Serena Williams, Legend, Is the First Athlete to Make 'Forbes' Richest Self-Made Women List

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Stefanie Keenan Getty Images
    • The cover star explained that "I want to be the brand, instead of just being the face."

        Serena Williams has been back on the tennis court (in an empowering cape, no less) and continuing to drive forward with her own "Serena" brand and as an investor. All of her insane work and the popularity she's seen as a result has paid off: Forbes just added her to their "World's Richest Self-Made Women List," the very first athlete to do so.

        According to the article, Serena's estimated fortune is $225 million, "the vast majority of it having come via her brain and brand rather than her backhand." Serena officially announced Serena Ventures in April of this year, but she'd been secretly investing in companies that focus on empowering women and individuals of color (a reported 60% of her investments), as well as lifting up causes she supports, for years. She's also been working with her husband, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. "I’ve been really leaning on Alexis," she says.

        Serena talked about her vision: "I want to be in the infrastructure. I want to be the brand, instead of just being the face." Right now, Serena Ventures values itself at $10 million, double the initial investment. Companies including Billie, Daily Harvest, MasterClass, and The Wing have done particularly well. Serena's also expanding her presence in fashion, too, and "plans to launch an S by Serena jewelry line this year and one of beauty products in 2020." (Oh my God, yes please.)

        And just in case anyone was worried that she was about to hang up her racket, Serena's apparently still interested in continuing to play tennis for the next couple years:

        Her resilient comeback last year after giving birth burnished her as a cultural icon who transcends sports. And sure, she’ll happily continue to rake in easy endorsement money from the likes of Nike and JPMorgan Chase—her $29 million total income over the past 12 months is the highest of her career.

        Here's the original announcement:

        Serena retweeted it, naturally, and Alexis posted it on Instagram with the caption "Icon." He gets it.


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