How a TV Show Helped this 11 Year Old’s Lemonade Company Go National
By: Evette Champion
When you were younger, say in your teenage years, you may have thought you were pretty awesome with your paper route, baby-sitting job, or whatever else you did to make a little extra pocket money. For the regular person, this was pretty ambitious; however, for an 11-year-old little girl, that wasn’t enough.
Mikaila Ulmer was encouraged by her family at the tender age of 4 years old to create a product for the Acton Children’s Business Fair and Austin Lemonade Day. After being stung twice by a couple of bees, she decided to learn everything she could about them. She combined this new found passion for bees with her Great Grandmother, Helen, recipe for Flaxseed Lemonade from a 1940’s cookbook.
When she created the sweet drink, she had bigger things in mind.
“One day I was like, ‘I don’t just want to sell this out of my lemonade stand, I actually want to put it on stores and shelves.’ I remember saying that. And we made that happen,” she said.
Being the bright entrepreneur, she got to work and was able to get her lemonade into Whole Food stores in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas (you can still purchase it online, and it can also be found in Long Island, New York). Mikaila quickly realized that if she wanted to have her lemonade nationwide, she would have to come up with some money to do it.
This is when she went on ABC’s Shark Tank to appeal to the investors. In the end, “shark” Daymond John decided to invest $60,000 into her company for 25%. The only condition was that he had to find a distributor who could get the lemonade into stores all over the nation.
“She knew the business and knew where she wanted to go,” he said. “That’s my youngest entrepreneur partner.”
Mikaila said, “I am so excited to see what will happen next.”
There isn’t any word on when the lemonade will hit stores outside of the Texas area, but if you need to try for yourself, you can always purchase it online!