Tennis Champion & Happy Viking Co-founder, Venus Williams: “You keep that fire in you by always having a goal to work towards and always knowing you have something to give”
…You keep that fire in you by always having a goal to work towards and always knowing you have something to give. I think when you don’t have something to give, you need to transition, focus, set new goals — those sorts of things. You do have to be passionate to achieve something great. To do something you love is so beautiful. It’s so wonderful.
I had the distinct pleasure to interview tennis champion, and Happy Viking Co-founder, Venus Williams. With seven Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledon titles and four Olympic gold medals, tennis champion Venus Williams is one of the most accomplished and inspiring women in the history of sports. At the age of 14, Williams quickly took the world of tennis by storm, rising to the top-ranked position, breaking countless records, and winning numerous championships. In addition to her athletic success, Williams parlayed her fine-tuned business acumen with her healthy competitive spirit into three successful business ventures: lifestyle and fashion-forward activewear brand EleVen by Venus Williams, a full-service commercial and residential interior design firm V Starr and plant-based protein company Happy Viking. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Indiana University East and an Associate of Science in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
Happy Viking was created with the mindset that “the better fuel we drink and eat, the better we perform and feel.” Co-founded by tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams in partnership with leading multi-brand beverage innovator Dyla Brands, makers of Stur Drink Mixes & FORTO Coffee, Happy Viking began in Williams’ kitchen after she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Sjögren’s Syndrome.
Williams was advised by doctors to adopt a plant-based diet to manage her chronic illness. She worked with top nutritionists and dietitians and ultimately became deeply passionate about plant-based nutrition. After spending years learning about how better fuel improves your body and performance, she set out to make plant-based nutrition easy and available for everyone by launching Happy Viking. All Happy Viking products are 100% plant-based, non-GMO, Vegan, gluten-free, and contain no artificial ingredients, soy, nor dairy. They’re power-packed with functional ingredients, including 20g of complete protein, Superfoods, all nine essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids, brain-boosting ingredients such as DHA-Omega 3 and sunflower oil, and more. Happy Viking Superfood Plant Nutrition Powder is available in Vanilla Bean, Triple Chocolate, Strawberry Smoothie, and Greeña Colada flavors, all available in multi-serve canisters and available at www.DrinkHappyViking.com.
Thank you so much for joining us in this series, Venus. What is the mission of Happy Viking? How does that fit into your own life?
The mission of Happy Viking is about fueling your body better. When you fuel better, you feel better. That’s exactly how I felt about my journey and my life. Starting out, even before I was plant-based, I was doing my best to fuel my body better. Then I realized I could do it in a different way where I feel better. That was extremely important to me, and I’m excited to share that with everyone.
What do you want the take-away to be when customers consume the drink? What feeling do you want them to get from consuming it?
The feeling I want them to get is that they are fueling their body. They’re doing something healthy. It’s supposed to be a really happy experience. It tastes good. It’s something they enjoy doing. It’s something you look forward to. There’s that happiness you get from fueling your body well, and that’s why it’s called Happy Viking because you’re a warrior for your own health. There’s that feeling that we hope everyone gets, and so far, so good.
Tennis teaches the value of pivoting. How have you handled your experience on the court with the pandemic?
My experience on the court with the pandemic… I think everyone is just taking it day-by-day. It’s great to have crowds back. It’s great to not be restricted in the bubble. That was a lot. But, everybody’s going through it. Hopefully, step-by-step, it’s behind us.
As a wellness coach who caters to the cancer survivor community and a stage 3 cancer survivor, this idea of second chances is a big motivator. How have you bolstered that in terms of your own competitive spirit? How do you keep that fire in you still?
You keep that fire in you by always having a goal to work towards and always knowing you have something to give. I think when you don’t have something to give, you need to transition, focus, set new goals — those sorts of things. You do have to be passionate to achieve something great. To do something you love is so beautiful. It’s so wonderful.
With this product launch, what are your hopes and dreams?
My hopes and dreams are that everyone is able to be healthy and well. I’ve had the experience of not being healthy and well, and it’s not a great place to be. Giving other people that opportunity to be healthy, to feel good, to be able to live out their dreams. When you’re well, you love it, and when you’re not, you can’t get what you want. All of those things are a big goal for me.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
More information can be found at www.venuswilliams.com
Happy Viking ready-to-drink 11oz single-serve shakes are available in Chocolate and Vanilla Bean and are available at Kroger, Meijer and DeCA grocery stores today, as well as online on www.DrinkHappyViking.com and Amazon. Join the plant-based conversation with @drinkhappyviking on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
Thank you Venus.