Young CEO Jesslyn Rollins grows multi-million-dollar brand BIOLYTE.
It took some convincing, but Jesslyn Rollins landed the role of CEO of her family’s drink company, BIOLYTE, in 2019, just four years after graduating from the University of Georgia with a double major in theater and communication. “There were lots of PowerPoint presentations put together!” says the Buckhead native of her attempts to convince her parents she was the right person to lead the brand. The product was created by her anesthesiologist father, Dr. Luther “Trey” Rollins, and her sister, Sarah.
BIOLYTE is the first physician-formulated, bottled beverage designed to replicate the benefits of a medicalgrade IV bag in one drink. It has 7.5 times the electrolytes than other leading sports drinks and only 40 calories per bottle. The soothing sipper helps rehydrate, calm an upset stomach, cleanse the liver and boost energy.
In its inaugural year in 2016, Rollins single-handedly sold, packaged, shipped and even delivered to anyone who purchased it. Today, the $8 million brand’s three drink flavors, Tropical, Citrus and Berry, can be found at more than 7,000 locations in the Southeast including Kroger, Publix and QuikTrip. Since Rollins took over as CEO in 2019, BIOLYTE has doubled in profits every year.
“I am very hardworking, passionate and obsessive. Building this company really plays into everything that made me who I am,” says Rollins. Here, she chats more about its creation, her role and some Buckhead favorites.
How was BIOLYTE born?
My mom was going through breast cancer treatments, and the chemo was taking a massive toll on her body. She was severely dehydrated and run down to the point that she couldn’t keep up with chemo without getting an IV bag beforehand, despite trying sports drinks, powders and children’s rehydration products. My sister said, “Dad, is it possible to get an IV that somebody could drink?” My dad had been working for years with IV bags and nutritional supplementation. He used that experience to formulate BIOLYTE, the IV in a bottle.
How has your degree in theater and communication influenced your role as CEO?[I think it’s helped in] understanding the way people argue and the power of gratitude. My degree was very heavy on emotional intelligence. Theater involves understanding how somebody’s mind works. Preparing for a play, you have to memorize your script. Everything correlates so brilliantly to what I do now. I have taken to entrepreneurship like a duck to water.
What do you love about your job?
What do I not love about my job? I love improv and being in the moment. There are so many in-the-moment decisions that happen on a daily basis.
Who should drink BIOLYTE?
Everyone. Whether you come down with a bug, a workout kicked your butt or you feel completely run down, BIOLYTE is there to help you feel better whenever you need it.
What is your main goal for the brand this year?
My goal is not only to get it everywhere so people can have easy access to it, but also to bridge the gap of understanding that this product is not just a regular hydration drink. We have put so much thought and time into making something that actually works for people when they are not feeling well.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love overwhelming myself with interior decorating products that last and drive my fiancé completely insane. I love a good cocktail; the best is at The Capital Grille, the Stoli Doli [pineapple-infused vodka martini]. Don’t have more than one and a half.
What are a couple of your favorite places for wellness in Buckhead?
I am a massive spa person. The Waldorf Astoria has the best one. I’ll spend an entire day there for a facial, massage and the hot tub, and leave feeling like a shined up new penny. Also, The Perfect Brows by Leza—they are eyebrow wizards!
Managing Editor and Wellness Columnist at Simply Buckhead. Blogger at Badass + Healthy.