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When it comes to Jessie James Decker, there isn’t much that the star doesn’t do. She got her start singing and songwriting (she has nearly 210 million global career streams), created her own fashion empire with four stores, is a two-time New York Times best-selling author with a memoir and cookbook and she’s a loving wife and mother-of-three. At 34 years old, she’s conquered a lot – and she has no plans of slowing down.
She has a lot of projects in the air, and Decker has an easy answer as to why she’s involved in so much: “I think I do it because I just enjoy being creative — and if it makes people want to watch or pay attention, then that’s what happens! But I feel like the intention is to express yourself,” the entrepreneur exclusively tells GRAZIA USA.
“For me, I love singing, I love making music, I love cooking and I love creating recipes,” Decker continues. “A goal as a businesswoman is always to just create great things that can help other people. I think one of my superpowers is being able to do a lot of things at once — and do it with a smile on my face.”
As a country artist first, singing has always been at the forefront of Jessie James Decker’s priorities. Jessie’s latest single is a duet with fellow country singer and longtime friend Billy Currington titled “I Still Love You.” Their duet has reached over 4 million streams and is nominated for Favorite Collaboration at the 2022 Country Now Awards. (She’s also nominated for Favorite Female Artist. Winners will be announced in late December.)
“I have never had a song take off as fast as this one before. I feel like we just put it out, but we are off to the races with this one!” Decker says with a smile.
The superstar is also taking her talents on tour with Kane Brown this year and into 2023. This will be her first arena tour since she opened for The Jonas Brothers back in 2009. “It’s kind of crazy to be at this place now,” Decker reflects. “Because ever since then I’ve been headlining my own tours, which has been at clubs like 3,000 capacity. But this is 50,000 capacity, which is always a goal as an artist.”
Decker and Brown have done a few one-off performances together, but this will be the pair’s first tour. “His team and crew and audience and fans are the absolute coolest,” the performer continues, “so I know it’s gonna be fun!”
Decker’s love for singing began at the early age of 2, and the beauty captivated listeners everywhere with her 2009 self-titled debut. She recalls that her “made it” moment in the entertainment industry came a few years later when she was pregnant with her second child, Eric “Bubby” Decker, Jr., and got to play at the Grand Ole Opry. “It’s just funny how life goes, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was a very special day,” Decker shares, noting it was something “you just dream of as a little girl.”
The performer shares three children with her husband, former NFL star Eric Decker, 35: Vivianne “Vivi,” 8, Eric “Bubby” Jr., 7, and Forrest, 4. The family of five currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee — the perfect town for a beloved country singer.
Eric and Jessie met in 2011 when they were set up on a date by mutual friends. The pair quickly fell head over heels for each other, becoming a power couple in the spotlight. In 2013 the two lovebirds starred in their own reality television show on E!, Eric & Jessie: Game On. Their show highlighted their lives during their engagement, early days of marriage, pregnancy and parenthood as young adults, while Eric played in the NFL.
Jessie grabbed the attention of people across the country with her beautiful looks and goofy personality. America quickly fell in love with her, helping her fame continue to grow. The show eventually came to an end in 2017, however, that wasn’t the end of the road for Decker in the spotlight — it was only the beginning.
The bombshell continued to grow her fanbase through a variety of platforms, including her long-standing singing career and social media with her whopping 4.2 million Instagram followers.
Despite being off the air, she’s still been very open with fans on social media — which inevitably comes with naysayers. So why stay so in the public eye for so long by choice? Decker says she’s an open book and just wants to “share things” with her fans.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily doing it to stay in the public eye,” Decker says. “Yes, it’s a great way for business but it’s also a great way just to be social. I don’t think that much into it at all — and sometimes it’s gotten me in trouble and sometimes it hasn’t. But I don’t wanna overthink anything because then it becomes a mental exhausting job, and once social media becomes that for me, it’s just not fun anymore.”
A prime example of this is a recent post Decker made on Instagram with her brother, John James, 28. Online commenters have previously speculated on the siblings’ strained relationship. However, they stirred excitement when they both posted a loving — and hilarious — video together on their accounts last month. The post received an overwhelming positive reaction, with one follower commenting, “THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT TO ALL FANS !”
“John and I have always been silly,” Decker laughs, saying they are the “goofballs” of the family. “We’re family and we always will be. Stuff happens, but we love each other.”
Despite her busy schedule and long list of career endeavors, Decker always stresses the importance of family, placing hers at the top of her priorities. “You put your family first and everything falls right underneath it,” she tells us. “I always create this little pyramid in my head; the most important part at the top, and number one is the kids and Eric.”
When it comes to opportunities that may get in the way of that, Decker simply states, “If there’s something that interferes with me being a good mother or a good wife, then I just don’t do it.”
