ML - Austin Way

Austin Way - 2017 - Issue 2 - Late Spring - Brooklyn Decker

Austin Way Magazine - GreenGale Publishing - There is a place beyond the crowds, beyond the ropes, where dreams are realized and success is celebrated. You are invited.

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Page 66 of 107

Another role model in confidence is her husband, a former Grand Slam champion. "We approach things so differently. Where I can have a hard time with a scene or feel like I'm not making something funny enough, he's like (here, she lowers her voice): 'Well, just make it funny.' He's played tennis since the age of 3 or 4, so it's second nature to go out and just do it. Where for me, acting's a fairly new skill set." Decker also misses some of Roddick's pop cultural refer- ences. Her parents didn't allow her to watch television until they gave into her grandfather's wishes and got basic cable when she was 14. While that might seem an unconventional background for a TV star, it doesn't faze Decker, who is actually more sur- prised at the evolution of her home design "hobby" into a full-fledged, profitable passion. "It's turned into this weird thing where Andy and I will get a house, and I'll update it and then someone will want to buy it, even though we didn't mean to sell. It's like flipping, but unintentional flipping." They have no immediate intention of selling their current home in Bee Cave, which they bought almost four years ago. In fact, they're making changes with the future in mind, turning their mas- ter bedroom into a mother-in-law suite and adding a new master bedroom as well as renovating the kitchen and building a wine room ("drinking is a big hobby of ours in general," she jokes). After learning from interior designers on previous projects, Decker has now renovated three homes on her own and is building a vacation home in Cashiers, in her home state of North Carolina. Decker fills her home with Austin treasures, including the work of ceramics artist Keith Kreeger ("We have so much of his work in our house, it's actually embarrassing," she notes) and wallpaper by UT grad and floral photographer Ashley Woodson Bailey. She shops at Wildflower Organics for furniture, Mercury Design Studio for European paintings, and David Alan for rugs. For unique finds, she'll hit Uncommon Objects on South Congress and the overwhelming maze of The Austin Antique Mall. Like all local design fanatics, she's obsessed with the twice- a-year Original Round Top Antiques Fair in the Hill Country. "I moved to Austin from New York. When you're used to New York antiquing, coming to Austin feels like a very reasonable shift—it's a nice break from those New York prices." Decker's eye for design extends beyond home décor. In her role at Finery, she oversees the user experience and the design of the website. Although she loves fashion, the idea behind the site— to save busy women time and make the most of their clothing investment—is her big motivator. "I thought it was crazy that women will spend more money on their wardrobe than they'll spend on their education, not because they love fashion, but because being naked isn't an option," she reveals. "Even if you're not a fashion lover you have to get dressed every day. Finery works behind the scenes to make your life eas- ier. Women will spend two hours a week worrying about what to wear, and we want them to use that time working or getting a drink with friends or spending time with the kids, so the idea is that this will give you your time back. I don't know why this hasn't been done before." Finery tracks the clothes you buy, helps you create a wish list, and even arranges for refunds when a recently purchased item goes on sale. It gives you outfit ideas based on the weather or an event on your calendar. Decker has wanted to work on a project with Casey since meeting her in Austin years ago. Casey is often in New York, which is where the Finery team is based. "The fashion technology hub is New York, so we want to be entrenched in that," Decker says. Although Decker spends time in New York and Los Angeles, Austin is her home base. Over the past year or so, Decker, who is a longtime global ambassador for the Special Olympics, has become a much more visible presence for the Andy Roddick Foundation. What her husband started 17 years ago has morphed from raising money for other children's charities to overseeing its own programming to help Austin kids when they're not in school. It works with the Austin Independent School District, Austin Parks and Recreation, and other groups to create enriching expe- riences for children with limited resources. Decker has tapped into her creative connections like Kreeger, Woodson Bailey, and leather artisan Cambria Harkey to not only reach out to younger donors through events like an annual luncheon, but to share their talents with the kids as well. "Andy's long-term vision is that ARF will be the go-to out-of-school program for all schools in the state of Texas," Decker confides. For the next few months, she'll commute to Los Angeles for the workweek with Hank, returning to Austin for the weekends. Although Mallory is a stay-at-home mom, Decker finds a lot to relate to in her character: "Her challenges are different because she's a mother with no career and four children who is trying to find herself in her mommy-ness." She adds: "Any new mom can completely relate to being overwhelmed by that responsibility, and the responsibility they have to themselves, their partner, and their profession or their life. It was really easy to connect to that." For more on Decker's favorite Austin stores, boutiques, and restaurants, see "Brooklyn's Austin" on . "WOMEN WILL SPEND TWO HOURS A WEEK WORRYING ABOUT WHAT TO WEAR, AND WE WANT THEM TO USE THAT TIME WORKING OR GETTING A DRINK WITH FRIENDS OR SPENDING TIME WITH THE KIDS." AUSTINWAY.COM  65

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