With all the negativity circulating in the world today it is important to appreciate the positive whenever possible. This is one such story of a little girl who did not let the perception or age constraints in the world of business slow her down or even hinder her steps from acquiring a million dollar deal with Whole Foods in which to sell her family lemonade recipe; with a few personal additions of her own.
11-year old Mikaila started her business using her family’s flaxseed lemonade recipe and a small stand, but eventually expanded into a legitimate operation due to its popularity. Her wonderful story on how she became an advocate for bees and the inclusion of their honey in her recipe is all part of the story she reveals on her website:
When I was just four, my family encouraged me to make a product for a Children’s business competition (the Acton Children’s Business Fair) and Austin Lemonade Day. So I put on my thinking cap. I thought about some ideas. While I was thinking, two big events happened.
I got stung by a bee. Twice.
Then my Great Granny Helen, who lives in Cameron, South Carolina, sent my family a 1940’s cookbook, which included her special recipe for Flaxseed Lemonade.
I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me. But then something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen’s recipe?
That’s how BeeSweet Lemonade was born. It comes from my Great Granny Helen’s flaxseed recipe and my new love for bees. So that’s why we sweeten it with local honey. And today my little idea continues to grow.
It was a sweet success from the start. Year-after-year, Mikaila, sells-out of her BeeSweet Lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events while donating a percentage of the profits from the sale of her lemonade to local and international organizations fighting hard to save the honeybees. That is why she touts: Buy a Bottle…Save a Bee.
Now at age 11, when not at her lemonade stand telling all the digestive benefits of flaxseed, you can find Mikaila leading workshops on how to save the honeybees, and participating in social entrepreneurship panels. Mikaila launched her own Facebook page, where visitors can ‘Like’ interesting facts about bees, honey and BeeSweet Lemonade.
Today, the award-winning BeeSweet Lemonade is buzzing off the shelves of Whole Foods Market, the world’s leader in natural and organic foods, and available at a growing number of restaurants, food trailers and natural food delivery companies.
In addition to Whole Foods, Mikaila’s lemonade is sold at dozens of other stores across the country. She is active in her desire to speak out about her success and her new-found advocacy for the honey bee, something the world could most definitely use more of.