To celebrate Fat Liberation Month, Lioness interviewed fat, plus-size, and curvy founders and entrepreneurs to celebrate their achievements and learn what fat liberation means to them. Our latest entrepreneur is Precious L. Williams, founder of the Perfect Pitch Group. Williams brings practical expertise, energy, smarts, and a killer fashion sense to her pitching, presentation and communication training business. She is a 13-time national elevator pitch champion and Innovation Women speaker. She has appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Black Enterprise Magazine, delivered two electrifying TEDx Talks, and written five bestselling books. Williams has faced major setbacks on her journey to success, but her commitment and confidence have always helped her rise to the top.
A risky business pitch for plus-size lingerie
Williams’ big pitching debut was to the producers of MSNBC in 2012 for her first business Curvy Girlz Lingerie. That pitch took her on a journey that culminated in pitching her lingerie business on JJ Ramberg’s national MSNBC business show, “Your Business.” As a self-described full-figured diva, Williams knew a lingerie brand for larger women might not attract the investment it deserved. But she believed that women of all sizes should get to dress the way they want. And she’d never win funding if she didn’t go after it. She appeared on Your Business with a negative balance in her bank account. This was her chance – and she slayed! Her “Your Business” pitch won her business an investment of several hundred thousand dollars in 54 seconds!
Later, Williams appeared on Season 8 of “Shark Tank”.
“I weighed 327 pounds,” Williams said. “Nobody in the room was a plus-size woman – I’ve never seen a plus-size shark yet. But my message resonated with them because I pitched it well, with a compelling story, stats and drama.”
Inspired by her pitching success, she started a second business in 2013. At Perfect Pitches by Precious, now the Perfect Pitch Group, she trained other women on how to pitch to win in pitch competitions. But after the love of her life died, the grief was so intense that she stopped working, struggled with alcohol, and eventually lost her home. She had to put both her businesses on hold to get back on her feet. But she made it, and Perfect Pitches by Precious rose again.
The Perfect Pitch Group empowers women to win over investors
Williams said, “I’ve hit rock bottom three times, but I bounced back every time. Society has told so many of us we can’t succeed, so we don’t even try. You have to keep going. When I stepped into my purpose, I helped other women step into theirs and win pitch contests.”
Perfect Pitch Group provides consulting, pitch and sales training and retreats for corporate teams, law firms, top colleges and universities, Fortune 100 sales teams and individuals. In her role at Perfect Pitch Group, Williams has spoken for big-name clients like Harvard University, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and PwC. At its core, her work is about giving women the power and confidence to go after their dreams and business goals.
“We’ll teach you how to slay all competition with a killer pitch,” Williams said.
Helping others by being yourself
“Fat liberation, to me, truly means the ability to be myself, to not be put in a box and to not be told I have to look and act a certain way in order to make it,” Williams said. She doesn’t worry about her body when she’s pitching or training. For her, success comes from storytelling, confidence and killer pitches. A great sense of style doesn’t hurt either. “You sound good, you smell good, you are talented. Your weight doesn’t change that. If anything, it enhances it. Show up how you are and people will listen.”
Williams says founders of all sizes can promote fat liberation by showing up, supporting entrepreneurs in larger bodies and using their voices in solidarity.
“I won’t ever let a full-figured Queen be shy because she feels too big,” she said. “I’ll be at your house or your event, pushing you to show up and making you look good. I want you to feel like the main character, not just the funny fat girl off to the side.”
By way of example, Williams told the story of a straight-size founder who supported her. When the founder, who was a hairstylist, asked Williams to trust her in dying her hair strawberry blonde for the first time, she also told her, “I know you see yourself as cute, but I need you to understand that you’re a celebrity. When you enter a room, I need all eyes on you.”
That founder’s support, and the perspective shift she provided, reminded Williams of her values. “I used to be ashamed of my hair and how I looked,” Williams said. “But my clients, my customers and my investors have chosen me, not in spite of my weight, but because I’m a package deal. From my appearance to my pitches, I represent excellence. I’m creating a new narrative of what success looks like.”
Williams’ advice for female founders
For all female founders, Williams says persistence and consistency always beat resistance. No matter what obstacles you’re dealt, you can still play to win. It might take longer than you planned, but that’s okay!
Williams reminds fat founders that their weight is just one aspect of who they are.
“If you never lose a pound, your worth has not gone down,” she said. “So treat yourself well, dress well, hang around the right people and always deliver the results. Go where you’re celebrated, not just tolerated. If it hasn’t been built, build it yourself and bring us with you.”
We couldn’t agree more.