Venus Williams, CEO

Image AMany years ago my parents started me in the game of tennis and I very quickly came to love it; ever since, I have valued the lessons I learned from playing both with my family and my competitiors. However, in 1999 when I enrolled in fashion school at 18 years old, I found my second passion, design.    In my time at school, I rediscovered my love for design and the arts.

A love for the arts is and has always been in my blood.  If I could, I would practice them all; architecture, fine arts, industrial design, fashion design, dance. 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, the process that one would take to be successful in tennis. Like tennis, design is always moving and changing. Your opponent constantly changes, as well as the conditions, and tactics you use to overcome challenges. Each client is different, and each design solution is challenging and distinctive. I love this about design; variety is the spice of life!

The most awesome aspect of founding V Starr for me has been the gift of 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!

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, 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 have the access to quality food. I would love to have an organic market that is gratis for lower income families and individuals, but it’s a work in progress. I am also passionate about 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! It’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.  I want to be the best sister I can for her; 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 😉