If you’re a fan of the show Shark Tank, then you know convincing the “sharks” to invest in your business is not an easy challenge. The unfiltered investors, especially show favorite Mr. Wonderful, have been known to crush a few dreams on the national TV show.
One little girl, however, managed to impress the sharks with her southern sweetened lemonade. 10-year-old Austin, Texas native Mikaila Ulmer is the founder of BeeSweet Lemonade. When she was only four-years-old, Ulmer was brainstorming what she would contribute to the Action Children’s Business Fair and Austin Lemonade Day.
After two bee stings, her parents encouraged her to research why honeybees were critical to our ecosystem. The young mind grew fascinated. Not long after, Great Granny Helen mailed Mikaila a 1940s cookbook containing Granny’s flaxseed lemonade recipe. The light bulb went off and little Miss Ulmer was inspired to make something that would help honeybees and use Great Granny Helen’s delicous recipe. BeeSweet Lemonade was born.
Mikaila’s recipe is unique from other lemonade recipes because instead of using lots of sugars, she sweetens each batch with honey from local bees. Today, she travels selling BeeSweet Lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events, and a portion of the profits is donated to organizations fighting to preserve honeybees.
Shark Tank investor and FUBU CEO Daymond John was sold on the BeeSweet story, and the mogul ivested $60,000 for a 25% stake in the beverage company. John is working closely with Ulmer as her mentor and helping to push her brand through his professional network. “Partnering with Mikaila made perfect sense,” he said in a statement. “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.”
The investment will allow the company to make larger batches of the lemonade and meet customer demands. “I’m so excited to have someone with as much experience as Daymond on my team,” the young business girl said. “This is a great opportunity to have more people try my lemonade and save even more bees.”