Between being an Olympic boxing coach, opening up a branch of boxing gyms and starting her own athletic clothing line, Cary Williams can do it all. Williams is the founder and CEO of the clothing brand Too Pretty. She was raised in Sacramento, Calif. by her father and soon found herself involved in the world of boxing, a world predominantly run by men.
“There was always doubt in people’s mind. You’re too pretty to box. Why do you want to mess up your face? There was just always doubt,” Williams said. She never let people’s negativity sway her determination to succeed and reach her goals.
In 1998, Williams opened her first boxing gym called Prime Time Boxing in Sacramento. Over the years she has expanded her gym business to two other locations in Santa Monica and Roseville, Calif. She started to focus her career more on coaching. This led her to coach in the 2012 Olympics. Her experiences there is what gave her the motivation she needed to launch Too Pretty.
“There was one specific instance that Williams can always think back to which opened her eyes and made her want to make a change. “My boxer was getting ready for her weigh-in and before she went, she removed all of her makeup and changed her clothes, dressing down. I asked her why she changed her appearance and she told me, ‘No one will take me seriously if I look too much like a girl,'” Williams said.
She had a long talk with her athlete, encouraging her to always be true to herself and not let the opinions of others cause her to change her ways. After the Olympics, Williams took that girl’s story along with her own battles of being a female in the athletic world and launched her brand.
Too Pretty was officially up and running by the end of 2015. Williams runs Too Pretty out of Santa Monica with the help of a couple interns. Too Pretty is predominantly an online store with the exception of her one retail account through her appearance on the TV show Billion Dollar Buyer on CNBC this past year. The show’s host Tilman Fertitta is the CEO of $2 billion company, Landry’s Inc., one of the largest restaurant corporations in the U.S. He now uses the show to give back to startups and small businesses in hopes that they find success through his generosity. Williams had always been a fan of the show but never thought her brand would be something that would interest Fertitta. She took a chance though, applied, and to her pleasant surprise, they not only had her on Season 3 in January, but she also received a $31,000 order.
Looking ahead to her future with Too Pretty, Williams hopes to reciprocate the kindness that was given to her, by setting up a scholarship for female boxers to help them achieve their dreams.
She has had a lot of success but still faces challenges daily. She said that her advice to women entrepreneurs would be to never give up on their dreams and to not be afraid to do things for themselves. Williams encourages all women to understand their own business and to be able to accomplish a variety of tasks and obstacles by themselves. “I’ve really found the female community amazing,” Williams said. “It’s so powerful and loving. As women we need to support each other, not to compete with one another. That is so important.”