Venus Williams is an African-American professional tennis player who is widely considered as one of the game’s all-time greats. The 42-year-old is also Serena Williams’ senior sister. In her prime, she was the first African American to hold the world’s number one position.
She began her professional career in 1994 and made her Australian Open debut in 1998 in the second round against her sister, Serena; the two have since met each other 24 times in their professional careers.
Venus has reached 16 Grand Slam finals and won 14 Grand Slam Women’s Doubles titles with Serena. Her supremacy in the women’s tennis category began in 2000, and she has won 35 straight singles and six competitions since then.
According to Wimbledon, she has won 798 career matches and lost 264. She has also won a total of $42, 280, 540 in career prize money, making her one of the highest-earning female tennis players of all time. Venus earns between $5 and $10 million each year through endorsements.
Her initial sponsorship was with Reebok, which paid her $12 million over four years. She reportedly renewed the contract for $40 million, making it one of the largest endorsement deals ever for a female athlete.
She has endorsement relationships with Wilson, Electronic Arts, Kraft, Ralph Lauren, and Tide in addition to her Reebok deal.
Throughout her tennis career, Venus invested in herself as an entrepreneur and business owner, and she has continued to invest in and run businesses in a variety of areas even after retiring from the sport.
Focusing on Venus Williams’s income sources away from the court, here are 5 businesses she owns that you probably didn’t know about:
Venus founded V Starr Interiors during the height of her success in 2002. She heads the firm with six other female designers, making it an all-female design team. Today, the Jupiter, Florida-based tiny boutique firm has been hired for big projects, including the design of a $6.5 million luxury model condo for a Boca Raton complex in 2012.
Stake in Miami Dolphins
Venus also has a stake in the Miami Dolphins. She made the transaction alongside her tennis star sister, Serena Williams, making them the first black female African Americans to own stock in an NFL team.
The Miami Dolphins are reputedly worth $1.3 billion and are placed among Forbes’ “The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams 2015” list.
Venus is also a Jamba Juice franchise owner and celebrity spokesperson, with four shops. She discovered the company while exploring for healthier dining options and now owns four sites in the Washington, D.C. area.Jamba Juice has over 850 outlets in the United States and abroad.
“I share Jamba’s mission to inspire and simplify healthy living and promote a healthy active lifestyle, and I am pleased to know this location will have a positive impact on the local community through not only our products, but also through various programs and fundraisers,” Williams shared with the Washington Business Journal.
According to the 1851 franchise, each Jamba Juice location is estimated to bring $754,000 in annual revenue.
Venus founded Happy Viking, a plant-based superfood nutrition brand, in 2011 after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, which causes inflammation, dry eyes, and great exhaustion.
According to Nutraingredeint, she worked with a team of nutritionists in her kitchen to create superfood plant-based protein shakes to strengthen her immune health and get back on the court.
“Because of my autoimmune disease, I’ve had the experience of not being healthy, of suffering from pain that impacted my ability to function each day,” said Williams. “It’s not a great place to be. Since adopting a plant-based diet and exploring superfood nutrition, I’ve seen the benefits for my body, my mind, and my performance firsthand.”
Venus returned to the professional circuit to win a Wimbledon title and Olympic gold in doubles with Serena the following year, and was back in the top 5 by 2017.
Venus established EleVen, a lifestyle and activewear brand, to provide tennis and everyday gear for every life situation. The company is also interested in wellness, including aromatherapy, superfood powder, and SPF goods.
She founded EleVen in 2007 after earning an associate’s degree in fashion from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
“I started EleVen with the dream of creating a community to help empower women to feel and do their best in clothing they can feel confident in on and off the court,” Williams says, according to Essence.