After having been stung by a honeybee twice in the same week, Mikaila Ulmer, then 4 years old, became afraid of bees.
“I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me,” Ulmer, now 11, told NBCBLK. “But then something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great-Granny Helen’s recipe?” Talk about turning life’s lemons into lemonade – literally!
3 Things The Black upStart Wants You To Know About Entrepreneurship
This young entrepreneur used her great-grandmother’s recipe to create BeeSweet Lemonade, made with flaxseed and sweetened with honey from local bees. She first started small, brewing BeeSweet for local events and local food chains before appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank and walking away with a $60,000 investment.
Once Whole Foods got a word of little Mikaila and BeeSweet, the rest was history. Mikaila’s contract with Whole Foods will place BeeSweet in 55 stores in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. If BeeSweet does well, it will be stocklisted in other stores across the U.S.
Miami’s Black Tech Week Draws 1,600 Entrepreneurs
And if you were thinking this story couldn’t get any sweeter, Mikaila donates a portion of her profits to organizations that help counter the endangered honeybee population. But, the little businesswoman doesn’t take all the credit for herself; she says she receives support from her family and works on the company after her schoolwork.
Like any other go-getter, Mikaila enjoys a work life balance (after all she is 11 years old). “Every weekend she does something that she enjoys. It may be rollerblading this weekend, sleepover this weekend. You create a balance because she is working as hard as she is playing,” her mother shares.
‘Love and Hip Hop’ Star Yandy Smith to Speak at Teen Entrepreneurs Summit
Talk about #BlackGirlMagic!
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.