Boxer, Entrepreneur, Los Angeles, USA
Go-getter: "a person who works very hard and who wants very much to succeed". Cary actively followed wow.woman.official on instagram. I soon realized that I had to meet her to chat and find out more about her business. Self-starter and a professional boxer, she is growing her studio, as well as helping young women out of tough situation (pro bono). Doing it all on her own, teaching young girls that they are "not too pretty" to fight hard, hit hard and defend themselves.
2. Where is your hometown?
Sacramento, CA but currently live in Santa Monica, CA
3. What is your profession/career/title/self-label/designation?
I am the founder of Too Pretty which is a women’s athletic brand that screams “you are never too pretty to do anything!” I am also a former boxer, Olympic level boxing coach and owner of a boxing club called The Stables.
4. What was the journey like to get where you are (career wise)?
My journey has been long and colorful. I open my first boxing club 18 years ago and grew it to a chain of clubs in Northern CA. When the housing market crashed in 2009 I had to re-evaluate what I was doing and what my purpose was in life. Being in such a male dominated sport and business I experienced a lot of obstacles which sometimes came with comments like, “Why do you want to be a fighter?, You’ll mess your face up, You’re too pretty to be a boxer….” In their minds I was not capable. They just tried to say it as if it were a compliment. I knew I couldn’t be alone and there were other girls and women out there doing “boy stuff” and were hearing the same bullshit! In 2010 I came up with an idea to create some T-shirts that said “never too pretty to hit like a boy” Again inspired by some comments about how I hit like a boy when I fought. I just sold them to the girls in the clubs and after a couple of years I felt it was time to take the idea a little more seriously.
I moved to Santa Monica in 2012, sold the few clubs I had left and opened one boxing studio to continue to pay my bills. It took a couple of years to get my bearings as I just went through a divorce as well. By 2014 I trademarked Too Pretty, created a website and put in my first order for several different T-shirts and halter tops. When was the mental shift to start the journey? The first shift happened when I reflected on what my purpose in life was, after the market crash. The next shift happened when I moved to Santa Monica, CA.
5. What did you study in school?
I have a degree in Environmental Science.
6. How is your life different from what you pictured at 20?
I didn’t really look that far ahead when I was 20. I was very much in the present and only saw what was right in front of me. As the saying goes, “If I knew then what I know now!”
7. Biggest accomplishment since making the (physical/mental) move?
I actually don’t feel accomplished in any way right now. Too Pretty is a very different company than my previous company. I am still learning so much about branding and product.
8. What was biggest disappointment and plan to overcome it?
So far my biggest disappointment is not yet getting the brand name in front of more people. I am having a hard time letting go of my boxing business as it is what I make a living off of, but at the same time to grow Too Pretty I need to spend 100% of my time on it.
9. Advice for other women?
Never let anyone tell you that you Can’t do something! People will try to discourage you from doing things for different reasons. Usually it is a reflection of their insecurities.
10. Knowing what we know now in current political climate, can women be "all that we can be" in today's world?
Our political climate is so unpredictable; kind of like running a company. We can always be all that we can be. No one will put limitations on you except for yourself.
11. What is the way forward, as you see it for "feminist values"?
Moving forward we should continue to fight for our female rights, human rights and never get complacent.
12. Where in the world do you feel “tallest” (i.e. where is your happy place)?
I feel tallest (most powerful) when I am boxing. My happy place is outdoors with my boyfriend and our fur babies.
13. What extra-curricular activities/hobbies are you most proud of? Why?
I suppose boxing has become my extra-curricular activity since I no longer compete. I am proud of my experience in boxing because it is by far one of the toughest sports to learn and to compete in.
14. What do you want to be when you grow up? Future goals/challenges?
I have been a philanthropist on a small scale but when I grow up I want to do it on a very large scale!
15. What fears are you still hoping to overcome?
I do not fear much at all. Fear will stall your progress and is something that we all must overcome. I always say to myself, if it doesn’t kill me it will make me stronger. Just jump in!
16. Anything you'd do differently (if you had another go at life)?
I think about this sometimes and do wish that I would have gotten into design when I was younger. I made my own clothes as a teenager and started selling them at concerts and festivals while in college. If I would have continued that path I would definitely be a BIG philanthropist by now BUT, I had a great experience in the world of boxing and have had the privilege of changing people’s lives. That is something money cannot buy.
17. What inspires you?
Reading about and meeting other women who are making moves!
18. What are you hopeful about?
I am hopeful that Too Pretty will become a global brand and the message behind it will get everyone to support each other.
19. What are some ingredients to a good life?
Live in the moment as much as you can. Try your best to not take anything or anyone for granted. Find something to do that makes you want to wake up every morning.
20. What are you reading now? (what books do you gift most and what are your favourite reads?)
I have lately been ready business magazines but I usually like nonfiction books about successful entrepreneurs. The rags to riches type.
21. Who is a “WOW Woman” in your life who inspires you (and why)?
There is never one WOW woman. All women to me are just that. I am inspired daily by women who take care of an entire family and household, who are speech therapists for children, who are doctors, who are juggling 3 jobs, who are making their first million and all of those who are giving back!
22. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc.)?
My personal website is www.cary-williams.com and my social media links are there also. The brand Too Pretty can be found at www.tooprettybrand.com