Go Local Spotlight: Young Austinite Creates BeeSweet Lemonade
published on February 12, 2015
Austin is buzzing with a variety of social entrepreneurs, but not many of them are pre-teens. Meet Mikaila Ulmer, a social entrepreneur, bee ambassador, and creator of the BeeSweet Lemonade line sold at Whole Foods Market, TOMS, Peoples Rx, East Side Pies, Barton Hills Market, The Natural Gardener, and more.
At only ten years old, Ulmer has created a popular lemonade that not only tastes sweet, but helps save honeybees. Sweetened with local honey and flavored with organic flaxseed and local organic mint, Ulmer donates a portion of the profits from her lemonade to organizations such as Heifer International, Texas Beekeepers Association, and Sustainable Food Center. Her slogan: Buy a Bottle … Save a Bee.
How did this young entrepreneur get her start?
When she was four, her family encouraged her to participate in Austin Lemonade Day and in the Acton Children’s Business Fair.
“So I put on my thinking cap,” she said. “I thought about some ideas. While I was thinking, two big events happened: I got stung by a bee. Twice. Then, my Great Granny Helen, who lives in Cameron, South Carolina, sent my family a 1940s cookbook, which included her special recipe for Flaxseed Lemonade.”
While the bee stings scared her, “Something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen’s recipe?”
And, that is how the idea for BeeSweet Lemonade was born. Ulmer has enjoyed her own sweet taste of success with retail distribution and at youth entrepreneurial events, where she is often found touting the digestive benefits of flaxseed and talking about the importance of bees.