What made this tennis champion become an entrepreneur_ her dad’s cassette collection _ inc. com

She climbs gracefully down the warehouse ladder, and then carefully places items in the shipping box. El patio simi valley Like every diligent warehouse worker, she double-checks the packing list — and then takes a moment to hand-write “Packed by Venus” on a small card. Little league baseball near me Nice touch.

What she didn’t write was “Packed by Venus Williams, seven-time Grand Slam singles champion and three-time world No. Easton baseball 1.” That might be a little unnerving to the amateur tennis player on the receiving end of Venus’s warehouse serve. Baseball players with long hair How does someone fit into that outfit? Williams doesn’t have to fulfill orders any more than Michael Jordan, majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets, has to pass out towels on the bench. Usa softball team But like other successful entrepreneurs who love to work not just on their businesses but also in their businesses, she wants to understand her company from every level.

Williams is the founder, CEO, and now sole proprietor of EleVen by Venus, a company that makes women’s tennis togs; performance clothing for yoga, fitness, running, and dance; and casual gear known as athleisure wear.


Fantasy football top 300 printable After struggling to reestablish her brand, not to mention her health, following a couple of setbacks, she’s now in full control. Garden city idaho Sales tripled last year, according to EleVen, and could quintuple this year as she expands distribution and takes the brand international. Softball quotes for pitchers She’s also the founder of V-Starr Interiors, a seven-employee design firm with clients ranging from luxury residential properties to tennis clubs to hotels. Single pitch roof house plans Sometimes the two cross over: The Midtown Athletic Club chain carries the EleVen line in its boutiques and has also hired V-Starr to design lounge and hotel suite renovations for its flagship facility in Chicago.

Behind her are bankrupt retailers, a soured manufacturing partnership, and some rookie mistakes. Pitch dark movie Ahead of her is a venture she hopes will take her far beyond athletic and athleisure apparel to more of a lifestyle brand, one that’s about performance and empowerment. Landscape pics “Eleven is better than a 10,” she says, by way of explaining her brand message. Fantasy baseball podcast “It’s about reaching your best, pushing beyond the limits, and coming to win. Fantasy baseball rankings espn Even if you don’t get there, it’s about that journey.” That’s not insignificant from a women who has lost multiple Grand Slam finals to her little sister Serena, among others. Front porch designs for small houses This is her connection to women who may not labor under the spotlight but compete nonetheless. Pump start relay wiring diagram “Once you tell that story,” she says, “you can see the light bulbs going on.”

Being a full-bore entrepreneur would be difficult enough for a retired athlete trying to make a life and career transition, but Williams is doing it while maintaining a full schedule on the WTA Tour. Softball tournaments in pa As of December, she was ranked 17th. College softball rankings 2016 And, at 36, she is a veritable antique in a sport in which players often peak in their early to mid-20s. Car making high pitched noise when accelerating It’s multitasking on an entirely different level, although she doesn’t necessarily see it that way. Mls softball “When you’re an athlete, you’re ‘done’ early in life,” she says, “so I decided to see that not as a limitation but an opportunity. Lattice semiconductor stock I’ve always been focused on having goals beyond tennis.”

Lots of athletes and music and entertainment figures have used their celebrity as a bridge to business. Miami baseball team Baseball great Ty Cobb was an early investor in Coca-Cola. Peach aviation review In 1941, jazz musician Les Paul created one of the first solid-body electric guitars, and bandleader Fred Waring backed the development of the blender that would bear his name. Timber merchants liverpool Golf legend Arnold Palmer proved an ace businessman, auto racer Roger Penske was even better at selling cars than driving them, and boxer George Foreman wasn’t too punch-drunk to offload his grill gadget for $137 million. Softball fans More recently, actress Jessica Alba launched the Honest brand of household products, and actor Ashton Kutcher invested in everything else, or so it would seem. Baseball pitch cutter Athletes and entertainers such as Bode Miller, Pharrell Williams, and Sofía Vergara are in various stages of entrepreneurship. Counterfort retaining wall design example And nearly every hip-hop artist is also an aspiring entrepreneur, trying to become the next Jay Z. Baseball field clipart Yet the scorecard on celebrities and jocks as business people isn’t all that pretty. Batting cages las vegas They’ve been victims of bad advice, if not outright fraud. Fantasy sports espn They’ve also been susceptible to the delusion that name recognition alone will lead to success. Flag football leagues near me Thousands of celebrity-themed restaurants have died that way, from Joe Louis’s to Mickey Mantle’s.

Two days after her fourth-round exit at the 2016 U.S. Timber suppliers glasgow Open, Williams was back in business mode, meeting with potential retail partners. Fantasy basketball draft “If she knows somebody and can bang on the door, she has no problem doing that,” says Rosen. What is irrigation EleVen is on a mission to expand its distribution, and being a tennis star can certainly get you a meeting with buyers. Auburn softball coach Advantage Venus. Gardening “They know your name, and they respect what you’ve done in athletics,” says Williams. Basketball court size “But they don’t automatically think you can transfer that focus to a business.”

