The remarkable story of Mikaila Ulmer started when she was only 4 years old – and it started with a bee sting! She was encouraged by her parents to enter a business competition for children in their home town of Austin Texas. While preparing for the competition she was stung by a bee. This sparked the little girl’s curiosity about bees. She set out to find out more about honeybees and learnt about their importance to the ecosystem. Around the same time, her great grandmother sent her a recipe book from the 1940’s which contained a recipe for flax seed lemonade. This sequence of events sparked the idea for her honey sweetened flax seed lemonade. Her story doesn’t end here, in fact it was just the beginning of a remarkable career. She started her own lemonade brand – Me & the Bees. She was motivated by a desire to create awareness about honeybees and their environmental importance. She calls herself a “bee ambassador”.
The rise of Me & the Bees
Mikaila Ulmer started a business selling her products at lemonade stands, with great success. When she was 9 years old she received a $60 000 investment from Shark Tank. This launched Me & the Bees as a recognized brand. She donates a large percentage of her profits to international save the bee organizations.
At age 11, she is the CEO of BeeSweet lemonade and recently secured a multi-million dollar deal with Whole Foods to sell Me & the Bees lemonade in 55 of their stores across the US. She announced recently that she will also be distributing her products through United Natural Foods. Not only does she manage to run a major company while keeping up with her school work – she also tours the country spreading her environmental message and speaks to young entrepreneurs.
Mikaila Ulmer’s busy bee life
Mikaila has achieved more in her short life than most people could ever dream of. Leading workshops on saving honeybees and participating in social entrepreneur panels hardly touches the surface of her accomplishments. She’s been a panelist for several South by Southwest (SXSW) conferences.
When she was 8 years old the Austin Chamber of Black Business awarded her the “Teenprenreur of the year” award. Her list of awards seems endless, like Movement50’s top 10 innovators of the year and the “African American Harvest Foundation Story Changer” award.
She has been featured in news articles across the world and was recently featured in a piece by NBCBLK. Magazine publications that have featured her include Food Network Magazine, Edible Austin, Time Magazine and Austin women’s Magazine. Austin Monthly Magazine named her “most likely to succeed”. She was also part of Google’s “Dare to be Digital” campaign. Mikaila Ulmer has reached near celebrity status for her achievements. Earlier this year she was a guest at the White House. She served her lemonade to president Barack Obama! She will also be travelling to Cape Town, South Africa to talk about entrepreneurship. Who knows what else young Mikaila Ulmer is going to do in the future. On thing’s for sure – she’s destined to continue inspiring and educating people across the globe. Go Mikaila! We look forward to seeing more delightful stories on her life.