Have you ever been stung by a bee? If yes, did that change you? Here’s a story of an eleven-year-old girl from Texas who started her lemonade business “Me &The Bees” inspired by a bee sting. Yes, you got that right- A bee sting! She even laid hands on $60,000 from SharkTank after which her lemonade ‘Me and the Bees’ became a national favourite. Here goes her startup story!
Mikaila Ulmer is a 6th grader 11-year-old student and likes to be called a ‘Queen Bee’ instead of CEO. Apart from the founder and CEO of a href=”http://meandthebees.com/”>Me and The Bees, she is also a public speaker and a philanthropist. She is a girl with keen business mind, she proved this by participating in two entrepreneurship contests in Texas when she was only four and a half. Somewhere around that very moment, she got stung by two bees in a single week. This incident developed and magnified her fear for honeybees.In order to minimize her fear and keep her occupied, her grandmother Helen sent her an old cookbook from 1940 that contained a recipe of flaxseed lemonade. Also her mother D’Andra, suggested she find out more about why bees sting people and turned her fear to a research.
Being a hard-working girl that she is Mikaila started searching about honeybees. After a bit of research, she found out how important role honeybees play in sustaining the ecosystem. During her research, she also found that honeybees are responsible for pollinating about one-third of American crops. Then, it wasn’t long before she found out about famous quote from Albert Einstein – “If honeybees are wiped away from the face of earth, four years later, so will the humans.” After she came to know this, she made a commitment to help the honeybees. And this is how it all started, by a mere sting.
She turned her favourite flaxseed lemonade into a business in 2009. The flaxseed lemonade was sweetened by honey instead of sugar and she started by selling her lemonade in a local pizzeria in 2009. Later, she showcased her product in the Whole Foods Store and strongly supported her product with a workshop on saving bees. She has held numerous such workshops till date. Now, her product hits 55 Whole Foods Store in states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida. It is considered as largest organic beverage in these states. For every bottle of lemonade sold, she donates some portion of money to the organization that works on saving the honeybees.
She also pitched her product in Shark Tank where she not only laid hands on $60,000 but also a business partner. CEO of FUBU, a leading apparel company in USA, Daymond Johns (also an investor of SharkTank) partnered with her and very soon after she made a deal of $15 billion dollars with Whole Foods Store.
That’s not it, she’s also visited White House on the occasion of White House Kid’s State Dinner, where she met Barack Obama. She very recently made her second visit to White House in April for the annual White House Easters Egg Roll where she met Michelle Obama too. In June this month, she also carried out a workshop for young girls who dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur. She also helps out some of her friends to establish their own business.
Her dream was not to earn money through her business, she says. She only wanted to help save the bees which she thinks is going on smoothly. She also called to all the aspiring entrepreneurs saying “Don’t start business just to earn money, do it to serve a cause and give the world a business it’s missing. An yes, save bees!”