Venus Williams, Owner, President, V Starr
In conversation with:
Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, Editor in Chief, Hospitality Design magazine and SVP, Design Group, Emerald
September 30, 2021 | 2pm ET
Free session presented by IWBI | International WELL Building Institute
Tennis champion and creative entrepreneur Venus Williams talks wellness, design, and community with Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, Hospitality Design magazine Editor in Chief and SVP, Design Group, Emerald.
As Owner and President of her Florida design firm V Starr, Williams shares the goals and ideals that help transcend barriers and define her leadership approach. She merges lessons from sports and business, learned at a young age and refined over decades.
Educated as an interior designer, Williams has a strong love of design and understands its impact. Quick to credit her team with V Starr’s success, Williams notes that her firm has 20+ active projects at any given time, and solid teamwork is essential. Notes Williams, “To succeed, it is vital that we nourish our ideals and culture on a daily basis.”
In a recent interview with Hospitality Design magazine as the guest editor of the November issue, Williams described her entrepreneurial vision on design, community, and—perhaps most importantly—wellness.
In sport- and spa-driven hospitality, V Starr designed the V Suite and the tennis lounge at the Midtown Athletic Club in Chicago. It was “full circle” for Williams to design a practice site for a tournament she played at just 17. V Starr is also renovating the spa at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, Florida, a hometown project for Williams. “I’ve been going there forever. It’s my hometown, so I have a lot of pride in the project.”
Her work in wellness and philanthropy includes a youth tennis and educational center—a big part of Williams drive to give back to communities. Says Williams, “Even though I love design, I think some of our most fulfilling work is the community projects, like the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Washington, DC, an amazing place for young people who a lot of times are only getting their meals there and at school.”
From her #CoachVenus workouts on Instagram to her fashion line, EleVen by Venus Williams, she keeps her focus on active lifestyles, which have gained attention during the recent pandemic. Notes Williams, “Top design houses are also executing activewear and leisurewear pieces beautifully, so the industry is definitely evolving. I love that because an active lifestyle and practicing wellness leads to a healthier, happier life.”
In this enlightening, free DesignWell webcast, a recast from a taped interview during HD Expo + Conference, sponsored by the International Well Building Institute (IWBI), Williams opens up about many of these beliefs. According to Williams, “As an athlete, being fit, well, and healthy is critical to my success. I would love to see the concept of wellness as a whole being applied to every type of project that we work on so that everyone can reap the benefits.”