'Shark Tank's BeeSweet Lives Up To Its Name

Does it get any better than a successful entrepreneurial venture that started by putting on a "thinking cap"? Or better than a business venture that literally came out of a kid's roadside lemonade stand? I'll tell you, it does not, and Bee Sweet Lemonade's Shark Tank appearance should prove that on Friday night. The creator of BeeSweet Lemonade is Mikaila Ulmer, a fourth grader who roams around Texas preaching the good word of bees and lemonade. According to Your Houston News, she was just four years old when she started the journey toward creating BeeSweet with not one, but two bee stings, and a little ingredient help from her Great Granny Helen.

Mikaila put on that previously mentioned thinking cap when her family challenged her to create a product for Austin Lemonade Day at the mere age of four. As sweet four-year-olds sometimes are, she was stung by two different bees while thinking. She didn't care for the stings themselves, but they are what cultivated her childhood interest in bees around the same time her Great Granny Helen sent her family a 1940s recipe book that contained her recipe for mixing up Flaxseed Lemonade. BeeSweet's website describes how Mikaila made the recipe her own by sweetening it with locally harvested honey and mint, and BeeSweet Lemonade was born, out of a child's fascination with bees and a love for sweet things.

Giving Back

But Mikaila doesn't just have bee stickers on her school notebooks. No, when she took an interest in bees, she got educated. She learned about what bees do for the ecosystem — you can find her quoting Albert Einstein's fact that one in every three bites of food we take has been brought to you by a honey bee — and decided she and her newly minted lemonade recipe wanted to be a part of sustaining bees and their great service to the world. On the website, Mikaila says, "Saving the bees is fun and I know that saving the bees is something I should be doing," which is why she donates a portion of SweetBee's profits to three different honeybee-saving organizations. The 10-year-old is also big on education, spending her time educating children and adults on the importance of bees and what they can do to keep them safe. BeeSweets motto: "Buy a Bottle…Save a Bee."

Selling BeeSweet Lemonade

My favorite thing about BeeSweet, aside from it's bee-saving activities, is the clear hustle that has gone into making it more than the glorified lemonade stand of a cute kid. Mikaila and her supporters are on a mission to tell people about BeeSweet, get them to drink it, and — last step — get them to buy it. When not in her fourth grade classes, Mikaila can be found leading honeybee workshops, setting up "lemonade stands" and in-store demonstrations in health food markets, and sitting on social entrepreneurship panels. Many of BeeSweet's big breaks have been as a result of local store managers seeing Mikaila out there doing her thing. Of BeeSweet's profits that aren't donated, Mikaila told the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal, “I give some, I save some and I spend some.” Smart girl.

Can Mikaila Get A Sweet Deal?

In passion, age, and charisma, Mikaila's entrepreneurial story is reminiscent of Mo's Bows, the bowtie company started by Moziah Bridges when he was nine years old. When Mo hit the Tank, Daymond advised him that it wasn't quite time to give up any equity in his small company, but that he would happily be his mentor... and a recent Shark Update showed that he fulfilled that promise.

But with her mom, D’Andra Ulmer, serving as Chief Marketing Bee (a look at BeeSweet's social media will show you she knows her stuff), and her dad, Theophilus, presenting to the Sharks with her as Mikaila's financial adviser, it looks like BeeSweet is further along in the business of being a business. Mikaila has plenty of advisers — what she needs is a partner. And it seems almost certain she'll be getting one. There's nothing the Sharks love more than a passionate entrepreneur with the results to back up their passion, as BeeSweet is already available at a variety of stores, mostly found in the southern United States. You can also buy the lemonade online through the BeeSweet website, and it's currently offering a deal of four bottles of lemonade for $22, plus a personal thank you note from Mikaila.

Since all that came a result of the sheer dedication of the Ulmer family, I think BeeSweet will be getting a deal from the Sharks, with Daymond and Barbara (who has also found success investing in a company created by a kid, Ryan's Barkery) looking like their sweetest bets.

Image: Michael Desmond/ABC