The beverage choices in East Austin's Quickie Pickie seem endless, but only one brand has a sweet little face on the label, Bee Sweet Lemonade.
"There's no dye, it's sweetened with honey and when you buy a bottle you save a bee," said Bee Sweet Lemonade Founder and CEO Mikaila Ulmer.
Mikaila isn't your average business owner, she's just 10 years old.
"I started when I was four and half years old," she said.
The combination of the Austin Lemonade Day children's business fair, her great-grandmother's 1940s recipe for flaxseed lemonade and two bee stings in one week sparked an idea for Mikaila.
"I was terrified of bees and I would over react and freak out and so my parents wanted me to do some research on the bees and I did that research and in doing that research I found out how incredibly important pollinators they are and that they're dying. So I decided to create a product that helps save the bees," said Mikaila.
She told her parents she wanted to sell her lemonade in stores and donate a portion of the profits to protect bees. Six years later, Bee Sweet Lemonade is sold at Whole Foods Markets in three states and other stores and restaurants.
"We didn't know where it would go, we certainly didn't expect it to get to this point, but we knew if she had an interest, it was not only important for her to develop a business idea, but her to walk away with the clear understanding her parents supported her," said Mikaila's father Theo Ulmer.
Bee Sweet has grown into a family business.
"I'm everybody's boss," laughed Mikaila.
She runs the show, her parents help out and her 7-year-old brother Jacob has a hand in sales.
"I answer the math questions, so I can figure out the money and stuff," said Jacob.
Now there's a new opportunity for Mikaila. She was encouraged to to audition for the show 'Shark Tank' where she would exchange stake in her lemonade business for money to grow it. She auditioned and was accepted to be on the show.
"We were just kind of reluctant," said Mikaila.
"We were confident in her, we just as parents weren't really sure, you know, how they would take it," said Mikaila's father.
Mikaila said the business leaders on the show didn't cut her any slack, but taught her valuable lessons.
"Working hard pays off. That you need passion and courage and guts. And I also learned that you can still be sweet and be profitable," she said.
Shark Tank investor and FUBU CEO Daymond John was sold on the BeeSweet story, and the mogul ivested $60,000 for a 25% stake in the beverage company.
John is working closely with Ulmer as her mentor and helping to push her brand through his professional network. “Partnering with Mikaila made perfect sense,” he said in a statement.
“She’s a great kid with a head for business and branding. She’s got a great idea and I’m happy to help take BeeSweet to the next level.”
Currently BeeSweet can be found in Whole Foods Stores around the country.