Over the last few years, South Charlottean sisters Ellen Rucker Sellers and Ione Rucker Jamison have gracefully climbed into the forefront of the hair care industry with their organic and vegan product line, Rucker Roots. The duo first made headlines on the WE tv show Love Thy Sister, and after fans professed a love for their Southern charm and style, the ladies found inspiration in returning to their roots to embark on a business journey in beauty. Less than five years later, the brand has amassed a lot of success being featured in several of the nation’s top beauty publications and on Good Morning America.
Once known mainly from their reality television show, the sisters have now emerged as owners of a top natural hair care brand. Even with their success, they maintain a family-first attitude, which is the driving force behind everything they do. The ladies have figured out how to manage their home lives while thriving as entrepreneurs and embracing their distinction as modern Southern women.
So who are they?
Ellen and Ione are modern Southern women who are mothers and entrepreneurs. They are the youngest two siblings of eight, born to Douglas and Ruby Rucker. They are Lancaster, South Carolina, natives, currently living in South Charlotte.
Recently, SCL had the opportunity to speak with Ellen and Ione, and they shared how they maintain their family/work balance and what’s next for their brand.
How have your Southern roots played a role in how you brand and market Rucker Roots?
Our Southern roots have played a key role in the main ingredients, what we call our Rucker Roots complex. The Rucker Roots complex, which consists of root vegetable oils, is very much an ode to our Southern roots. Our father’s hobby to this day is farming and growing fresh vegetables. Our mother enjoyed feeding us his harvest from the farm and also incorporated special recipes for her four daughters’ hair using these root vegetables along with mayonnaise, olive oil and even eggs to create natural hair masks.
As mothers and entrepreneurs, how do you create a work/life balance?
We have come to realize that there is no balance being both mothers and entrepreneurs. Some days we might be super mom, but on those days we are lacking at something for our business. We are grateful it’s two of us in our business, so we can divide and conquer. At the end of the day, protecting our peace and our families is where our balance comes from.
How has working in the beauty industry challenged you as entrepreneurs?
One of our biggest challenges as an entrepreneur working in the beauty industry is setting our brand apart from all the other brands. We are in a very saturated field, so this has been challenging.
What keeps you motivated?
Our customers keep us motivated. We love to see the results our products have on our customers’ lives. Helping others has always been a passion of ours that has been passed down in many forms from our grandparents and parents, so definitely, our customers’ satisfaction and even seeing some of our customers in tears because they love Rucker Roots keeps us motivated. Rucker Roots products work well on all hair types.
What are some of the biggest accomplishments you’ve achieved as owners of Rucker Roots?
Our greatest accomplishments to date are getting placement in Sally Beauty and Target stores nationwide.
What is some advice you’d give to women in pursuit of entrepreneurship?
Our advice to other women is to go for it and keep going. There will be setbacks and hiccups, but keep moving forward. Every day will be different, and entrepreneurship is not glamorous; it’s hard work, yet it can be extremely rewarding!