Exclusive Interview: Venus Williams on Building Her Businesses and Staying on Top in Tennis

Venus Williams in her EleVen by Venus Williams Collection dress she will wear at Wimbledon 2016

As Venus Williams gears up for her 19th Wimbledon, the tennis great shared with me some of her passions off the court which include building her own interior design business and launching her bright and fun EleVen by Venus Club Collection for tennis AND fitness (yoga, dance, running).  As a current MBA student myself, I am so impressed by the way Venus took the time to earn both fashion and business degrees and launched businesses she is passionate about all while staying on top of her tennis game.  As a competitive tennis player myself, I’ve been following her career for years, and Venus has always had strong showings at Wimbledon, winning 5 singles and 5 doubles titles throughout her career in London.  With this appearance, she will tie Amy Frazier for the world record of 71 Career Grand Slam Main Draw Appearances!  Above is a sneak peak of the outfit from her EleVen by Venus Club Collection that she will debut at the tournament and what is on her mind just a few days ahead of the Grand Slam.  Good luck, Venus!! We’ll be watching.

After all your years of competing, do you still get nervous before a big tournament like Wimbledon and how do you combat that?
Tennis is mostly mental. Of course, you must have a lot of physical skill, but you can’t play tennis well and not be a good thinker. You win or lose the match before you even go out there. I still can’t believe this will be my 19th Wimbledon!

(Credit: EleVen by Venus Williams)

You are always so well poised and have great sportsmanship on the court, why is that important to you?
My mom and dad always taught that, even when you’re facing tremendous obstacles and the world has counted you out, you don’t just give into it and give up. You always need to stay strong and true to yourself. When my career is over, I always want people to remember me not only as a fierce competitor but as someone who loves and respects the game of tennis and each of my opponents.

 How does your personal style come through in EleVen?
I always wanted to find a way to best represent my love of fashion on the court and I am so proud for my vision to be displayed to all of these fans. EleVen means being better than ten. Our brand is all about one thing: YOU! We believe in motivating you to aspire to your greatest potential. When you wear EleVen, you become part of something; a community where you not only look good, but you feel even better.

 How have your fashion and business degrees helped you to grow a career and life off of the tennis court?
As a professional athlete and entrepreneur my goal is to leverage my worldwide notoriety and education to build businesses in the fields that I love: interior design and fashion design. Design mirrors tennis as you have to find a new design solution for every project, every new space, each new city, and understand the nuances of each client. I love taking in the varied architecture of different countries. And with fashion, I always have loved being able to express myself with colors and designs that inspire me the most.


WATCH: Venus Williams as she competes in her 19th Wimbledon.  The tournament runs from June 27 – July 10 at the All England Club in London.  Check the Wimbledon Website  for updated scores and schedules.
BUY: EleVen By Venus on the following websites: EleVen By Venus, Tennis Warehouse, Tennis Express, MidWest Sports, and Pinks and Greens.
DISCOUNT: THE BRITE STUFF READERS GET $10 OFF FROM THE ELEVEN BY VENUS WEBSITE WITH CODE: BRITESTUFF (FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $100)

Looks from the EleVen by Venus Williams Collection

(Credit: EleVen by Venus Williams)
(Credit: EleVen by Venus Williams)
(Credit: EleVen by Venus Williams)
(Credit: EleVen by Venus Williams)
(Credit: EleVen by Venus Williams)
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