Over dinner with the folks last night we got to chuckling about POTUS' star being mutilated (yet again) on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. My pop couldn’t understand how Agent Orange had earned the right to such an accolade (he was unaware of Trumpy's prowess on the reality-show The Apprentice).
My sister segued into her newfound fascination with the TV show Shark Tank, a reality program that puts bold ideas in front of a hard-boiled panel of business insiders. Mum’s eyes lit up and asked if we remembered the success story from that show a few years previous... We had not.
Mikaila Ulmer, a thirteen-year old child from Austin, Texas is the creator of Me & The Bees Lemonade — a thriving start-up that produces and distributes bottled homemade lemonade. The venture came about many moons ago when Ulmer was stung by bees at the age of four. Initially driven to anger, her parents suggested turning her fury into a research project. As her fear turned to fascination, Ulmer also happened upon her grandmother’s old cookbook that included a family recipe for homemade lemonade.
With the help of her parents, Ulmer began selling her flaxseed and honey-sweteened beverages at events and even developed her own lemonade stand. Within a matter of years, her popularity had grown and so too had her notoriety. In time, Ulmer struck a deal with Whole Foods who offered to stock her bottled lemonade in fifty-five stores across the country.
From this fortuitous contract, an eleven-year old Ulmer found herself on Shark Tank in 2015. She would go on to receive a 60K investment from Daymond John — the founder and CEO of the clothing line FUBU — in return for a twenty-five percent stake in her fledgling business. That seed capital went on to land Ulmer a bigger deal with the supermarket chain who extended distribution from four to twenty states across country.
What I love most about this little girl is her appreciation of the fragility of our eco-system. “I learned that bees are dying at an alarming rate, so we need to save them.” Ulmer’s mission statement aims to devote a percentage of every bottle sold to the preservation of bees.
Watch this sweet little clip of Ulmer introducing President Obama at the Women’s Summit two years ago. This little girl is unstoppable.