inspired you to start your own clothing line after college?
I’ve always had a dream of being my own boss and entrepreneur. I’ve always wanted to run the show, which is a mindset I think I developed from being a point guard my whole life. I’ve had the idea of running my clothing line since my sophomore year at USC. I waited for the right time, so I wasn't juggling too much while trying to juggle my academics and athletic responsibilities already. When COVID-19 hit, it allowed me to sit down and plan since I had no other option.
How do you apply the skills you've learned in school to your clothing brand?
I’ve acquired a lot of skills in school that I now apply when running my business. I’d say the biggest skills, though, are time management and communication.
How have you worked around COVID-19 to start your business?
It’s been very difficult starting a business during a pandemic because it honestly makes everything 10 times harder. I’ve had a lot of family and friends supporting me, which has made the process much easier, so I owe a lot to them, and I have to give credit to my support system for everything. Many things are uncertain because of COVID, but I have to stay as positive as possible with the changes and roll with it.
What do you see as the future of your brand?
I see my brand expanding in the upcoming years, and hopefully growing to the point of opening up a storefront. My biggest hope is that my brand can speak to people’s stories personally, and hopefully it helps them get through what they’re going through. That's what my brand stands for: overcoming adversity and striving to be the best version of your own self.
What advice do you have for SOJC students and graduating seniors?
Keep going! Never give up and always bet on yourself.
— By Aunalyn Colipano, class of '21
Aunalyn Colipano ’21 is an SOJC senior majoring in public relations with a minor in psychology. She is determined to use her skills and expertise to create a diverse and inclusive space in public relations and communication. After graduating, she wants to continue to share stories in the social media industry.