Venus Williams’ design firm, V Starr, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The tennis legend founded the firm in 2002 at a peak of her career, to express her creative interests through an additional profession. V Starr started as a residential design firm with a storefront in the West Palm Beach, FL, area. Under the direction of Principal Sonya Haffey, the firm has since developed into a full-fledged studio completing projects across the country.
In 2009, when Haffey joined the firm, she and Williams made a strategic transition to focus V Starr on commercial design. The V Starr team has grown from its first hire to now encompass 12 full-time team members.
V Starr’s completed design work includes myriad vertical markets, and the firm is a go-to for multi-family residential projects in Florida’s booming real estate environment, according to the company. This includes developments including the WELL-certified Town Village Walk, which was awarded the 2021 Project of the Year: Garden Style by Multi-Family Executive for its wellness-focused amenities and extensive offering of living spaces, along with Airbnb-partnered properties designed for home-sharing.
V Starr also has a growing reputation for its work in hospitality through the leadership of Design Director Holly Nixon, who joined the firm in 2018. Completed hospitality projects include the Spa at PGA National and the V Suite in The Hotel at Midtown in Chicago, and the firm is currently working on its first full hotel projects in Palm Beach and Puerto Rico. In line with the community-centric values of V Starr’s leaders, the firm has designed institutional and non-profit environments at Howard University’s Burr Gymnasium and the Yetunde Price Resource Center in Compton, CA.
“It has been wonderful to see V Starr take on a life of its own and flourish over the past 20 years,” said Williams, who serves as the firm’s CEO. “I’ve always held the belief, thanks to the strong influence of my family, that you can accomplish anything when you work hard and surround yourself with the right people. V Starr has been another dream come true.”
Haffey added, “We’re proud of the growth we have been able to accomplish in these years, and will keep building in line with V Starr’s vision for the future.”
To celebrate the occasion, V Starr has expanded to a new office in West Palm Beach. It has also debuted its first collaborative product line, the Muse by V Starr collection with Wolf-Gordon, representing a new business segment for the firm.
“As for the next 20 years,” Williams shared, “I am passionate about wellness and creating inspiring spaces. I know we have the best team in place, so the sky is the limit.”