During the Wall Street Journal’s annual “Future of Everything Festival”, Maria Sharapova made it known that she is happy with her retirement timing and is ready to devote her attention to Sugarpova.
The usual festival, held every spring, had to be held virtually this year due to COVID-19. Sharapova joined the free virtual festival in an interview and Q&A session with WSJ’s Jason Gay. Sharapova shared her eagerness to continue her business venture with Sugarpova, her “sweets & treats” business, and to begin a few more.
She named working in architecture, wellness facilities at hotels, and at resorts and spas for her ideal future endeavors. Additionally, she noted the good timing of her retirement from tennis.
“In hindsight, [my retirement] was great timing, because I’d be sitting here saying, ‘When do I train?’, ‘What do I train for?’ There are so many question marks around sport in general,” Sharapova said.
“From my perspective… it’s been really nice to have this moment of reflection, to look back at the 28 years of playing this one little sport, and what it meant to me, and recollecting, and also having the chance to form the foundation of the future.”
Sharapova added that her ability to understand that success takes time will help her in her career in business.
“As I think of the past and how long it took me to become a champion in my sport — it took me well over 10 years just to play a first professional tournament — so whatever I might choose to do next… it will take time, and I’m using this time at home to work on that and build on that.”
“I always carry a big-picture frame of mind because when I was growing up and I’d have tough losses, my father would say, ‘It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.’ and although I knew what my life and my schedule would look like in sport, your trajectory is never predicted.”
“You can work as hard as you can, you can be a very talented athlete, but you take one wrong turn, and you end up at the end of you career. I know what it’s like to go through those peaks and valleys. “
She also admitted that she knew at a young age that tennis wasn’t what she wanted to do her whole life. She understood that at some point she would have other interests.
“As I was looking to my future and realizing as a female, even though when I was a little girl, I wanted to play this sport for the rest of my life… I realized, probably in my late teens, that there would be other things in my life that I would have an interest in.”
“I was always working towards what the future after tennis might look like.”
When asked about her candy business, Sugarpova, Sharapova let us all in on her inspiration to start the business.
“When I had shoulder surgery when I was 21 years old… I really wanted to spend my time growing something in a category that I was passionate about,” she said.
“I grew up in my grandmother’s kitchen. I enjoyed a sweet treat when I had a good practice, it was the first thing that I would ask my parents for.”
“It is slightly strange, but I think I’ve had a good understanding of what it means to be diligent and professional, taking care of your body and having a healthy lifestyle.”
“But I have a saying that I use in my life: moderation in moderation. Just the right amount. just a little bit of this, not too much of that. That’s kind of how I see sweets and how I see indulgence and treating yourself.”
Sharapova’s line of gummy candies has since then evolved to include chocolates and all-natural gummies.
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