Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one you must dive for it~ Chinese Proverb
With entrepreneurialism on the rise worldwide, it’s no surprise that younger and younger people are choosing to hop onto this lifestyle. That said, it still takes quite a lot of courage to have a vision, and then make an effort to turn your vision into reality, knowing that in the end, it could all have been for nothing. Mikaila Ulmer is one such girl who dared to dream.
Who is Mikaila Ulmer?
Mikaila Ulmer is a teenage entrepreneur and social worker who is known as the founder of ‘Me and the Bees’, a lemonade brand with a unique twist. As of today, her business is growing rapidly and was recently named as one of the 5000 fastest-growing companies in America. What really sets Mikaila’s business apart from others is her impressive commitment to donate a certain portion of her business’ profits to supporting beekeepers, and funding scientific research. By doing this, Mikaila’s business is effectively acting to protect bees, which despite their vital role in our ecosystem, have been under threat but animal welfare is of great importance.
What made Mikaila start ‘Me and the Bees’?
Mikaila was born in 2004 in Houston, Texas.
At the tender age of four, Mikaila got stung by a bee and naturally, developed a fear of bees. However, being the inquisitive little girl she was, she researched bees to satiate her curiosity and became fascinated with their importance in the ecosystem.
At just 5 years old, Mikaila could be seen sitting in front of her house with her lemonade stand. Both of her parents are business majors, so perhaps it was only natural their little girl would follow in their footsteps.
The catalyst to success
When Mikaila was a young girl, her parents made her take part in a children’s business competition. For this competition, she made lemonade using a recipe passed down from her great-grandmother, which used honey instead of sugar.
Mikayla and her parents sensed an opportunity. By doing this, beekeepers were being supported, and the lemonade was healthier too.
Mikaila, drawing upon her inner persistence and belief in her idea, showcased her lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events and at her stand in front of her home. It was this commitment to her vision at the early stages which ultimately set her up for success.
Meeting Barack Obama
In 2015, Ulmer was invited that year to meet President Barack Obama at the White House. Ulmer introduced Barack Obama at the United States of Women Summit in 2016. Obama called her “an amazing young lady”.
In 2016, Mikaila appeared on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ and received $60,000 from FUBU CEO Daymond John. This catapulted Mikaila’s success, and soon after she secured a deal with Whole Foods to sell her sweet lemonade in some outlets.
As of today, ‘Me and The Bees Lemonade’ has grown 500 percent since its birth.
Mikaila’s model of social entrepreneurship
What really sets Mikaila’s own brand apart from other entrepreneurs her age is her ability to see beyond just making money. Her lemonade business, Me and the Bees lemonade, has been committed to donating 10 percent of profits to the protection of bees via local and international organizations is commendable.
Bees are nature’s most effective pollinators, and without them, many of the foods we are blessed to have on our plates simply could not be cultivated.
The fact that bee populations worldwide are dwindling is terrifying, to say the least, but with young people like Mikaila taking meaningful actions, we can’t help but see a glimmer of hope amidst gloomy predictions for the future.
The story of Mikaila shows how dedication and belief can take you to unimaginable heights.
“Be fearless, believe in the impossible, and dream like a kid”Mikaila Ulmer