We all know what we’re advised to do when life hands us lemons. For Mikaila Ulmer, the same rules applied when life handed her multiple bee stings. Mikaila was just four years old when she was stung by bees twice in the same week—and instead of sparking fear, it prompted a business idea. Mikaila’s parents suggested that, rather than being upset with the bees, she learn more about them. And learn she did. She discovered how important they were to our ecosystem, and decided to help. Mikaila decided to use local honey to sweeten her Great Granny Helen’s flaxseed lemonade recipe. She entered an area children’s business fair, and then landed a deal with Daymond John on the TV show Shark Tank. Now 12, Mikaila has kept the business buzzing. Sold online and in retailers such as, Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, and W Austin Hotel and Residences, Me & The Bees Lemonade has grown into a national product. And Mikaila has used her ever-increasing platform as a “bee ambassador” to spread information about their significance. She also donates a percentage of proceeds to nonprofits that work to preserve bees’ ability to pollinate crops, help flowers grow and make honey. So what do you do when life hands you bee stings? Apparently, you build a business.
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