Jesslyn Rollins

Her family-run business is dedicated to helping cancer patients thrive

Jesslyn Rollins

Photography by Martha Williams

“Several years ago, my mom had breast cancer, and when she was going through chemotherapy treatments, she was so sick and so dehydrated that she needed IVs, but the nurses kept blowing out her veins,” Jesslyn Rollins recalls. When none of the usual electrolyte powders or hydration drinks eased those debilitating symptoms, Rollins’ father—anesthesiologist and pain specialist Dr. Luther “TreyRollins III—decided to create something that would. The result? Biolyte, a bottled hydration solution that offers nearly seven times the electrolytes as the leading sports drinks with only a third of the sugar, plus all the same benefits as a full medical-grade IV bag.

“Because so much money went into developing the product, my dad didn’t have money to hire a big-time CEO or any employees,” says Rollins of her first official role with the company as director of sales. The University of Georgia graduate quit her job as a ticket taker at Laughing Skull Lounge and sold her first case of Biolyte to a local football team from the back of her Toyota Highlander. “We wanted feedback on the products, and we figured the ingredients would be great for the players with muscle cramps and fatigues,she says.

The drinks were a hit, and soon after, she landed the brand’s first major retail partnership with Kroger. Today, Biolyte is available in more than 20,000 retail locations throughout the Southeast. Rollins remains committed to honoring her mother and the other cancer patients who inspired the product. The company has donated more than 1 million bottles and $100,000 to cancer charities in Georgia and provided funds to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Decatur, which provides affordable housing to cancer patients and their caregivers.

“Every bottle we sell is helping people thrive and not just survive,” says Rollins. “This product is so much more than my family and our team because it’s something that is helping people and giving them the gift of an ordinary day.