By Chris Olsen
In addition to launching and growing her business, Me and the Bees Lemonade, Mikaila Ulmer is a published author. Her business story is one of several featured by Publish Her to demonstrate the power of sharing your knowledge and entrepreneurial journey in a published book.
When 4-year-old Mikaila Ulmer got stung by a bee—not once, but twice in one week—it scared her. To help her get over her fear, Mikaila’s parents encouraged her to learn more about them. Her interest in bees quickly turned into an obsession. She learned about pollination and how bees help create one of every three bites of food we eat. She discovered that beehives are dying because of certain environmental conditions and harmful chemicals humans use. The more she learned, the more she loved the insects. She wanted to share her newfound knowledge to help keep hives alive in her hometown of Austin, Texas, and beyond.
As she grew older, Mikaila did as budding entrepreneurs have been doing for decades—she started a lemonade stand. Only instead of earning money for a new toy or trinket, Mikaila raised money to save bees. She used an old family recipe for flaxseed lemonade from her Great Granny Helen and sweetened it with honey. Mikaila sold her special blend twice a year at local events. With each glass of lemonade sold, a portion of the proceeds went directly to nonprofits dedicated to bee preservation and education.
It wasn’t long before Mikaila’s social venture began to create a buzz. She was interviewed by local media about her business and her bee expertise and won the hearts of many who wanted to support her and her cause. The public began inquiring about retail locations where they could get Mikaila’s lemonade. A local pizza shop offered to sell it if she bottled and labeled it. With her mom’s help, Me and the Bees Lemonade officially launched.
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. 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. Next, a group of professional football players invested $800,000 to help Mikaila grow the business.
Me and the Bees is now available at grocery and retail outlets nationwide. Mikaila established the Healthy Hive Foundation and has received numerous awards and recognition for her work with bees, as well as her efforts educating young entrepreneurs about making the world a better place through social enterprise. She was named one of TIME Magazine’s top 30 most influential teens.
Amplifying Her Business Mission With a Book
At 15, Mikaila published her book, “Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid.” Part memoir and part business guide, the book targets 10- to 16-year-olds with an important message: “There is no age limit for who can impact the world in positive ways.” While it was written with young readers in mind, “Bee Fearless” provides inspiration and guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages, including dozens of practical business tips and ideas.
Learn more about Mikaila’s business at MeAndTheBees.com.
Purchase “Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid” here.
Photo credit: Jai Lennard for Me and the Bees Lemonade
Write Your Business Book in Eight Weeks
Sharing your business knowledge and the story of your entrepreneurial journey in a published book is a dynamic way to elevate your expertise and your brand. It’s a valuable marketing tool for business consultants, coaches and public speakers.
Write Your Business Book in Eight Weeks is an eight-week class that guides women entrepreneurs through writing, marketing and publishing your business book. Interactive sessions led by author, educator and publisher Chris Olsen include time for writing, sharing and feedback. At its conclusion, you will have completed the framework for your business book and a first draft.
Learn more about Write Your Business Book in Eight Weeks here.
About Publish Her
Publish Her is a female-founded independent publisher dedicated to elevating the words, writing and stories of women. We are passionate about amplifying the voices of women of color, women with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community. We aim to make publishing an attainable, exciting and collaborative process for all.