FITBOX Plus editor Michelle Mitchem posed a few good questions to the legendary tennis star and entrepreneur Venus Williams about her life, inspiration and her amazing fitness line Eleven By Venus. See what she has to say below and check out our exclusive partnership FITBOX here: Thika Box
Michelle Mitchem: You made your debut as a professional tennis player in 1994. That is a very long time ago. Did you know that you would become the sensation that the world knows you to be?
Venus Williams: I didn’t know I was going to be a sensation, but I had a lot of goals that I was working towards. I put in a lot of work and had the confidence that I would achieve my dreams.
MM: Tennis is a complex and simple sport. What is your favorite part of the game?
VW: My favorite part is winning! Losses are hard to take, but it makes me a better winner. I love the journey to winning.
MM: You have launched a fun and functional athletic clothing line - EleVen (that we proudly carry at FitBox). What inspired this venture?
VW: I got a letter in the mail when I was 18 saying, "Come to design school." By that time, I had already been pro for four years — I thought it was a great idea. [Venus studied fashion design at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.] Obviously after school, everyone dreams of having their own line. I was already an athlete, so active wear spoke to my soul. Being active is part of who I am every day, and I wanted to bring a new voice to it and combine fashion with performance.
MM: I notice a lot of functionality in your designs- seems perfect for working out, or hanging out. Can you share your vision when designing the line?
VW: It’s really organic. I sit down and sketch what I’d like to make happen, and then sit down with the EleVen team to figure out how it’ll actually get produced. Then, we go through the color process. One of the biggest challenges of the design process is actually color; you’ve already used all the colors you want to use or the ones you want to use might not work for that season. It seems like I’m always in the process to find another color on the spectrum of the rainbow. When you’re wearing something, you want it to perform, to be comfortable. The fit has to be there every single time so that your clothing doesn’t distract you when you’re playing or doing sprints. The fit process is ongoing, especially because we’re creating new SKUs [styles] all the time. It’s a lot of work.
MM: Can you paint the picture of the woman who wears EleVen?
VW: The EleVen woman is wonder woman, she pushes herself to strive for more; EleVen’s motto is ’10’ is just a number, but EleVen is a lifestyle.
MM: Can you describe EleVen in 3 words?
VW: Fierce, strong and confident.
MM: In closing, what would you like our readers to know about Venus Williams and your clothing line – EleVen?
VW: You can reach your potential and your potential is limitless. Becoming an EleVen is not something you settle for; rather you should continue to push yourself.