A Mighty Girl: 10-Year-Old Mikaila Ulmer of Austin, Texas is Entrepreneur on Mission to Help Save Honeybees
10-year-old Mikaila Ulmer of Austin, Texas is an entrepreneur on a mission to help save honeybees. This Mighty Girl is taking her social mission-driven lemonade business to the "next level" thanks to a $60,000 investment she received on the show "Shark Tank" earlier this year. Now, her BeeSweet Lemonade company -- which she was inspired to start when she was only four years old -- is on track to sell nearly 140,000 bottles this year!
Mikaila says that the inspiration for her company came at age four when she was stung by a bee twice in one week. According to Mikaila, "I was terrified of bees and I would over react and freak out [after being stung] and so my parents wanted me to do some research on the bees and I did that research and in doing that research I found out how incredibly important pollinators they are and that they're dying. So I decided to create a product that helps save the bees."
After she discovered her great-grandmother's 1940s recipe for flaxseed lemonade, Mikaila decided to start a lemonade business which uses honey from local bees for sweetener rather than corn syrup. As her business grew, she expanded from selling lemonade at a stand to bottling it and selling it in local stores and restaurants. She also donates a portion of her profits to organizations dedicated to protecting honeybees.
Mikaila's dedication and business savvy impressed "Shark Tank" investor Daymond John when she appeared on the show last spring. He agreed to invest $60,000 in BeeSweet and observed, "Partnering with Mikaila made perfect sense... She's a great kid with a head for business and branding. She's got a great idea and I'm happy to help take BeeSweet to the next level."
The young CEO is thrilled at the opportunity her company has given her to help the bees she loves, stating, "It's solving a problem in this world. That's what keeps me motivated to do it." And, she has a little advice of her own on how to be successful in business or any venture: “The more passionate you are about what you do, the better you do it, and the more fun you’ll have watching it, and you need to have perseverance to make your business bigger and better. . .courage, passion, and perseverance.”
To read more about Mikaila's story on CBS News, visit http://cbsn.ws/1Tb0Khh -- or check out BeeSweet Lemonade's website at http://beesweetlemonade.com/
For a helpful guide to encourage your own Mighty Girl's entrepreneurial spirit, we highly recommend the excellent "A Smart Girl's Guide: Making Money" for ages 9 to 13 at http://www.amightygirl.com/making-money
For an inspiring picture book about how real-life Mighty Girl Vivienne Harr used the profits from her lemonade stand to free 550 slaves, check out "Make A Stand: When Life Gives You Lemons, Change The World!" at http://www.amightygirl.com/make-a-stand
For stories for children and teens about entrepreneurial girls and women, visit our "Entrepreneurship" section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/general-interest/jobs-money?cat=123
And, for Mighty Girl stories that emphasize the importance of determination in pursuing your dreams, visit our "Perseverance" section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/personal-development/values?cat=219
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA coordinator and Xerces Society.