In this episode, we talk to Mikaila Ulmer (Founder & CEO of Me and The Bees Lemonade) as we discuss her business, her new book, and what she learned from President Obama.
Purchase her book here
**More On Mikaila**
Let our founder, Mikaila, explain the origin of Me & the Bees Lemonade:
When I was just four, I got stung by a bee and then got stung again less than a week later! Naturally, I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all and I became scared of bees. But then after doing some research about them, I became fascinated and learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem.
Around that same time, my family encouraged me to make a product for a couple of children’s business competitions – the Acton Children’s Business Fair and Austin Lemonade Day. So I put on my thinking cap. I thought about some ideas. While I was thinking, my Great Granny Helen, who lived in Cameron, South Carolina, sent my family a 1940s cookbook, which included her special recipe for flaxseed lemonade.
So then I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen’s lemonade recipe? I decided to give her beloved lemonade a new twist by adding honey from bees, instead of only sugar. That’s how Be Sweet Lemonade was born! However, we had to change the name due to a copyright issue so we decided to call it Me & the Bees Lemonade because we give a percentage of sales to help save the bees. We are now celebrating more than 10 years in “buzzness!”
Mikaila started her lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events and at her lemonade stand out in front of her home, donating a percentage of the profits to local and international organizations fighting hard to save the honeybees. That is why she touts: “Buy a Bottle…Save a Bee.”
Now at age 15, her little idea from more than 10 years ago continues to grow and grow…by more than 500 percent since the company’s humble Austin, Texas-based beginnings. Today, the award-winning, ready-to-drink Me & the Bees Lemonades in five refreshing flavors is buzzing off the shelves of Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, World Market, H-E-B stores across Texas and Kroger stores in Houston. It is also available at a growing number of restaurants, food trailers and natural food delivery companies.
When not traveling for speaking events to share her stories of being a social entrepreneur, leading workshops on how to save the bees, or participating in social entrepreneurship panels, you can find Mikaila coming up with ideas to help the Healthy Hive Foundation, a nonprofit to further help the mission of saving the pollinators.
And of course, she’s working hard as a high school student, loving Spanish, science and rock climbing classes. Find Mikaila on Facebook and Instagram pages where followers can ‘like’ interesting facts about bees, honey and Me & the Bees Lemonade.
Mikaila’s first book, Bee Fearless, Dream Like a Kid, launches in August 2020. Published by Penguin Random House, it is about her adventures in being a social entrepreneur and heading up a purpose-based brand aimed at offering premium, all-natural lemonades in a way that helps save the bees.
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Written by: Dominic Lawson
Executive Producers: Dominic Lawson and Kenda Lawson
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