Mikaila Ulmer has already made a name for herself as a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and advocate for the environment. Did we mention she's only 16? Her company, Me & the Bees Lemonade, has gained national attention and has even caught the eye of Oprah Winfrey. But beyond her business success, Ulmer is also making a positive impact on the world by using her platform to raise awareness about the importance of bees and their role in our ecosystem.
Photo credit Me & the Bees
Mikaila Ulmer grew up in Austin, Texas. Ulmer's journey as an entrepreneur began at the young age of four when she was stung by two bees in one week. Instead of developing a fear of bees, her parents encouraged her to learn more about the insects and their important role in the food cycle. She became fascinated by bees and started learning about their importance in pollination and honey production. She also discovered that bees are currently facing threats such as habitat loss and pesticide use, which inspired her to take action.
Me & the Bees Lemonade
In 2009, at the age of four, Ulmer entered a local business competition with her grandmother's recipe from the 1940s for lemonade made with flaxseed as one of the main ingredients. She won first place and used the prize money to start her own business, Me & the Bees Lemonade. The lemonade is made with honey from local beekeepers and a portion of the profits are donated to organizations that support bee conservation.
Working with her family and selling at their lemonade stand in front of their house, Ulmer picked up a lot of skills and ambition increasing the brand awareness developing new products and widening distribution of their beverage line. Recently, Me & the Bees Lemonade introduced a fresh range of lip balms infused with beeswax.
Ulmer's business quickly gained attention in 2015 when she was featured on Shark Tank and secured a $60,000 investment from Daymon John. That same year she was invited to the White House to participate in the annual Easter Egg Roll and meet with President Obama. She has also been recognized by Forbes as one of the 30 most influential teens of 2019.
Photo credit Me & the Bees
In addition to her business success, Ulmer is also a dedicated philanthropist. Her charitable donations include organizations such as Heifer International, which provides resources and training to families in need, and the Texas Beekeepers Association, which supports beekeepers and promotes beekeeping education. In 2017 Ulmer started the Healthy Hive Foundation, her own non-profit organization, which aims to educate and empower the next generation of beekeepers.
While Ulmer's exact net worth is not publicly known, Mikaila Ulmer's net worth is estimated to be around $1 million. However, her impact and influence go far beyond her financial success. She has inspired countless young entrepreneurs and has raised awareness about the importance of bees and environmental conservation.
In a 2021 in an interview with CNBC, Ulmer said that before Shark Tank Me & the Bees Lemonade was a small business run entirely by her family. Now, there is a marketing and sales team. As she continues to grow her business and make a positive impact, Ulmer has big plans for the future. Me and the Bees has sold over 2 million bottles of lemonade, and the company continues to soar well into 2023. She hopes to expand her product line and eventually open a brick-and-mortar store. She also plans to continue using her platform to raise awareness about important issues and inspire others to make a difference.
“No matter how old you are, you always have something to learn. And no matter how old you are, you always have something to teach,” Ulmer told CNBC. Mikaila Ulmer is a shining example of how one person can make a big difference in the world. Her passion, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit have not only led to her own success, but have also helped to save bees and make a positive impact on the environment. "There’s always things that you’re interested in, whether that be reading, or cooking, or making jewelry, and almost every single thing can be monetized. So if you want to start a company, and especially if you want to start a company that solves a problem, it’s not very hard to come up with the idea. The hard part is getting it started. When you do get it started, you’re gonna need different mentors, whether it be your parents or your teachers or the librarian, that can walk you through the steps" Ulmer told Shondaland.com. As she continues to develop her business and inspire others, it's clear that Ulmer's impact will only continue to grow in the years to come.