Venus Williams, CEO

Image AMany years ago my parents started me in the game of tennis; I truly love the game and it has given me so much. However, it was in 1999 when I enrolled in fashion school at 18 years old when I found my second passion; design.  I have a love for design and the arts. It’s in my blood. If I could I would practice them all, architecture, fine arts, industrial design, fashion design, dance, just to name a few. There just isn’t enough time in life to pursue everything that I love.

I chose Interior Design as a lifelong pursuit off of the court because it mirrors in spirit so closely the process that one would take to be successful in tennis. Like design, tennis is always moving and changing. Your opponent constantly changes, as well as the courts, conditions, and the tactics. The same can be said of design. Each client is different; each design solution is challenging and distinctive. I love this about design; variety is the spice of life!

The most awesome experience for me has been being given the gift of having a stellar team. No one person can do it alone. Having a truly talented team of designers that I believe in gives me the opportunity to learn, share and collaborate as well as continue to excel on the court and pursue my other love!

When I am not designing or playing tennis, which is almost never, I use my time to pursue other activities, such as modern dance and jazz, mixing music and taking care of an army of dogs. I am a junk food enthusiast. I check the candy jar everyday at the V Starr office for any chocolates or yummy treats. Fortunately or unfortunately it’s always empty, everyone at V Starr eats healthy and keeps me in line!

What would you have done if you had not played tennis? I believe I would have ran track, have been a model, discovered I hated makeup and being behind the camera, gone to business school, found that I love design, gone back to school and double majored in fashion, interior, or some sort of design. But I guess we will never know…!

What is your biggest dream? My biggest dream for the moment is to help people to eat healthy; Especially in low income areas where they may not know as much about how to properly fuel your body or have the access to quality food. I would love to have an organic market that is gratis for lower income families and individuals. It’s a work in progress. I am also passionate for equal rights for all around the world and it’s something I actively work towards.

Best moment, personal and professional: I love being a big sister, that’s my biggest job in life, and I take it seriously. I am the 4th of five daughters so I can only be a big sister for one of us.  Anything for lil’ sis.

In design, I love the moments when you see it all come together at an actual installation. It makes all the blood sweat and tears that the whole team put into it more worth it.  Equally important to me is when our clients convey how invaluable we have been to keeping their project on track, on time and properly installed. It’s exhilarating!

For tennis, I love the Olympics. I hope to play in my 5th Olympics in Rio in 2016. I love the feeling of togetherness and unity that brings out the best in the athletes and brings the whole world together in those two special weeks every four years.

Something people don’t know about you?  I became a vegan a few years ago as a result of being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. It was an extreme diet and quite hard, so I conveniently and happily became a “cheegan.” Translation: it means yes, I eat vegan, but I cheat too 😉