Serena Williams: The Champion’s Mindset


Serena Williams, GOAT, spoke this week with Business of Fashion on her future as an entrepreneur, her journey to investing in herself, and the ways that her years as a champion influence her entrepreneurial mindset:

On past buying appointments:

“Everyone that goes to fashion school wants to do eveningwear,” Williams reflects. “I stuck with that for years and years and I loved it. But I was doing evening gowns and we never actually sold anything — nothing that people could really actually buy in store. We did some amazing shows and I was able to be super creative in those shows, from head-to-toe, from makeup to eyelashes to shoes to nail polish. Literally every decision was based on what I wanted… But it didn’t work,” she sighs. “So many times, I would be at a meeting with Macy’s or lots of other companies and they would be like, ‘We love it. We love the presentation, but we’re not going to get this collection.’ I’ve sat through so many of those meetings, more than I can count to be honest. And they’re demoralising.”

On persisting despite past failure:

“I’ve been trying for years and years to do something in fashion. I’ve been doing this for so long and it’s never hit,” she confesses. “It’s so easy when you’re so successful at something else to just do that and keep being amazingly successful at it. But that’s not the story I wanted to tell. And I always felt like if I didn’t at least do it one more time, a 100 percent with my backing, that I would always have some sort of regret.”

On maintaining high standards:

“It’s so fun because people are like, ‘Oh my God. Like wow, the quality is crazy,’” she says proudly. “Listen, if we’re giving our stuff to Meghan, it has to be the highest quality that we can get. So, that’s what I tell our team internally: ‘We have to make sure it’s super high quality that, you know, is fit for a royal princess!’”

On public perceptions and personal growth:

"If someone’s not scrutinising you or talking about you, then you’re not doing something right. If everyone’s praising you and everything’s perfect, then it’s not the real world. People are going to scrutinise you no matter what. They’ll find something wrong with you even if you’re not doing anything wrong. And I don’t let that affect me anymore. I think in the past I did,”

Check out the full story via Business of Fashion:

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