April 10, 2020

Venus Williams Joins Cindy Allen for a Chat via Instagram Live

Live from Jupiter, Florida, Venus Williams joined Interior Design Editor in Chief Cindy Allen for a conversation via Instagram Live. Famed for her many tennis accolades, Venus launched her design firm, V Starr Interiors, in 2002. Friends who speak the same design language, Cindy and Venus shared some memories, laughs, and uplifting words of support and wisdom.

Venus Williams. Photography by Nick Mele Photography.

The qualities of discipline Venus derives from sports—diligent practice, standing strong after a loss, and the drive to success, among others—are just as strong in the way her all-woman firm operates. When talking about her business, Venus first gave a shout-out to her great team and emphasized the importance of the workplace culture. In order to maintain a diverse portfolio, V Starr is highly selective about the people it employs and those it takes on as clients. Venus’s advice to aspiring designers is to have a broad reach, “design is not just one thing.” From the beginning of V Starr, she knew the firm had to be ready to tackle any project—a good thing, since there are 22 in the works right now.

Cindy and Venus shared and discussed some of their favorite V Starr projects from across the country. The Midtown Athletic Center in Chicago, the first of the firm’s projects Interior Design published, was also one of Venus’s early training spots in the city. All completed projects carry Venus Williams’s touch and approval, from value engineering to whether or not the art in a room should be a portrait of a woman with her eyes opened or closed. “Your word is your bond,” Venus explained as she compared the preparedness that comes from showing up on time and ready to a U.S. Open game, to what is written up in a contract and discussed with a client. She wants to be equally proud of her work on the court and in a hospitality build. 

In these uncertain times, Venus is delighted to be a part of a community that still has happy moments. She’s still training and working out, hosting a variety of live workouts that include discussions on how to stay motivated and active. “If you’re not ready for change you’re not ready for life,” Venus said about her own attitude and that of designers everywhere. 

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