kai conversations with…..ione and ellen, sisters + founders of rucker roots
we are delighted to bring you this week’s conversations with the sensational sisters behind rucker roots, the amazing vegan natural hair care brand that is inspired by and celebrates roots! ione rucker jamison (cmo) and ellen rucker sellers (ceo) were raised by a mother who concocted hair recipes using vegetables from their family garden, so it was truly in their “roots” to become the fearless female entrepreneurs that they now are! similar to kai, the rucker roots brand has been selected as one of allure’s “best of beauty” award winners and their brand has really taken off nationwide! rucker roots currently can be found in 12 retailers across the u.s. including target, amazon, belk, urban outfitters, heb, and j.c. penny salons; and they continue to grow and expand their roots!
we are so grateful to have ellen and ione as our kai devotees and friends! ellen and ione have been long-time wearers of kai. ellen has a daughter named kai, who is now 17, and ione and ellen first discovered kai around that time, when the kai signature products were gifted to ellen as a new mom.
please stay tuned for a very exciting giveaway launching with rucker roots soon!
ione: ellen and i are sisters, and we started our company, rucker roots, literally in ellen's kitchen. i was living with ellen, along with my 3 kids, and we envisioned rucker roots during this time. i was going through a divorce and needed to focus on something positive that would make my kids' proud of me. my current role as cmo of rucker roots has really transpired over the years because of my strengths in running our business. ellen is the ceo. we have learned to work well together over the years, but it has taken a lot of trial and error. being sisters and best friends, as well as having the same vision for rucker roots has guided our brand to become a nationally recognized award-winning brand.
what do you like most about what you do professionally?
ione: i really enjoy inspiring young people to believe in themselves and to dream big. i also really love when our products truly make a difference in our customer's lives.
ellen: i love creating products that i feel great about using on myself and my family. i also love the flexibility i have in my career that allows me to give time to my children and husband.
please share a few key points about the mission of your brand.
ione: our mission is healthy hair starts at the root. we are a family and women owned business with strong family roots. rucker is our family name and roots represents the powerful root vegetable oils that are in our products.
ellen: our mission is to provide healthy hair options that give women the ability to have versatility in their styles.
how did you first discover kai? please share a memory of your
first-time using kai, which product it was, and anything special you noticed
during your experience.
ione: we have always loved and admired kai fragrance - ellen's daughter is named kai, so i think that is originally how we recognized the brand. we love the kai perfume oil, the scent is amazing! the smell reminds me of being in a spa which always puts me in a relaxed mood.
ellen: i have loved kai products since my daughter kai was a baby. it was gifted to me when i first had her. that was 17 years ago.
how do you embody kai’s “breath*life*flow” lifestyle?
ione: i try to live by kai's breathe*life*flow lifestyle by taking care of my body in all aspects (mentally, physically, and emotionally). exercising, meditating, eating clean, healthy foods, showing grace and being kind to others are how i live my life.
ellen: i embody kai's breath, life, flow lifestyle through my daily routines. i take time daily to sit quickly and breathe. because my day is pretty hectic with 3 year old twins and a 17 year old.
what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
ione: best advice comes from my dad: money doesn't make you happy - happiness is an inside job. always give back to your community and to the youth.
do you have a mantra you live by?
ione: mantra: treat the janitor the same way i would treat the ceo.
ultimate getaway? best things about living where you reside currently?
ione: favorite getaway; charleston, sc or garden city beach, sc. i love living in charlotte, nc. we have beaches and mountains only a couple of hours away. it's a great place to raise a family and the weather is nice!!
ellen: my husband, bakari and i, took a trip this summer to anguilla and st. barths. the getaway was fabulous and so relaxing.
ione: guilty pleasure is netflix
ellen: i have sns dipped nails - ballet slipper nude pink with gold sparkles on the tips
ideal way to relax/unwind?
ione: definitely spa day!!!
morning person or night owl?
ellen: definitely a night owl. i stay up late regularly working, after the kids are down to bed and the house is quiet.
what book are you reading currently?
ione: reading the book “who not how” by dan sullivan
ellen: i am currently reading "year of yes: how to dance it out, stand in the sun, and be your own person" by shonda rhimes.
ellen: collard greens are my favorite food. we are from the south and our father would have a garden full of greens every fall and when prepared properly they are delicious. also collard greens are packed with so many great vitamins like folate, vitamin k, and iron.
what’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
ione: most adventurous thing i've done was take my kids when they were 8,6, and 4 ziplining really high up in the mountains in costa rica. i fear heights so this was beyond scary…i look back and think about how dangerous it was all the time!
thank you, lone & ellen!