This week, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams announced on Vogue that she will be bidding tennis farewell.
24 years since she made her first slam debut in the Australian Open, the tennis star will be retiring from the sport she grew up playing. And if you watched King Richard, you know a large chunk of the journey it took to get her to all those titles.
She is undoubtedly one of the best tennis players of our time. But even outside of tennis, she will be channeling that same energy in many other ways.
A fashion icon
While she was busy winning 23 Grand Slam titles, the tennis star also had the time to launch her own brands. Yes, plural.
Serena launched her clothing brand S by Serena back in 2018. And for all the times she showed up to the court completely wowing everyone with her outfits, a fashion line suits her to a tee.
While it is a fairly young brand, Serena has always been into fashion. In a video with Vogue, she shared that she had been studying fashion. Fun fact: Serena Williams attended college at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
But apart from just being passionate about clothes, her brand’s mission is a lot more than that. “We want women to feel celebrated and appreciated. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from, or what size you are. You might have a bad day, but you put on our clothes, and you feel confident.”
But she doesn’t just use clothes to express herself, she loves jazzing up her outfits with bling too.
A year after she launched her clothing brand, the tennis star launched her jewelry collection, Serena Williams Jewelry.
In 2019, she showcased her first ever collection in collaboration with the global diamond manufacturer, K.P. Sanghvi.
Following in the same core beliefs as her clothing line, her jewelry collection features unique elements that radiate confidence. The most unique pieces are her statement necklaces and bracelets, like the one she’s wearing in the photo that reads #believe.
Although we’ve loved seeing Serena killing it on the court with her style, at least after her retirement we’ll still get to witness half of that equation.
Her purposeful venture
As a brand owner herself, Williams surely knows the struggles of launching and maintaining a business (or two). So, in 2019 she launched her very own venture firm Serena Ventures.
Here at Serena Ventures, we are proud to inspire, uplift and invest in women founded and ran companies! Who are some of your favorite femme founders? pic.twitter.com/YyXH0nmhiJ— Serena Ventures (@SerenaVentures) August 18, 2021
In her retirement announcement that she wrote in Vogue, she shared that while attending a conference, she found out that less than two percent of all venture capitalist money went to women. Shocked by this statistic, she understood that someone like herself needed to make a change in that number.
So, unlike most other venture firms, Serena Ventures focuses on investing in startups that are founded by women, people of color, and young entrepreneurs.
The company has currently made 55 investments, and 78% of its portfolio is comprised of companies started by women and people of color. Among their investments are MasterClass and Impossible Foods.
Her passion translates well to this business side of her life. “Every morning, I’m so excited to walk downstairs to my office and jump onto Zooms and start reviewing decks of companies we’re considering investing in,” she writes in Vogue.
Being Olympia’s mom
No matter how passionate Serena is about tennis, her brands, or her VC firm, she will still be most passionate about one thing: being a mom.
The most touching part of her retirement announcement was when she wrote about her daughter Olympia. Serena shared that she is a very “hands-on mother”, and she talks about wanting to be there for all the milestones that a young girl has to go through.
And she can’t have missed much, considering she’s only spent one 24-hour period away from Olympia in five years.
Our favorite is when she shares how she and Olympia bake with Play-Doh.
And although she’s been successful playing tennis while balancing being a great mom, juggling both no longer seems to be in the cards for the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Now focused on her family—and expanding her family at that—she knows that she needs to fully commit to that. But, to her, retiring from tennis is not a sacrifice to her. “The fact is that nothing is a sacrifice for me when it comes to Olympia,” she writes.
Whether it’s on the court or off the court, we know that Serena Williams never does anything half-baked—she always hits full send. So from her brands, her investments, and of course, her family, we know she’ll continue channeling her champion-like mindset in this new phase of her life.