What The Pioneer Woman Did Before Becoming Famous

We're always wondering what celebrity chefs did before they were famous. Did they always know they would make an empire out of cooking, or did they pivot from a completely different industry? When it comes to the story of what The Pioneer Woman did before becoming a household name, she definitely falls into the latter. These days, Ree Drummond may be a television star, cookbook author, and the owner and operator of several businesses in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. But before television crews rolled up to her ranch in Oklahoma, her life was a lot different.

Prior to launching her legendary blog, The Pioneer Woman, Drummond had a hectic life as a student in a big city. Rather than being a rancher, she had aspirations to become a lawyer, and her career dreams almost took her life in a completely different direction. She wouldn't be teaching millions how to cook but arguing cases in front of a judge.

She moved to Los Angeles and studied gerontology

According to Nicki Swift, Drummond graduated from Bartlesville High School in Oklahoma in 1987, but she was ready for a change. She packed her bags and moved to Los Angeles to attend college. Initially, she started studying broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California, but she changed her major to gerontology (the study of old age) soon after. After graduation, she worked for a marketing company in Los Angeles, where part of her job included getting celebrity guests to participate in trade shows (via The New Yorker).

She planned on taking the LSAT, applying to law school, and moving to Chicago, but something unexpected happened. She was staying in her hometown in Oklahoma before the move to Chicago when, out at a bar with friends, she met Ladd Drummond, her future husband. The two soon fell in love, and Drummond put her plans to move to Chicago on hold. Eventually, Ladd proposed, and Drummond began her life as a cattle rancher's wife in rural Oklahoma.

She started The Pioneer Woman blog

Drummond's next stop on her path to fame was starting her blog. Long before she got a television show on Food Network, Drummond made a name for herself through The Pioneer Woman website, where she shared homestyle recipes and peeks into her life with Ladd and their kids. She started the blog in 2006, on a day when Ladd decided to take all of the children out into the fields of their ranch to give Drummond some time for herself. She seized the opportunity and began to write. Just five years later, The New Yorker reported that her blog was getting more than 23 million page views each month, and in 2010, her blog revenue was at least $1 million.

In the years after she started writing, she won several blog awards, wrote a memoir and a cookbook, and kept typing away. It wasn't until 2011, five years after she started The Pioneer Woman blog, that her show premiered on Food Network, although the network had approached her earlier (via HuffPost). It was only when they promised that they would bring production to her home in Oklahoma that she decided to go ahead and film a pilot episode and, well, the rest is history.