Ree Drummond's Transformation Is Seriously Turning Heads

It seems nearly impossible not to know about or be aware of The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. New and long-time fans of The Pioneer Woman likely know she has come a long way in her career. But lately, it seems Drummond is everywhere and that she has really made her mark whether you're talking about retail stores to her adopted hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Between her show on the Food Network and her many branded products, Drummond is a force to be reckoned with.

The road to Drummond's many achievements arguably began with the story behind her brand and name, which is pretty ironic. As she put it, "I was literally THE last person anyone ever pictured moving to the country. When I announced my engagement to a cowboy, my childhood friends couldn't believe it" (via The Pioneer Woman). That's why they lovingly nicknamed her "The Pioneer Woman," which turned out to be truer than they realized. She had to lug and boil water for four months when she and her cattle rancher husband, Ladd, lost water pressure at their house a few years after they married. She said, "A neighboring ranching friend, upon hearing of my plight, called and told me I was a real Pioneer Woman—only this time it wasn't a joke! If I hadn't been so busy hauling water at the time, I might have stopped to revel in the title a little more." But she eventually did a lot more than just revel.

She started out with a lowly blog

Fans likely know Drumond started out with a blog, but perhaps they're unaware of how humble its beginnings were. According to Forbes, Drummond began her blog as a way to fill the hours she had to herself after her husband began taking the kids to work with him out on the ranch. She said, "I had the whole house to myself and thought, I'm going to start one of those blog things." Since she was no longer spending the same amount of hours homeschooling their four kids, she thought she could stay in touch with her own mom through the blog. Drummond explained, "I thought my mom, who lived in Tennessee, would enjoy it. I never thought of it as something that anyone would read except people who knew me." That's far from what her blog ultimately became.

In 2006, Drummond launched her now-signature "The Pioneer Woman" domain with the aid of free software. Once she began writing post after post for what she originally named Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, the blog began to take root through word of mouth. Within three years, it had blossomed into something huge, and in 2009, Time named Drummond's blog "one of the top 25 blogs in the world."

Then she moved to television

It wasn't until 2007 that Drummond posted her first recipe, which featured detailed photos for each step (via The Pioneer Woman). Slowly but surely, she found the perfect balance between posting recipes and sharing personal insights into life on the ranch. By her third year of blogging, The Pioneer Woman was getting 13 million views per month.

Eventually, Drummond wrote her first book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl. Unlike the comparatively slow burn that her blog experienced, the book immediately caught fire, and by 2011, the blog was getting 23.3 million page views per month, according to Forbes. It was around this time that she was profiled in The New Yorker, and the Food Network signed her on for her television show. Drummond had no professional experience or instruction, which might be why she resonated with her audience of home cooks.

Now she has tons of branded products

Now, Drummond's empire includes far more than a single book and her original blog. Today, she and her family are still filming her successful television show — on top of planning her daughter's wedding. She has her own magazine, which is befitting since she did graduate college with a journalism degree (via Insider). However, Drummond has also written and published more than a dozen books and cookbooks.

Drummond has, of course, opened both The Pioneer Woman Boarding House, which is her eight-room hotel in her family's own town of Pawhuska. The Pioneer Woman blog notes the hotel "is conveniently located right down the street from" her hybrid business, The Mercantile, whose website describes it as a store, bakery, and restaurant that offers "gorgeous goods, comfort foods, fresh-made pastries," and other goodies. For those who cannot get to Pawhuska as often as they'd like to indulge in Drummond's product lines, there's always her expansive collection of cookware, small appliances, kitchen tools, and even groceries at Walmart (via Walmart's website). Then there are her spices and a coffee line.

All of that work and success over the years have added up. Drummond has an estimated net worth of $50 million (via Moms). It's likely only a matter of time before we see what's next on The Pioneer Woman's professional to-do list.