Mikalia Ulmer may be an unusual type of 11 year old, but in applauding all that she has managed to achieve at so young an age, it is necessary to give a nod in the direction of two other women in her family. Bitten by bees twice when she was only four years old, she became understandably terrified of them. Her mother however turned her scary experience into a research assignment to study bees. In the course of fulfilling that assignment, she discovered a fascination for bees and all that they do for our ecosystem, on a negative note, she also discovered that bees could possibly go extinct in a couple of years and therefore devised a plan to use her great-grand-mother’s 1940 lemonade recipe to help raise money to save the bees.
Mikalia Ulmer began her business in 2009 with her Great Granny Helen’s recipe that utilized honey rather than sugar or artificial sweeteners in making her lemonades and entered several local competitions, finally landing her big break last year in a competition called Shark Tank. Along with her recipe going viral, she secured a $60,000 investment from the Shark Tank show and went on to serve lemonade to President Barack Obama.
Now she has signed a sweet $11 million deal with Whole Foods to sell her brand of lemonade. Her BeeSweet Lemonade will be carried by 55 stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkanas, turning what started effectively as a normal, simplistic lemonade stand with an inspiring vision to a thriving national business. A national business that if it does really well, will in time become an international business.
The young Texan has also been chosen very recently as one of tech coalition MVMT 50’s top 10 innovators of 2016 and in true tech savvy business woman form has cataloged her journey via BeeSweet’s Instagram page. It really is no wonder Mikalia has become one of America’s most sought after young business leaders, all this while still doing assignments for school and accordingly helping other young people develop their ideas.