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Austin From Scratch, Episode #19: Mikaila Ulmer, Founder of BeeSweet Lemonade

Austin From Scratch is our favorite series on the blog and involves Owen (age 8) and Malia (age 6) interviewing local entrepreneurs who have created a thriving business here in the heart of Texas.  For this session, we sat down with Mikaila Ulmer, Founder of BeeSweet Lemonade.  We choose BeeSweet Lemonade after meeting Mikaila at the Acton Children’s Business Fair and then reading about her in Austin Monthly Magazine where she was selected as “most likely to succeed” in the annual Best of the City issue.  Mikaila was soft-spoken, highly intelligent and very, very…sweet.  She enjoyed a few giggles with the kids and most definitely has a bright future.  We hope you enjoy!

Malia (our six-year-old daughter)
What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?

Mikaila Ulmer (Founder, BeeSweet Lemonade)
I like lots of different kinds but my favorite is cookie batter, cake batter or vanilla.

Owen (our eight-year-old son)
How many flavors of lemonade do you have?

Mikaila
We started with our Original Lemonade, which included mint, and we’re now releasing three new flavors: Prickly Pear, 1/2 & 1/2 (half lemonade and half iced tea) and Ginger.  Prickly Pear is actually pink.

BeeSweet LemonadeOwen
What’s your favorite flavor?

Mikaila
When we first started, it was Original but right now the Prickly Pear and the Arnold Palmer (half lemonade and half ice tea).  But the most popular is the Ginger.

Malia
Is the Prickly Pear one good?

Mikaila
Yes, it’s very good.

Owen
What are some of your favorite things to do and how do you have fun?

Mikaila
My favorite things to do are dance, art, gardening, playing outside with my brother and I also like going to parties and sleepovers.  I also like some classes in school.  This year, my favorite class is Math because I have the coolest teacher ever.  I also like Art and English and Spanish.

Owen
How do you go about learning?

Mikaila
It varies.  I get most of my business education from my parents and other times it’s from business partners who support my business and sometimes it’s from books or technology.  But my largest amount of education comes from my parents.

Owen
What can you tell us about BeeSweet Lemonade?

Mikaila
Well, BeeSweet Lemonade is my company and it’s a recipe with mint, honey and flaxseed.  I donate some of my profits to organizations that help bees.  And I actually started this business when I was four-years old.

Owen
How did you come up with the name BeeSweet Lemonade?

Mikaila
I signed up for the Acton Children’s Business Fair and I needed a product.  And I had actually just been stung by two bees in the same week.  And my Great Granny Helen had sent me a 1940’s cookbook with her favorite flaxseed lemonade recipe.  At the time, I really disliked bees so my parents wanted me to do some research on them so I wasn’t so sensitive around them.  And when I did that research, I found that bees were one of our main pollinators and that they were dying.  So I wanted to create a product that would help save the bees.  And so I did.  And that’s how we got started.  And one day the name just popped into my because the lemonade is sweetened by the bees and I really like the combination of the words.

Owen
What’s your favorite thing about having a lemonade company?

Mikaila
My absolute favorite thing is using my business to solve a problem in the world.  And my other favorites are getting to meet new people and learning about the bees along the way and being able to access all the information you get to have with the business.

Owen
What’s the most challenging thing about having a business?

Mikaila
My most challenging thing is being able to find balance with school, my business and all the extracurricular activities that I do.  The other challenging thing is to say “no” to events because I can’t have too busy of a schedule.

Owen
If you weren’t running BeeSweet Lemonade…in other words, if you didn’t get stung by the two bees…have you thought about any other business ideas?

Mikaila
Once I started BeeSweet Lemonade and got into the entrepreneurial mindset I did have a lot of different cool and unique business ideas.  In fact, I think it might be a good idea if I started to write them down.

Owen
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?

Mikaila
For young entrepreneurs who already have a business, keep learning about your business and always keep an entrepreneurial mindset.  For people who want to start a business, you need to have courage, passion and perseverance.  You need courage to meet new people and start the business.  You need passion because the more passionate you are about the business, the more fun you’ll have with it.  And you need perseverance to push your business and keep it growing.  Because as you grow your business, you’ll definite have challenges and you’ll need perseverance to keep going.

Malia
Do you have any pets?

Mikaila
Yes, I have a gerbil named Georgia.

Owen
What do you want to be when you grow up?

Mikaila
I’m not sure yet but I definitely want to keep my business growing and growing.

It was such a treat to sit down with Mikaila and hear about her growing company.  She handled all of the questions with such great composure and she also enjoyed giggling with the kids.  I think her story is inspiring to both young and old entrepreneurs.  We’ll definitely be enjoying BeeSweet Lemonade for the years to come!

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