Williams is no stranger to battling back. What is the fastest pitch in baseball Her 4-6, 7-6, 9-7 defeat of Lindsay Davenport in the 2005 Wimbledon final is a classic — and that’s essentially where she was with EleVen in 2015. Facebook login history She’d established the brand about 10 years before, nurturing it as her tennis game soared. Paving expert In the late ’90s, she’d had an endorsement deal with Reebok and her own signature line and reupped in 2000 for $40 million — then the richest endorsement deal for a woman athlete. Irrigation association But Reebok lost the sneaker wars to Nike and was eventually sold to Adidas. Fantasy football team names funny Williams launched EleVen as an exclusive line for the then-hot Steve & Barry’s chain. Fences by august wilson (Sarah Jessica Parker and other celebs also got their own lines.) The company over­expanded and got smashed by the Great Recession. Little league pitching mound distance It went bankrupt in 2008. Uw softball Williams made a deal with a company in Los Angeles to do manufacturing for EleVen while she handled design. Pro landscape companion But without adequate distribution, among other issues, it was a losing game.

At the same time, her tennis game began to suffer. Gardening tips for spring She learned in 2011 that she has Sjögren’s syndrome, an auto­immune disorder that produces joint and muscle pain. Irrigation association show The resulting flu-like symptoms left her chronically tired and often made it hard for her to breathe.

Williams had hit a wall, as so many entrepreneurs do. Maryvale baseball park She’d worked hard to get established, and to get distribution and sales, and then, not only does the economy crash, but her body goes haywire as well, interfering with her livelihood. Rock garden ideas True to the jock cliché, Williams wasn’t about to quit. How to pitch a baseball She went to work with doctors and changed her diet to recover physically.

For help in recharging her business, she called on some high-powered friends. Water garden supplies near me Sallie Krawcheck, former CEO of Smith Barney and now the head of Ellevest, a fintech startup aimed at women, became an unofficial adviser after a mutual friend got them together. Evans landscaping “She’s a serious businessperson and has an inquisitive business mind,” says Krawcheck. Fantasy football 2016 draft “I’ve given her advice when she’s asked for it, mostly along connections that I could make for her, experts to become part of her team or advisers.”

And Williams has supported her friend as well. Japanese landscape painting She’s an investor in Ellevest, which is focused on the gender gap that women face not only in pay but also in investing, and how resolving those gaps demands different investing philosophies and strategies for women.

That gender pay gap issue is one that falls right into Williams’s court. How to lay a patio on soil After rising to the Top 10 on the WTA Tour, she emerged as a leader, an outspoken advocate for women. Youth football leagues near me She was ultimately an unstoppable force in closing the prize-money disparities that existed between men and women in Grand Slam tournaments. Wild pitch frisco She even faced down the toffs at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (where the Wimbledon tournament is held) the day before she played the 2005 final. Pitched roof house She was 25. Facebook mobile site Her willingness to lead was perhaps a precursor to her role as a business owner. Spring training arizona map Their shared experience of gender issues made Williams a natural investment partner for Krawcheck and Ellevest. Pitch meaning in music She took a piece of the startup’s second financing round. Baseball pitcher stats Last spring, Krawcheck organized an informal meeting in San Francisco so Williams could meet with “awesome” women entrepreneurs and VCs.

By 2015, she began to reboot EleVen, realizing that the brand wasn’t in a position to grow. Softball clipart She decided to buy out her manufacturing partner and assumed sole ownership. Small front garden ideas on a budget The need for a top-shelf operating manager led her to Rosen, a former partner at the retail strategy and management consulting firm Parker Avery Group who has worked at major retailers and boutique investment outfits. Espn major league baseball scores yesterday Rosen spent a couple of months as a consultant to Williams to help her develop a three-year strategic road map for EleVen. Baseball pitcher workouts The experience convinced Rosen to go all in. Francesca battistelli holy spirit “After spending a short period of time working side by side with Vee, and seeing her vision and goals coming to fruition, my passion and love for the brand grew,” she says.

In an industry where brand cachet comes and goes — think of Ellesse, Tensor, or Fila — Williams’s challenge is to create a brand that won’t lose its power when her backhand inevitably does. Irrigation She’s more than aware of the issue: “A lot of celebrities put their name on something like a clothing line and suddenly they come out with 500 SKUs, and no one understands how that could happen, because there was no culture, no message — they just suddenly appeared.”

Running an apparel company and being a tennis star don’t seem to have much in common. Softball junk Tennis is the selfish pursuit of perfection. Gacebo Your team (agent, coach, hitting partner, physio, cook, etc.) is dedicated to your winning. Drip drop plumbing In business, the owner has to put the team in position to win. Facebook mobile cover photo size “On the tennis court, it’s just me,” says Williams. Espn fantasy baseball keeper rankings “I’m very hard on myself, because I have to get the whole job done. Facebook live logo In tennis, I believe in one winner. Evergreen landscaping That’s a great thing about business. Fantasy football team names 2015 There isn’t just one winner. Usa softball roster There’s room for everyone to win if they deserve it. Sprinkler system design I love that.”

And unlike on the court, in business a do-over is possible if something doesn’t go according to plan. How to lay flagstone patio After months of work, Williams decided to completely scrap her first collection. Garden city community college “When you’re first starting,” she says, “and you’re trying to understand what your voice is and what you want to say, sometimes it can be easy to be unoriginal and easy to think about what everyone else is doing. Free indoor basketball courts nyc I wasn’t pushing myself enough.”

Likewise, she had to make a tough call on dumping her manufacturing partner. Timber merchants near me It’s a classic make-or-buy decision, especially for young companies, and she had got it wrong. Peach aviation “We should have been more hands-on and kept production in-house,” she admits. Close out bats “Perhaps I’m not a production expert, but since then I’ve learned a ton.”

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