She Turned Sweet Drinks Into A Business With A Purpose

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Brooke Brown
November 27, 2019

At age 4, getting stung by bees TWICE was supposed to make Mikaila Ulmer terrified of nature’s most endangered pollinator. 

Instead, she turned a new fascination with the honeybee into a business she hoped would help save them. 

“I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen's [flaxseed lemonade] recipe?” she shares.  

From that came BeeSweet Lemonade (now Me & The Bees), the best-selling beverage company that’s celebrating an incredible milestone this year.

The teen entrepreneur scaled her ten-year-old business from a lemonade stand in Austin, Texas to an enterprise backed by Shark Tank investors, NFL players, and a distribution deal with Whole Foods. 

How does she handle supplying over 1,500 supermarkets with more than 140,000 bottles each year? 

Mikaila shared with Black Enterprise that her success lies in finding great mentors like Shark Tank’s Daymond John, linking up with other Black-owned and woman-owned businesses that have faced similar growth challenges, and maintaining a focus on a greater purpose. 

For Me & the Bees, that purpose is contributing generous amounts of profits to The Healthy Hive Foundation - her nonprofit dedicated to saving those bees she loves through research, education, and protection.  

We love seeing Black teens excel with original ideas like hers that support a greater good in the process.

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