Catching Up w/ Former World No. 1 & 7-time Grand Slam Singles Champion ~ Venus Williams

Nate Walroth: Who pushed you to be a great tennis player? What do you love most about tennis?

Venus Williams: My dad was our biggest champion. He had us out on the court at a young age – I first picked up a racquet when I was 4. We’d practice almost every day after school so very early on it became a major part of my life. It took a lot of work and we spent a lot of hours on the court but I’m glad I put in the work when I did because it has paid off throughout my career. That’s my favorite part of the sport – putting in the work and seeing it pay off. It’s the best feeling.

Venus & her father Richard

NW: Why did you start EleVen?

VW: My inspiration is the chic and fabulous EleVen women who wear our designs. Our newest collections go beyond the tennis court and feature comfortable, easy to wear, fashion-forward activewear staples like tanks, leggings and bralettes that make a perfect outfit for at-home workouts or hanging out. I want women to feel like they are an 11 out of 10 when they wear my collections, even if it’s just at home right now!

NW: Why the name “EleVen”?

VW: EleVen is all about going that one step further. Why be a 10 when you can be an 11? I think it is so important to provide a community of encouragement, empowerment and positivity in a world where there are so many things that can bring us down, especially as a woman. I wanted to create, not just a brand, but a lifestyle that breaks through the chaos and negativity and focuses on the fun, exciting potential that this life has to offer.

EleVen by Venus Williams
Shop new EleVen by Venus collections: https://www.midwestsports.com/eleven-tennis-apparel/c/501903/

NW: You’re a very confident person & player. Do you feel like that’s part of your brand with EleVen?

VW: EleVen is built on the idea of being the best version of yourself. I wanted our EleVen community to feel fabulous, confident and empowered to take on anything both on and off the court!

NW: You famously advocated for equal prize money for women at Wimbledon and consequently for equal pay for women in sports. What motivated you to take a stance for equal prize money?

VW: For me it was simple and clear; it was about standing up for what I believed was right. Tennis has given me so much opportunity in life, including a platform, so when the opportunity came to fight for women across the sport it was an easy decision. I spoke up for both myself and people everywhere who were facing, or will face, the same kind of injustice in their lives.

I’m glad it was able to create a ripple effect and set a precedent. So much positive change has happened since then, and so much positive change is still needed, but I’m happy I was able to do my part and will continue to do so until it doesn’t need to be a conversation anymore.

Click here to view Venus’ EleVen collection

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