How Venus Williams and Stephanie Morimoto Built Women’s Empowerment into their Retail Brands

Tennis champion Venus Williams and Stephanie Morimoto, owner and CEO of skin care brand Asutra, have more than being entrepreneurs in common. Though Williams works with Morimoto as part owner and chief brand officer of Asutra — while also running her sportswear brand EleVen and interior design firm V Starr — the two also share a passion for empowering women in their careers and making companies more diverse.

At EleVen, Williams and her team launched an initiative called Privilege Tax to raise awareness that women on average are paid $0.81 for every $1 men make. The ongoing initiative is intended to draw attention to wage inequality and improve communities by empowering women.

For her part, Morimoto says she wanted to build “a company, a culture, and a team where all of us felt like we had something to contribute — that we didn’t have to be the person representing our entire race or our entire gender, but instead could bring our full selves to work and be appreciated and celebrated for that.”

Williams adds, “When you hire diversely, it brings different points of view; it brings different experiences. … And it provides that sounding board that you’re able to really learn from.”

Understanding what customers want is a major key to their success. Morimoto says that one of the first things she did when she bought Asutra was invest in market research to better figure out “how to tell the Asutra story.” Both entrepreneurs run their e-commerce businesses on Shopify and speak to the value of its seamless integration with Google Shopping so people can find their products more easily.

Check out the conversation between Williams and Morimoto to hear more about entrepreneurship, creating diverse workplaces, and empowering others.

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