The lemonade business has an adorable new entrepreneur who’s only ten-years-old! As the founder of her own BeeSweet Lemonade line, Mikaila Ulmer on confidently represented her brand on the TV series Shark Tank on March 20 (where aspiring businesses go to compete for coveted investments). Ulmer impressed the judges so much that she got Daymond John, clothing brand FUBU’s CEO, to invest $60,000 and he’ll also be taking a 25 percent stake of BeeSweet.
John was moved by Ulmer’s drive and mission with BeeSweet and after the episode aired, stated that “Partnering with Mikaila made perfect sense. She’s a great kid with a head for business and branding. She’s got a great idea and I’m happy to help take BeeSweet to the next level.”
It all began when Ulmer was stung by two bees at the age of four and while thankfully she was okay, her curiosity in bees sparked! As she recalled on her official website, “I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me. But then something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem.”
Based on her research, she learned that the pollinators from bees were integral to plants reproducing in the ecosystem. And also in recent years, bees have become a bit endangered because of a “still-unsolved malady” called Colony Collapse Disorder or aka stronger than necessary pesticides. (Check out a cover story TIME did on this from 2013).
Ulmer was moved to help her new honeybee friends and that was how BeeSweet was born. When her great Granny Helen later mailed a 1940s cookbook that featured her own flaxseed lemonade recipe, Ulmer decided that she’d use Helen’s tips but with the addition of pure honey, instead of sugar, directly from local bees.
Her lemonade line is available at select Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana Whole Foods and you can also buy it from the official website and pick a handful of flavors! Expect to see BeeSweet sold more nationwide following her Shark Tank co-sign in the near future. Go Mikaila go! Black girls rock!