She's the Bee's Knees
Mikaila founded Me and the Bees Lemonade when she was just four! What started out as a fear of bees turned into interest and then into a passion. Mikaila uses her great grandmother’s recipe for flaxseed lemonade to create her product and then sweetens it with local honey. Her fun flavors include mint, ginger, and prickly pear. At thirteen, she is exploring both entrepreneurship and non-profit work. She donates a percentage of her profits to organizations dedicated to saving the honeybees. Check out Mikaila’s insights on her business and being a female entrepreneur below. "Buy a Bottle, Save the Bees!" 1.) Why did you start your company?
I started my company when I was 4 ½ years old. I signed up in the youth entrepreneurship contest but I needed a product create, so over the summer when I was trying to figure out what business I could start to big events happened my granny Helen sent me a 1940s cookbook with your favorite recipe of flaxseed lemonade And I got stung by two bees in one week. After getting stung by the bees I became terrified of them, so my parents encouraged me to do some research. Doing that research I found out how important pollinators that they are but that they're also dying so I decided to create a product to help save the bees and that used my great-granny hounds recipe as well which is why I started my company.
2.) If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could have any superpower, it would probably be teleportation. I love to travel and explore new places, and I’m always almost late so teleportation to me is a superpower that’s realistic and cool as well!
3.) Tell us a story/incident that happened while starting or running your company that may have made you feel defeated. Now tell us how you overcame that.
One example was when we were looking for commercial kitchens to make our lemonade out of when I was around 8 or 9. It was difficult because all the manufacturers we were looking at were either so huge that they couldn't afford to make such large batches, or asked us to switch to artificial sweeteners/colors etc. to make the lemonade cheaper. Almost every investor or business partner said no mostly because of my age, and with each no, it made it easier to quit.
4.) Have you ever been underestimated simply for being a girl? Tell us how.
Yes, so many times. Even now, we’ll get press calling and asking “can we speak to the CEO or the VP of marketing?” and we’d be like “yes, it’s me and the VP is available” and we’d hear them saying “sorry, not sure if you hear us, is the CEO available to do an interview?” And usually when they do realize I’m the CEO or that I started it they try to take it back, but I still do get underestimated for not only being a girl, but also a kid.
5.) Are you working on any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Yes! I'm currently writing a book, and we’re working with our agency to create a summary and then go on from there. I also recently started a non-profit, so we’re trying to see how we can make a greater impact with that.
6.) What is your best advice for anyone starting their own business?
Find your passion and find a problem. In my opinion, if you can find something you enjoy doing, see if there's a demand, and monetize it you’re off to a really good start. And if you use your company to aid in solving a problem in the world, we’d be closer and closer to achieving that goal.
INSTAGRAM. FRIDAY. BE THERE! WE WILL HAVE A SWEET (NOT SOUR) GIVEAWAY WITH ITEMS FROM BOTH ME AND THE BEES LEMONADE AND TOO PRETTY!