Getting stung by honey bees twice in one week when she was four years old, sparked a fear of bees in Mikaila that turned into a fascination with the creatures.
This ultimately gave birth something even sweeter – BeeSweet Lemonade!
“I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me,” Mikaila told NBCBLK. “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?”
With Mikaila’s bright idea and Great-Granny Helen’s much-loved recipe, a winning product was born. Like any good start-up entrepreneur, Mikaila started out brewing her lemonade locally for events and and local food chains before she appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank, on US TV, which landed her a $60 000 (R887 199) investment.
Thereafter, US distributor Whole Foods signed with the 11-year old entrepreneur, providing BeeSweet to 55 stores in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. If it sells well, BeeSweet will be distributed to the rest of the US (and hopefully South Africa too).
The profits are not solely for Mikaila’s gain. She has decided to donate a percentage to organisations working to protect the endangered honey bee population.
Mikaila is extremely proud of the product she and her family have created.
“I really love my new label,” she says. “It actually has my face on it, so it makes me feel really special!”