AUSTIN, Texas – Two bee stings inspired a girl to start a business all about bees and lemonade.
Mikaila Ulmer of Austin, Texas, is just 11 years old, but she is already a successful businesswoman, social entrepreneur, public speaker and philanthropist.
Last year, she won $60,000 for her business, BeeSweet Lemonade, on the TV show “Shark Tank.” Since then, she has struck a deal with Whole Foods for her drink to be sold in 55 stores in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, NBC News reports. It eventually may be sold nationwide.
The sixth-grade student says she was a part of a young entrepreneurship program a few years ago. She was tasked with coming up with an idea for a new business.
That week, Mikaila was stung by two bees and became terrified of them. Her parents told her to research the insects so she wouldn’t be so scared anymore.
“And then it clicked,” she told NBC News.
She used her great-grandmother’s 1940s flaxseed lemonade recipe and sweetened it with local honey. Not only does the honey make the drink healthier, it also helps save the bees and supports beekeepers.
Mikaila donates a portion of her profits to organizations that try to save honeybees.