And my mom would remind me there were only so many books we could carry home. I actually thought that I would now get stung every time I went outside, or at least every seven days. 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. This was a problem for my family. Without knowing it, I was doing the first three most important steps in starting a business: First, I was identifying a problem; second, I was researching the problem; and finally, I was starting to do something I felt passionate about. So I decided I was going to save them. Excerpted from “Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid,” by Mikaila Ulmer. I learned how to read when I was very young. I must have made the bee angry, because before I knew it, something sharp hit my neck. When she was just 8, Mikaila got her first big order from Whole Foods and began selling Me and The Bees Lemonade locally, in Austin stores. The neck! The bees then move the pollen to a special area on their back legs called pollen baskets. That's how Be Sweet Lemonade was born! Is it more than skin deep? Without me, you wouldn’t be able to eat most fruits, nuts, cheeses, or any dairy, because cows eat alfalfa and alfalfa is pollinated by bees. By Tuesday, I was ready for more books. And there's a special lemonade BOGO [Code: SHARK]. Why female entrepreneurs get less funding than men, This would-be dentist embodies entrepreneurial spirit of Syrian immigrants, Black women are thriving in Detroit’s business ecosystem, Greece’s entreprenuers have mixed feelings on their economy, How Erie is rewriting the Rust Belt narrative. My parents sat me down one evening and said, “Mikaila, you can choose to be afraid of bees. I stopped buzzing around the room and really paid attention. Click here. It's my birthday and I've always thought it's better to give than to receive!! So, as a token of my appreciation, I am celebrating by giving back to you. But then after doing some research about them, I became fascinated and learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. I read to know the answers to my questions. Two different bees, two different places. During that time, her family had received a 1940’s cookbook from her Great Granny Helen from South Carolina, which included special recipe for Flaxseed Le… I also learned that bees were dying at an alarming rate. At four-and-a-half, I couldn’t read most of the complicated subjects, but there were a few picture books in the kids’ section, so I started with those. Every Monday, my mom would take me to the library. “Is this true?” I asked my parents with wide eyes. 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. 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. I also checked out a video about bee pollination. Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Upon being encouraged by her family, Mikaila had participated in the Children’s business competition (the Acton Children’s Business Fair) and Austin Lemonade Day, and had to make a product. After 10 years in business and an appearance on the television show “Shark Tank,” Mikaila’s company is a national brand. My mom explained the music was from an opera and was well known. © 2020 Minnesota Public Radio. I thought that was awesome! At 15 years old, Mikaila Ulmer is a student, bee ambassador, social entrepreneur and author. “And what’s that?” I was always asking questions. Me and the Bees founder Mikaila Ulmer, a 15-year-old Austinite who started her company a decade ago at a lemonade stand, is now an author. At 15 years old, Mikaila Ulmer is a student, bee ambassador, social entrepreneur and author. All around our neighborhood were large aloe plants. I did as he instructed, and sulked for the rest of the party. She was just 4-years old, back then! “The library knows everything!” I would say. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference. The Healthy Hive Foundation™ is powered by The Giving Back Fund, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with federal tax exempt status as a … The following is an excerpt from her new book, “Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid.”. And of course, she’s working hard as a high school student, loving Spanish, science and rock climbing classes. But how? The most effective way to give this holiday season, As the new year approaches, government relief programs are set to expire, Helium prices stopped soaring when COVID hit. All rights reserved. Then, exactly one week later, when we were at a family cookout, I got my second bee sting. 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. My dad tore off a piece of an aloe leaf and told me to hold it to my neck. But me and so many other kid entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses are proving that’s not the case.”, Click the audio player above to hear Mikaila tell her story. These books took me to unimaginable places. All Rights Reserved. That was interesting. Mikaila’s first book, Bee Fearless, Dream Like a Kid, launches in August 2020. The insurance industry gets a tech makeover. In Austin, where our winters could be just as hot as our summers, you were always looking for places to escape the heat. 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. Two years later, she made a pitch on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” and FUBU founder and CEO Daymond Johns invested $60,000 in Me and The Bees, helping Mikaila expand to more markets. 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. Our lemonade is fresh-squeezed with added Texas wildflower honey, flaxseed and mint. Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay. We’re very outdoorsy, and not leaving the house wasn’t an option. I tried to learn anything and everything about bees! Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. I can’t stress this enough. Her flaxseed lemonade is sold in 1,500 stores in more than 40 states. So I put on my thinking cap. My family was there, and there was lots of crying. In my mind, there were so many topics to explore: from outer space to the deepest oceans.