Frank Herholdt shot the Nabisco campaign that featured Venus and Serena Williams endorsing the Nabisco Calorie Saving Snacks. Great Photo Advertisement was the end result. FABULOSO‼
REPRINT of Women of Power article dated April, 18th, 2011:
“Tennis Star Venus Williams is our “Confidence” Role Model, but it’s her other entrepreneurial ventures that makes her our Renaissance Champion“
HOLDING COURT WITH VENUS WILLIAMS
BY CAROLYN LAWRENCE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM SANDLER
Legendary tennis star Venus Williams will always be known as the first African American player to be ranked number one in the world.
(For pros, it’s apparently all about Grand Slams; as winner of seven, including five Wimbledon titles, she has that base covered.) Add to that an incredible 41 WTA tour titles, three Olympic gold medals and career prize winnings totalling in excess of $27 million, and her place in tennis history is – like the woman who earned it – well assured.
Combining focus, fierce determination and heroic physical prowess, she spent her teenage years clawing her way to the top-ranked position, winning numerous championships and breaking records. To date her universally feared 129 mph serve is the fastest ever recorded in women’s tennis.
But that’s just the tennis. She currently has nine global sponsors behind her. Off the court Venus is a successful author, creative designer, entrepreneur and fashion icon as well as being the founding ambassador for the WTA UNESCO Gender Equality Program and has fought for equal pay for female athletes. [READ: Venus Williams’ Other Career as Equal Pay Activist : Revisiting ESPN Film’s Documentary ‘Venus Vs.’→http://wp.me/p1O3xi-z6]
The young entrepreneur is also a uniquely creative designer, decorator and owner of V Starr Interiors, a successful interior design firm based in Palm Beach Gardens,Florida. In 2007, Venus launched her clothing line “EleVen,” the largest clothing ever launched by a female athlete. And prior to that worked with Reebok on her collaboration with famed designer Diane Von Furstenberg for her line of tennis clothes (the largest endorsement ever awarded to a woman athlete, at $40 million for five years). [See also “VENUS WILLIAMS ENTREPRENEUR: One of Business Insider’s Eight Athletes Winning On A Different Turf”→http://wp.me/p1O3xi-10D]
We tracked Venus down during her crazy training season to see just what it takes to build an unshakeable confidence on and off the court.
My story really starts with my parents. They gave us all the skills, not only me, but I have 3 older sisters and one younger sister and they gave us all the skills to do what we do today.
Our parents were a huge influence on all of us, family was huge for us, it still is. It’s been our base, we were told that our sisters are our best friends. So it was a family of women, 6 against 1. So we had the majority vote most of the time, I don’t know how he did it, but my dad really had a philosophy about things. He really gave us this entrepreneurial kind of mind and really did a lot.
My mom was a lot about balance, she’s extremely determined, a super nice person. My mom gave us that spiritual balance and just really a wonderful role model as a woman for all of us sisters. And together I think they really balance each other out. When one of them was being too hard, the other one was, you know kind of taking up the slack.
At what age did you first pick up a tennis racket?
I was about 3 years old when I first started playing. My dad had a vision that we would be great tennis players, and he read books about the game and taught himself. He then starting teaching us, and I loved it and was good from a young age.
What do you love about being on court?
The competition and knowing that when I play well I will win. And I want to be ahead of the curve.
We believe confidence is a critical element to women’s success and you certainly show it on and off the court, is this something you’ve always had, or have you earned it?
Confidence comes with preparation and meeting your goals. It also comes through the journey of success.
I believe to gain confidence, sports are instrumental, I encourage all young people to play sports. Of course it benefits everyone, of every age, but when you’re young it really teaches you these lessons of how you can push yourself, setting goals, achieving them, when you have a setback, really evaluating why and then making those changes to be successful. Those are lessons in life that are so invaluable. At the time when you’re a young person you don’t really realize, per se, you’re learning those lessons, but it’s really set in this pattern in life of hard work and dedication and learning and getting up when you fall down.
My family is my champion. They are my coaches to this day, they are still working with us. My dad was usually on the court, but my mom would come out too. And if you know anything about my dad, you know that he can be this outspoken guy at times. He’s kind of calmed down a lot in the last few years. And my mom is this person on in the background smiling and you always see her clapping when there’s a good point even when the opponent won and sometimes you see her falling asleep in the stands (Laughter).
First and foremost: Always believe in yourself! But there are a number of great lessons I’ve learned over the years.
CREATIVITY: There are always people who change the game. Steffi Graf and Monica Seles blew everyone off the court in their time. And the next wave, Serena and I were privileged enough to bring a new kind of power game… And really they say Serena and I changed the game, but it was actually my dad behind the scenes who changed the game with new footwork. It’s amazing what can be done when you approach the same thing but with a new solution.
