An 11-year-old Austin, Texas girl named Mikaila Ulmer combined a painful childhood experience with a family tradition and turned it into a million dollar deal with Whole Foods.
BeeSweet Lemonade is a family-owned business founded by the very ambitious little girl. Two special ingredients included in the drink’s recipe are flaxseed and local honey, straight from the honeybees.
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Mikaila began selling her lemonade at a small stand but it quickly gained popularity and developed into a full-fledged business. Her website details how she began her entrepreneurial journey:
“When I was just four, my family encouraged me to make a product for a Children’s business competition (the Acton Children’s Business Fair) and Austin Lemonade Day. So I put on my thinking cap. I thought about some ideas. While I was thinking, two big events happened.
I got stung by a bee. Twice.
Then my Great Granny Helen, who lives in Cameron, South Carolina, sent my family a 1940’s cookbook, which included her special recipe for Flaxseed Lemonade.
I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me. But then something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, ‘what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen’s recipe’?”
That is the simple, adorable story of how BeeSweet Lemonade was born.
Mikaila’s business has grown significantly over the years, and in addition to being a lucrative venture for her family, it also contributes to saving honeybees which are currently dying off at an alarming rate.
A percentage of the profits from BeeSweet Lemonade is donated to local and international organizations that fight to save the bees — hence her catchy slogan, “Buy a Bottle … Save a Bee.”
The business-savvy tween leads workshops, participates in social entrepreneurship panels, and was even featured on the popular ABC business investor show “Shark Tank.”
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Not only is Whole Foods offering its stamp of approval on her product by selling it in their stores, but several other retailers throughout the nation are carrying BeeSweet Lemonade along with restaurants and natural food delivery companies.
Mikaila is a successful business owner, educator and environmental activist all before the age of 18. She’s probably got a nice stash saved up to contribute to her college fund and a wonderful legacy to share with her family and pass down through generations.
It is refreshing to see members of today’s youth contributing to society in a positive and inspirational way.
Banner Photo Credit: Facebook/Super.Selected.