Known for her formidable attitude on court, tennis champion Serena Williams has applied the same mentality in fulfilling a childhood dream of having her own clothing line.
The 23-time grand slam winner recently launched her own fashion label called Serena, a dream she admits she didn't think she would come true.
While she's cemented her legendary status and is a future tennis hall of fame honouree, Williams has had another passion that few have known about.
Detailing the journey on social media, she shared how she's merged the worlds of fitness and fashion:
"They say life is about timing. I learned this lesson at age 18, when I chose to play a light tennis schedule because I wanted to go to fashion school. Some criticized my decision, but I knew I had two loves--tennis and fashion--and had to find a way to make them coexist."
Doing The Groundwork
Instead of focusing solely on the one passion that she was excelling in, Williams chose instead to do the groundwork to show potential investors and partners that she was as serious about fashion as she was about tennis.
"I tried many times to align with people who could help me get things off the ground while I played tennis worked with designers and sketched my ideas. I got so many no’s from potential partners, people I admired and respected. Every time I would go into a department store to present a collection it would always end up with - we love it but we are going to pass."
The tennis maestro said she experienced 15 years of false starts and rejection which only made her more resolute.
"If you know anything about me, you know that when someone tells me “no,” it only makes me work harder. One day, I was encouraging my best friend to invest in herself and pursue a dream of hers. A light bulb went off when I realized I needed to take my own advice."
Investing In Herself
"Here I was, a spokeswoman for women, telling them to never give up and believe in themselves when no one else does. I needed to take a moment to look in the mirror and encourage myself and invest in myself for once."
She then decided to assemble her own team instead of looking to others to execute her dream.
"We designed and we planned. I wanted to be fully hands on, and work without any limitations. Everyone on the team believed in me and for the first time, I truly believed in myself."