HARD WORK, my parents taught us by example. My dad taught us a lot of hard work and most of all, is not to be afraid of hard work. You can’t be afraid to get in there and get your elbow wet. And you got to enjoy the challenge, just enjoy the battle.
DETERMINATION is extremely important. One of my mottos is, there’s always a way. There’s no such thing as not a way. I’m going to find a way and in my life I have never not found a way. So one of my mottos which I would like to share with you and then you can make a part of your life also is find a way.
One of the most important things is to LOVE WHAT YOU DO. There’s nothing better than getting up in the morning and knowing that you love what you do that day and you’re ready for that challenge and you’re going to embrace it and you’re going to enjoy that battle.
VISUALIZATION was a huge part of what we did. And I use those techniques off of the court too and maybe its not necessarily complete visualization, but a lot of it would be writing down my goals. Really be preparing for what the next step might be.
“I remember the first time I won Wimbledon, my dad told me to go out there to the stadium court and just visualize. No crowds were in there, I just walked out there on the court, sit down and its really a serine moment because you’re in the Wimbledon Stadium. You walk out on the court and there’s no one there, it’s just you and the birds. And I sat there and I thought about what it would take for me to win this tournament and (closes her eyes) visualize myself on that match point, how would I handle that pressure. Visualize myself down break point and how would I come back from that and different things like that. Just all by myself, so he really taught us how to prepare. PREPARATION IS KEY.”
My latest thing now is know the play. One of my strengths as a player on the court is I know the play. Even though I seems like this really tall, big, dominating bully on the court that I’m just over powering people in the back of my head I am taking in all these different things that are happening on the court at that moment. So if one person hits the ball on me and ok great shot, but I am kind of watching to see if they will do that again and if they do it a second time, then that’s the play. I know the play. I know what they’re doing. I know who my opponents are before they one on the court. I know what I’m up against and I’ve prepared 110% before I get out there. And if I have something that’s kind of going against me like an injury per say, how do I combat that, how can I be prepared to be ready for that kind of thing.
What has been your biggest obstacle?
Injuries have always been my biggest obstacle.
What is balance to you?
We had a really good balance growing up. My dad he was very… he was really interesting, there’s so many stories. If you read my book Come to Win there’s a lot of them in there about how my dad would teach us. But what I recall the most is my very first job was at 3 years old (Laughter) I know it’s not child labour (Laughter) but he had us delivering phonebooks, as a family we all had to deliver phonebooks. From the very beginning he had us working and instilling these values of hard work and really knowing that you have to do something for yourself and you start right from the very beginning.
Today, I can say that I absolutely love what I do, I love tennis, I love design, so that makes it easy for me to be motivated.
My parents taught me to be really well-rounded and to be more than just an athlete. In my late teens, I realized that I love design and it was something that I wanted to pursue. So life after tennis I will be furthering my clothing and interior design companies, EleVen and Vstarr Interiors.
Stay true to yourself, and always believe in yourself and what you’re doing, no matter what others might say.
Liked this? Check out:
A FAN’S TWEET SAYS IT BEST
Along with climbing back to top 20 in Tennis World Rankings, Venus is founder and CEO of the clothing line, EleVen,
and interior design company, V Starr Interiors.
About her business ventures Venus told Forbes magazine:
Read more at BusinessInsider:→http://www.businessinsider.com/professional-athletes-turned-entrepreneurs-2015-2?op=1#ixzz3SKZWfnTU
Go to the Venus Williams’ facebook pages for more information about her business ventures:
Listen to documentary Song written for Serena
“Heart of a Warrior”
Since turning pro in 1995, Serena Williams has a jaw-dropping career total 19 Grand Slam titles, in the Open Era, second only to Steffi Graf (22). How did she get here…
For beginners, ‘stunned’ best describes the white establishment’s quintessential country-club sport when the Williams sisters first exploded on the tennis scene as young teens. When they were even younger someone commented to their father, Richard Williams, that he had the next Michael Jordan on his hands; Richard, who self-taught himself the fundamentals of tennis, famously commented:
The tennis world marveled when on February 25, 2002 Venus became the first African American to become
World Number One.
About this historical achievement, Dad is on record saying words to this effect – while Venus is very good, her little sister is greatness personified.
The sisters really were dismissed and denigrated by many in the all-white tennis establishment, and when he forecast that Venus and Serena would become the top two players in the game, so was their father.
Yet to be acknowledged for his genius as a coach, Richard Williams was scoffed and laughed at, but as the famous quote goes:
“He who laughs last, laughs longest.”
SERENA…IN THE BEGINNING
Serena Williams was only 4 years old when she and sister, Venus, started hitting tennis balls. And at age 10 her record was 46-3 on the Junior USA Tour and her ranking – Number One – in her age division.
Turning pro in 1995 her determination was on full display as her ranking soared from number 304 to number 99.
Remember what transpired on that ranking climb, Serena defeated two top ten players on the way up, Monica Seles and Mary Pierce.
