Go west

‘Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond is building a media empire in the heart of cowboy country

Ree Drummond (Facebook)

Oklahoma native Ree Drummond did not set out to build a media and retail empire in the middle of the American west. As a student at the University of Southern California, Drummond had plans to move to Chicago once she’d graduated, but never made it past her hometown where she met — and eventually married — her cattle-ranching husband. Known for her grassroots advice and easy-going personality, Drummond has truly built her brand from the ground up. Now the author of several New York Times best-selling cookbooks and children’s books, Drummond still finds time to host her own Food Network cooking program, design her line of kitchenware, run her local family-owned store and launch her own magazine.

“If I had sat down and tried to plan an empire there’s no way, no way any of this would have happened,” Drummond mused in an interview with The Associated Press. Living and working in Pawhuska, Oklahoma – a town that can boast only one traffic light—Drummond and her husband, Lee, live and work on a 400,000-acre cattle ranch. Admirers from all 50 states, Canada, England, and South America have traveled thousands of miles to visit The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, the part-store, part-restaurant that Drummond opened after the initial success of her blog.

While her blog continues to be popular with readers, discussing everything from homeschooling her children to her favorite TV shows, Drummond credits the majority of her success to just being herself. “I think people are drawn to ‘The Pioneer Woman,’ not because I am some fascinating person, but because I present things that a lot of people can relate to.” With a potential movie in the works with Sony Pictures, Drummond continues to plow forward, “I’m not a chef, and I’m not an expert at anything. I’m just a mom and a wife.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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