• Mikaila Ulmer was four when she was stung by two bees in one week, sparking the idea for her business Me & the Bees.
  • Her honey-sweetened lemonade sells in 1,500 stores across the country. It’s backed by the “Shark Tank” investor Daymond John.
  • Last month, Ulmer released her first book, “Bee Fearless: Dream Like a Kid,” in which she outlines how she built her business and offers advice to budding entrepreneurs.

Mikaila Ulmer was 4 when she was stung by two bees in one week, which quickly prompted a fear of the insects. But Ulmer’s parents encouraged her to learn more about bees instead of dreading them. A decade later, what started as a way to overcome her worry turned into a thriving business.

Ulmer is the 16-year-old founder of Me & the Bees, an Austin, Texas, company that sells lip balm, lemonade sweetened with honey, and other merchandise. In her childhood studies, Ulmer found that bees are vital to the ecosystem, and after using their honey in her recipes, she made sure a portion of profits went to organizations that vow to help the insects thrive.

Me & the Bees sold 1 million bottles of lemonade in its lifetime by the close of 2019, and Ulmer said sales were on the rise despite the pandemic. Her products are in 1,500 stores across the country, including Whole Foods and Kroger, and were recently added to 800 Target food cafes.

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