Amazingly only four years later, Serena followed up Althea Gibson’s feat of 1956, by becoming only the second African American to secure a grand slam women’s singles title. Winning at Flushing Meadows in 1999, the US Open – defeating Switzerland’s Martina Hingis in the women’s finals 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).
Backdrop to the story…as to why Serena winning her first grand slam title ‘here’ was so astounding to the lily-white tennis world: in 1997 her elder sister Venus at age 17 became the US Open’s first ‘unseeded’ women’s finalist in the Open Era. Well documented is the ‘open resentment’ Venus encountered during that tournament. (Check the cover of Sports Illustrated below) Venus was asked if she was tennis’ next Tiger Woods, her response is bold and true to factual reality:
“I would hope so,” Venus said. “He’s different from the mainstream, and in tennis I also am. I’m tall. I’m black. Everything’s different about me. Just face the facts.”
And the tennis world, if overwhelmed then, was much like the chorus of that song “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”…when in 2002 Serena Jamika Williams followed up her Sister’s Act –
A magazine cover I favor very much features the most celebrated siblings ever in tennis history on its cover and reads: “Venus and Serena Serving From the Hip.” The story has since grown much deeper than that when it comes to closer inspection of the individual dispositions of these two
Being the baby sister myself, I appreciate and admire much Venus’s generosity of spirit, support and protectiveness of her younger sister. But these characteristics have been enormous factors in their face-offs on court, particularly early in their careers.
The primary distinction is that while younger sister has vocalized a preference for not having to face Venus, Serena has never seemed as conflicted about beating Venus – as Venus has demonstrated for her baby sister.
Remember the first Prime-Time Televised women’s final in US Open history, when she beat Serena, Venus slung her arms around her kid sister’s shoulders when it was over and whispered in her ear, “Let’s get out of here.”
Serena and Destiny
Also admirable is that without hesitation, and from the beginning, Serena embraced her own individual destiny. And for the record, Champion Serena Williams has shared openly that, regardless of the opponent she hates losing more than she loves winning.
And true to her father Richard William’s proclamation; Serena has become the greatest women’s champion the world has ever been fortunate enough to witness.
Further testimony to her greatness, the World Number One is not satisfied with her record 19 Grand Slam Titles, so stay tuned folks for the greatest match of competition ever is underway…Serena against Tennis World History!
WHY I ADORE SERENA WILLIAMS
I adore Serena for many reasons: that she is a woman of Faith; how she openly shares her journey to embracing and loving herself completely; the love she has for her family and genuine care for others; her dedication to her sport; and, her determination to live a full life outside of tennis; however my special admiration is reserved for Serena’s “Purity of Purpose”!
And I love music too and, its correlation to current affairs in life today; thus the song for the autobiographical movie about the undisputed “GREATEST” Muhammad Ali is deservedly a song the dominant and ‘GREAT’ Serena Williams, a woman of purpose, has earned in her sport such a tribute as well.
Ladies and gentlemen I present one of the greatest singers Whitney Houston [RIP] in Music Video performing “The Greatest Love Of All.”
submitted by a devoted fan of the William Sisters…@BlackPearlMoi (twitter account)
The Venus and Serena Williams
‘Sister Act’ at this year’s Australian Open continues to reverberate throughout the tennis world. Both are included in the February 10th TENNIS.com Top 25.
1. Serena Williams
An ailing Williams more than doubled the ace count of any other woman at the Australian Open, and she put on a serving clinic in the second set of the final against Maria Sharapova. Her request for coffee at the Hopman Cup, winning a 19th major, and announcing her return to Indian Wells have made it a pretty lively start to the season,
wouldn’t you say?
13. Venus Williams
Losing in the quarterfinals sucked: That was essentially what Williams said after Keys edged her. And it was great to hear; Venus wasn’t simply happy with ending a five-year quarterfinal drought at majors. Her two wins in Argentina in the Fed Cup pushed her singles record in the competition to 19-2.
This calls for a song to go with the Photo Gallery below in dedication to these two tennis siblings, Venus and Serena Williams, who changed the game. #AgapeLove
The continuing ‘SISTER ACT’ of Venus and Serena Williams led the USA to a 4-1 victory over Argentina in the Fed Cup on Sunday. America has won the Fed Cup title 17 times, more than any other nation, with the last victory in 2000.
The Americans now advance to the playoffs in April and have a chance to return to the World Group, which comprises the top eight teams
The U.S. Fed Cup Team cruised towards a promotion playoff in April in its bid to regain World Group I status. And leading the charge was the country’s two players, Venus and Serena Williams. The Sister Act had put their team 2-0 up on Saturday with wins over world number 121 Ormaechea and number 197 Irigoyen whose country were seeded and had a choice of court, opting for clay, despite the huge gap in world rankings favouring the Americans.
The US will have to wait for February to know the name of their playoff opponents from Italy, Australia, Canada and Poland.