As Mikaila Ulmer answers the questions of some potential investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank”, she pitched her company the BeeSweet Lemonade with her great- granny’s secret recipe along with a mission to help save decreasing population of bees. Her pitched have convinced Daymond John, Fubu CEO to invest $60,000.
Recently, BeeSweet closed a contract with Whole Foods with an initial agreement of distributing the product in regional stores. However, it got even better when this young entrepreneur announced at the South by the Southwest Festival that the distribution deal is expanded through United Natural Foods.
In an interview, Mikaila said that aside from boosting the bees she is also now helping some of her friends start their own businesses.
BeeSweet’s products have now reached the markets of New York, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. In addition to that, Mikaila’s business also brought her at the White House Kid’s State Dinner and got the chance to interact with President Barack Obama.
Mikaila started her lemonade business way back 2009 and said that operating her own business takes a lot of energy, commitment, and organization.
“I work in the business after school, after I do my homework, and on weekends and during spring breaks,” Mikaila told NBCBLK.
“There are not too many times when I feel stressed,” she added.
But she also mentioned that she doesn’t like bees before. It started when she was just 4 years old and got stung by two bees in one week. She described it as very painful that made her so scared of bees. D’Andra, Mikaila’s mother turned her terrifying experience with bees into an assignment to research about bees wherein Mikaila discovered that bees could possibly be extinct in the coming years.
As she continued her research assignment, Mikaila decided to establish her own lemonade business and used honey to sweeten her lemonade instead of any other artificial sweetener. She decided to use honey not just because it is healthier but also because it will help save the bees and support the beekeepers. Her business idea eventually clicked!
This young entrepreneur said that her enterprise is not purely a business for profits but a business with a social and environmental mission. She is now donating a portion of her profits from selling lemonade to organizations who were trying to save the honeybees both local and international.
But for the meantime, she is now concentrating on creating more flavors to her lemonade as her business is constantly expanding.
She said, “I want to help save the bees and use my great-grandmother Helen’s lemonade recipe.”