Venus Ebony Starr Williams was born in the Watts area of Los Angeles, California, into a tight-knit family helmed by her parents, Richard Williams and Oracene Price. Born on June 17, 1980, Venus was the fourth of Richard and Oracene’s five daughters. Her birth was followed fifteen months later by the arrival of her youngest sister, Serena.
From a young age, Venus’ father, Richard, who himself was self-taught in the sport, began training his daughters on the public tennis courts in Compton, California. The young Williams girls practiced up to five hours a day, breaking only when it rained, with their father providing them with notebooks filled with thoughts on how they could improve their game, as well as motivational sayings such as, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
When Venus was 10 years old, Richard relocated the family to West Palm Beach, Florida, so Venus and Serena, who were demonstrating preternatural talent for the sport, could train with tennis coach Rick Macci. Then, despite the fact that Venus, who already had a serve topping 100 miles per hour, was attracting national attention for her precocious prowess on the court, Richard did something that no one could have predicted. When Venus was 11, he made the unexpected decision to stop sending Venus and Serena to national junior tennis tournaments, wanting instead for them to take it slow and focus on their education.
Growing up in the world of tennis, Venus also pursued a diversified career as a businesswoman, entrepreneur, designer and author. In 2002, Venus launched her interior design firm, V*Starr Interiors. Then, after earning her associate degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 2007, Venus also launched EleVen, her line of fitness apparel designed to help wearers’ look and feel “better than the best,” better than a 10. A serial entrepreneur, Venus also owns several Washington, DC-area locations of Jamba Juice, the smoothie and health-food chain, and, in 2015, she earned her degree in business from University of Indiana East. Venus is the Runway Dubai Season IV fashion show headliner. She will be debuting her collection for the first time in the middle east on the Runway Dubai Platform.