The Austin, Texas, girl founded a successful company, Me and the Bees Lemonade.
She’s been featured on “Good Morning America” and NBC News, and in Forbes and Time magazines.
*She was named among the Top 25 People Shaping Retail’s Future by the National Retail Foundation,
spoke onstage with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella before 15,000 people at the WE Day Seattle conference in 2016, and
**introduced President Barack Obama at the 2016 United State of Women Summit.
AND ALL THIS BEFORE HER 13TH BIRTHDAY .
The path to CEO started in a most unlikely way for the 12-year-old, after she was stung by a bee twice in a week at age 4. Her parents suggested she channel her newfound fear into a research project, so Mikaila began reading about bees and was soon fascinated by them — and concerned about their dwindling numbers.
At the same time, her great-grandmother, who passed away in late 2016, sent the family a 1940s cookbook that included her recipe for flaxseed lemonade. Mikaila’s parents had been encouraging her to make a product for the Acton Children’s Business Fair and Austin Lemonade Day, and suddenly, she had a sweet idea.
Mikaila started selling her lemonade at events and her own lemonade stand at the age of 4.
“I learned that bees are dying at an alarming rate, so we need to save them,” she says. “Because of my research, I decided to start a business that could save the bees and use my great-granny Helen’s recipe as well.”
Mikaila was soon selling her flaxseed and honey-sweetened beverage at events and her own lemonade stand. With the help of parents Theo and D’Andra Ulmer, the budding social entrepreneur and bee ambassador started her company in 2009 at the age of 4, growing it into a thriving enterprise that donates a percentage of its profits to organizations working to save honeybees.
“She got a lot of support from people during the process, and that really helped her,” he says. “It brought people into the story, and I think that helped her to become a lot more comfortable with what she’s doing and why she’s doing it.”