Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond is a multi-faceted talent known not just for her hit Food Network television show, but also for her magazine and cookware collection with Walmart. While fans of hers have welcomed Drummond’s signature bright floral patterned products into their kitchens since 2015, they can now incorporate the same look into other rooms of the home with the launch of her bedding and bath lines for the ubiquitous retailer.
The design of these products reflect the successful entrepreneur’s vibrant personality, which truly shined through in my recent interview with her. She was generous, opening up not only about her favorite products and styling tips, but also the best thing to happen to her during the pandemic as well as the future of her television show.
Amanda Lauren: You have a thriving kitchenware line for Walmart, a show on the Food Network, magazine, etc. You’re doing so much. Why create bed and bath lines with Walmart right now?
Ree Drummond: The housewares line started in the kitchen. It was all inspired by the print and patterns that were in my kitchen, whether it was my drawer of mix-and- match napkins, or my cabinet of random dinnerware pieces that I collected through the years.
So once I launched my kitchenware line, it just made sense to take the same approach in the areas of the home that lend themselves to little pops of color, or little pops of florals. Bed and bath are obvious candidates for those types of things. You can go all out and have a big explosion of florals in your bedroom or you can keep it kind of neutral with a nice white background, and then throw in a beautiful floral quilt and shams.
Lauren: When I look at your product lines, especially the cookware, many of the items look like things you can buy at upscale antique stores or estate sales, but they’re from Walmart.
Drummond: I love that you said that because when I first launched my line in 2015, one of the main patterns was called Flea Market because I didn’t want every piece in the collection to match. One of my favorite things is an old picture of my drawer of measuring cups from the early 2000s. Half the cups were ceramic. Others were from estate and garage sales. That’s totally the vibe I was going for.
Lauren: Is that an Oklahoma thing?
Drummond: I wouldn’t say so. It’s so funny because when I was maybe a sophomore in college, Adrienne Vittadini was just this wonderful designer [I liked to wear] and all of her pieces had this bright, bold, kind of traditional vintage floral look. When I say floral, I mean knit shorts and a matching knit top in the same floral pattern. I’ve always been drawn to it.
Lauren: Do you have any tips for decorating with your various products?
Drummond: I create collections based on different prints. But my intention has always been for people who buy the Pioneer Woman products to create their own collection. You can take a quilt with one print and then layer it on a blanket with another pattern.
So my advice would be not to necessarily stick with one collection and one print. We are layering our bedding big time this time of year in Oklahoma. We’ve got the sheets, the blanket, and then the comforter and a quilt at the end of the bed. Because we never know when the temperature is going to drop to zero here. So I love the idea of everyone winding up with their own unique assortment.
Stay true to what you love. If you have a neutral space, add bright floral towels and a bright bath mat. But leave everything else kind of soft and neutral.
Through the years, the Pioneer Woman collectors post so many photos of how they’re decorating their spaces. It runs the gamut. There’s the all-white kitchen with the bright floral toaster. And the harvest table with every single different pattern of dinnerware that Pioneer Woman offers and all the napkins and tablecloths. It’s really fun because it invites so much creativity and personal expression.
Lauren: One thing I’ve noticed about your brand as a whole is that everything is very accessible, especially the recipes. Anyone can make them and they have ingredients that most people can get. So, I feel like partnering with Walmart, which is a store that’s known for being accessible is a natural fit for you. What has working with them been like?
Drummond: It’s really been great. It doesn’t get any better than Walmart in terms of having a retail partner with their experience and capabilities. I grew up in Oklahoma, so I am authentically a Walmart shopper and have been my whole life. That’s where we went when we were young to get school supplies and makeup. So, it was definitely not a leap for me to partner with them.
It is sort of the same. The reason that I’ve always wanted my recipes very accessible, is because I never wanted to share a recipe that everyone wasn’t able to run out and make. I didn’t want to include ingredients that would need to be mail ordered.
So I think I took the same approach with housewares. I wanted to create a line that looked elevated and had the same beautiful colors, prints, and patterns that you would find in a more upscale store but definitely wanted the prices to be such that you could collect several patterns and then mix and match.
Lauren: If you could only recommend two products from your line, what would they be?
Drummond: This is like choosing my favorite child, which varies every day, by the way. I’ll start with bath. Honestly, the bath towels are glorious. When I first saw the samples come in, I swooned. There’s a bath mat that says “Howdy” and has cute colors and florals. I think it’s the most adorable bath mat I’ve ever seen.
In terms of cookware, it’s so hard. I have one of my ceramic nonstick cookware sets and I hardly ever put it away because I have six burners on my stove. They stay there all the time. I clean them and put them right back on because they’re just good everyday pans.
Lauren: I really got into your show in 2020 during the quarantine and was so amused that your children were your skeleton crew. Are they still shooting with you?
Drummond: I think we’ve all kind of extracted the things that we are grateful for over the past two completely crazy years. That was the best thing to come out of the whole Covid experience for me. My Food Network production company is actually from the UK. It became apparent pretty quickly that they were not going to be able to come back to film for quite some time. But we didn’t want the show to be suspended and rerun.
Food Network [suggested] sending iPhones and handheld gimbals, so the kids could try to shoot an episode. Honestly, we were thinking of one episode. Now, I believe we’ve shot almost 70 episodes together.
We still have 20 more to film and then God willing, my UK crew will be back in the middle of 2022, [but] I don’t think we’ll ever go back fully to the original style of the show. I think it’ll be more of a hybrid. I love the old show and have so many great memories from it. But I also love the new direction we took things.
The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.