When Mikaila Ulmer was 4-years-old she was stung by a honey bee twice in the same week. The Austin, Texas sixth grader soon began to fear bees, but later did research and learned they’re actually an asset.
“I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me,” Mikaila, now 11 said. “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?”
From there Mikaila began selling her BeeSweet Lemonade, which comes from her great grandmother’s flaxseed recipe and is sweetened with honey from local bees. According to reports Mikaila and her family started off small, brewing her lemonade for local events, then bottled and sold it at pizza shop and within a few years, BeeSweet Lemonade was off the ground.
Mikaila and her father even appeared on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank and walked away with a $60,000 investment. After appearing on the show, Whole Foods soon learned of her efforts and the young entrepreneur and food retail giant struck up a deal which places her sweet drink on the shelves of 55 stores in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
What makes this story even sweeter is knowing Mikaila donates a portion of her profits to organizations that help counter the dwindling honeybee population. Whole Foods hasn’t released the dollar amount of her contract, but if her lemonade does well, it will be featured in other stores across the United States.
Despite being a business woman at just 11, Mikaila says she receives help from her family and works on the company after finishing her school work. Her mother is adamant about making sure her daughter still gets to be a kid.
“Every weekend she does something that she enjoys. It may be rollerblading this weekend, sleepover this weekend. You create a balance because she is working as hard as she is playing,” her mom said.