If Serena Williams wanted to extend her dreamy Maldives vacation and go off the grid for a few months, we honestly wouldn't blame her. But the truth is, she isn't that type of person. On top of juggling a record-breaking tennis career, a successful fashion brand, various business investments, motherhood, an adorable marriage, and a royal friendship (which, we're assuming, can't be too easy), she's decided to add one more thing to that ever-growing list: a fine jewelry line.
"I hate being like everyone else," she told InStyle while showing off pieces from Serena Williams Jewelry, which ranges from $299 to $9,999 and is sold on serenawilliamsjewelry.com, macys.com, and Fred Meyer Jewelers, both online and in select stores. "If anyone says I am mediocre, it's like, ‘Wait...’ I want to stand out.'"
Williams knew that the assumed next step for her career would be beauty (which yes, she's working on, too), but that's exactly why she decided to pivot in another direction entirely.
"It's like, let's do something different — let's be bold, let's be beautiful," she said. "I also don't know any really amazing affordable jewelry lines out there. It just made the most sense to me.”
Of course, this isn't something that WIlliams dreamed up overnight. She's quietly been working on these pieces for a year now, making sure that materials were ethically sourced and that she was producing stuff people would actually want to buy. Williams said she immersed herself in the jewelry world, and admittedly was surprised to find that, just like clothing, there were major trends happening in that space.
"I was like, ‘Okay, that's interesting; I never knew that.’ I had to learn a lot about jewelry."
Now that Williams has reached pro level, we thought we'd pick her brain about what styles should be on our radar, where she found her inspiration, and which items would be best for the holiday season. We also wondered if Williams had any plans to share the diamond-encrusted items with her daughter, Olympia Ohanian — and her answer will likely surprise you.
On all the different words included in her collection:
You can decide which word you like. We have "sexy." We have "loved." These are words that all kind of describe me, and life, and people, and what you're going through. We have "inspire" because sometimes, maybe, you want to inspire someone. I love "great," because it's just a great word. That's what we did my collection — we got rid of plus-size and used the word great. Why are we not using that word more often? I just love the word great. We have "sexy," too. I wear sexy a lot, just because sometimes, I just feel like I need a reminder. Sometimes you just need reminders that you're great, that you're loved, that you're sexy, that you're crazy!
Why she's loving signet rings:
First of all, they're really in style now and trendy. I'm obsessed with them. But people also had signet rings back when my mom was in high school, and they never really go out of style, which I love. I was like, "We have to have signet rings in our collection." It was so important to me.
Something sentimental she thought about when designing these pieces:
One thing that you might not know is that when I play tennis, I always wear a heart. Even the first Grand Slam I won in 1999, I had a heart necklace on. Ever since then, people are superstitious. I'm not...but a little part of me is, which is kind of natural. So I always wore hearts. We wanted to come up with a really cool, strong, different form of a heart in different sizes, because why buy another heart-shaped necklace? We wanted to create something that you would want to buy because you haven't seen it before and because it's so unique.
The one piece she’s sneakily been wearing for a while now:
I was joking that I have a permanent line around my pinky because I usually wear my pinky ring. I wear it when I'm training, when I'm working out, when I'm playing. I literally never take it off.
Who she plans on sending her jewelry to:
We were just talking about, "Okay, so who should we send it to? This is going to be exciting." We definitely plan on sending some of the pieces to a few different people in my circle.
On whether her daughter will get to wear something from the line:
Well, we got her a small version of our iconic heart. But other than that, no. They're mine. Fall back, right now. Not yet. In due time. I do wonder what that's going to be like when she's a little bit older. I have no idea. We'll see. I can’t wait. So far, she's been wearing my heels, so I'm like, "She's going to be in fashion!" I could've sworn today, she looked at me, and she was like, "Gee, gah, yeah." I was like "You like what mommy's wearing today?" When I come out sometimes, she's like, "Oohh! Ma!"
Her ultimate holiday outfit — and the jewelry she'd pair with it:
When I think of holiday, I go straight to velvet because it's going to be so cool this season, whether it's a black velvet or a blue velvet. For jewelry, I’m really loving chokers and I love layering jewelry. A lot of our pieces are for layering, and have the ability to be made tighter or looser, so we can kind of change the lengths on it. I'm really into the chain that says "loved," and layering that with a softer piece — I always layer the "sexy" and the dog tag. I like layering chunky with a lighter piece, and then doesn't get tangled. I would wear that, and then I would wear a soft earring, so the focus is on the neck. I would also do a snake ring, just because it feels like it feels great with the velvet.