Although she is constantly worrying about her three beautiful babies — sharing that she even gets up in the middle of the night just to make sure they’re still breathing — Decker says she can’t even begin to express the gratitude she feels to be blessed with “the most incredible kids in the whole world.”
Aside from being a mother and growing her music career, Decker’s other large commitment is her clothing store, Kittenish. She launched the link in 2014, although the idea was created back when Decker was in high school. Her dream originally came from admiring Selena Quintanilla, a well-known singer with her own clothing designs. The fashionista recalls sitting in class sketching outfits that she wanted to perform in.
“When you have a cute outfit on, you just feel good. So I knew that I wanted to not only make people happy singing to them on stage, but I also wanted to make them feel beautiful by putting them in pieces that make them walk out the door and feel good about what they’re wearing and what they’re rocking,” Decker says.
Today, Kittenish has become “a full-time gig.” The founder and CEO spends hours a day working on the company and notes there’s “no stepping away ever.” Her husband also is on board as Kittenish’s President. Jessie describes the multimillion-dollar clothing company as an extension of herself, with the retail locations being her “teenage bedroom dream come to life.”
Her stores (in Nashville, Tampa, Dallas and Scottsdale) are fun and flirty, filled with photos of iconic ‘90s moments. The accessories table at the Nashville location has the phrase, “Ladies of Nashville, Frost Yourself” (from Kate Hudson’s film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) and the walls are framed with black-and-white photos of Jennifer Aniston in her Friends glory days.
This month, the womenswear brand has launched two holiday drops (both out now). The latest collection features an oversize sequin shirt dress, a glittery matching set, a jumpsuit with fur cuffs and sheer sleeves and so much more. “It is hot!” Decker exclaims. “We’ve got some great stuff.”
One of her biggest balancing acts came this year with her recent appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Unlike her other day-to-day responsibilities where she has “been lucky enough to not have to be away” from her children — bringing them on tour with her and running to Kittenish HQ while the kids are at school — DWTS required her to constantly travel away from home and her family.
“The traveling probably killed me more than anything,” the season 31 celebrity dancer admits. “But it’s an experience that you can never replace. Even though it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I would absolutely do it again. I would never trade that experience.”
She highlights the importance of having a great support system. “We need people; we can’t do it all by ourselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for help so that you can create your dreams and make them come true, too. You’ve gotta have help.”
One of Decker’s biggest projects for the coming year is the release of her third book (and second cookbook) next fall. Fans can expect the same comfort food from her first one, Just Feed Me, with brand new family recipes — specifically more soups, chilis and pastas, as requested by her fans.
Every single recipe is one that she created inside her head and her kitchen. “I don’t wanna look silly if I’m ever doing a cooking show and they’re asking me about some recipe and I don’t even know what to say to them. I make everything in my house and everything that is in the book is something I created,” she boasts with pride.
Decker is also including a chapter with international cuisine that she learned to make while abroad on family trips to Greece and Italy. “There was one [cooking class] every other day. I remember Eric being, ‘Another one, huh?’ I wanted to take it all in and learn from the best!” Decker says.
Decker explains that the most challenging part about creating her cookbooks has been getting the recipes from her head to paper. Thankfully, she has her right-hand woman, Liz Schoch to give her a hand. “I could not do it without her,” Decker laughs. “She keeps me on schedule.” While Jessie is the source of all the recipes, Liz helps run the Just Feed Me social accounts, while also doing the administrative tasks, photographing the food, testing the recipes and basically just doing “all the things.”
The cookbook author says her next goal is to add actress to her résumé. For now, she is able to use her music videos to tap into that passion. While filming the video for “I Still Love You,” Decker recalls, “I had to fake cry in one scene where I turned to the camera and she wanted to see my eyes looking watery. I felt like, ‘This is my moment to really try to hone in that sadness of the song and that vulnerability of letting go, but not wanting to let go.’ I wanted to hone in as an actress.”
“I think I will always be striving for the next goal,” Decker shares. “I watched Jennifer Lopez’s documentary where she talks about her journey and how her mindset is she still feels like she hasn’t made it and she’s always saying, ‘What’s the next thing?’ And I relate so much to that personality of you’re always hungry, always striving to keep challenging yourself and breaking down barriers and keep going to the next level. I can always tick a box and be proud of it, but I’m always like, ‘Okay, let’s keep going!'”
For others who share that same passion, Deck has some advice: “If you believe in yourself, that’s the most important part.” The 34-year-old notes that she didn’t come from money and spent her whole life working her “butt off” to get to where she is. Decker even admits that she still gets told “no” every single day and there have been many times she could have quit over the past 15 years of her professional career. But, as you can guess, she never takes no for an answer.
“I think that we’re all capable of having a dream and believing in ourselves and achieving it. So believe in yourself, don’t take no for an answer and if you want it, go get it.”
The true secret to success!