Mikaila Ulmer is no regular tween girl. At the tender age of 11, this Texas native is quite the entrepreneur. She’s scooped herself an $11 million deal with Whole Foods as the founder of BeeSweet Lemonade.
Mikaila’s rise to national and international fame started with her very own creation, “Me & The Bees” honey-based lemonade stand. But before the idea of selling the recipe that was inspired by her great-grandmother came to life, Mikaila had to go through pain.
By the age of four, she had experienced the pain of getting stung – not once, but twice – by bees.
Her mother, however, made the intelligent choice of transforming Mikaila’s bad experience into an eye-opening discovery.
She encouraged her daughter to complete a research assignment on bees. From there, it did not take long for these creatures to mesmerize the little girl. As she revealed to NBCBLK, “and then it clicked!”
Kids tend to be very creative, spontaneous, and big dreamers. Mikaila is no different. What makes her a bold powerhouse is that she immediately took action. Choosing to use real honey instead of artificial sweeteners or sugar immediately kick-started her lemonade business. By raising money to help beekeepers, her passion to save the bees is becoming a reality. And the rest is history.
Mikaila has numerous achievements under her belt since starting her business in 2009. She has served lemonade to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.
— Me & the Bees Lemonade (@MikailasBees) March 12, 2016
Mikaila was listed among the Movement 50’s Top 10 Innovators of the Year, she has raised substantial funds from Shark Tank, and her list of accomplishments keeps growing. She has also developed a sponsorship program: BeeSweet, where proceeds are sent to support Heifer International, Sustainable Food Center, and Texas Beekeepers Association.
If you’re thinking about the insecure, looks-obsessed young girl within, or about a certain tween-girl who, like most of her peers, is going through an identity crisis, share Mikaila’s story. Remind them that they also possess a brilliant brain which they can expand in order to change their lives and the lives of others around them.
Teach them, empower them, and be supportive of their ideas. It’s never too early to develop a passion, create big dreams and embark on a mission. Remind them that confidence and intelligence will never stop being beautiful, no matter what age or size you are.
In fact, there is a lot for us all – old, young, males, and females alike – to learn from the success story of 11-year-old Mikaila. As long as the hunger to learn is present, growth is bound to occur, which makes the future exciting.
Furthermore, her act of turning her fear of bees into an area of interest reminds us to never reject something you know nothing about. As leadership coach Cameron Morrissey put it: “Each time you run across something that you do not know, or do not understand, know that you have come across an opportunity. Those who seize the most opportunities usually win in the end.”
And lastly, when life throws you lemons, make lemonade!