Here’s an amazing statistic: every day for the past nine years, women in America started 1,072 new businesses. The result, according to American Express’ 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, is that women-owned firms now number 11.3 million, employing nearly nine million people and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenue.
We’re proud to count EleVen among the ranks of those women-owned businesses. EleVen is not a licensed line, where a celebrity spokesperson just lends her name. The behind-the-scenes story is that Venus Williams holds a degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and, as EleVen’s owner, she also is personally involved in each aspect of the design and production processes. A serial entrepreneur, Venus is also CEO of her own interior design firm, V Starr Interiors.
With her career in tennis, what motivated Venus to become a business owner, too? For Venus, the drive to become a business owner started at a young age, and was inspired by her parents. Venus explained the origins of her entrepreneurial spirit when she recently spoke to Ellevate, a global professional women's network dedicated to the economic engagement of women worldwide. “My dad taught us the mindset: Be independent, be entrepreneurial. [He] always said, ‘Work for yourself.’ So I always wanted to have my own business, it was just the culture that we grew up in,” she said.
Knowing she wanted to be a business owner, finding her way to the fashion industry was a natural path for Venus. Since her early days as a teenage tennis phenomenon, Venus has been known for her trend-setting style on and off the court. She was passionate about bringing her sense of style as well as her commitment to the highest level of performance to her own line of active wear. EleVen fulfills that vision for Venus, combining fashion with function. Venus’ mission for EleVen to help people get moving and feel good about how they look.
As a business owner, Venus also understands the importance of having a strong team in place, and, as it turns out, EleVen’s senior leadership team is made up of mostly female executives. Together, Venus and the EleVen team are committed to designing clothes that empower women to feel their best, whether they are at work or at play.
After all, the concept behind EleVen is to be better than a “ten,” better than your best. Says Venus, “The name EleVen represents how I strive to live every day -- that is, without limits.” EleVen salutes all the women behind those 1,072 new businesses being launched each day, for their commitment to creating a world without limits.
Check out the latest collection from Venus and EleVen team!