African-American Mikaila Ulmer is an 11-year-old on a mission.
She started BeeSweet Lemonade at the age of 4 for a Children’s business competition (the Acton Children’s Business Fair) and Austin Lemonade Day. She now sells-out of her BeeSweet Lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events while donating a percentage of the profits from the sale of her lemonade to local and international organizations fighting hard to save the honeybees. That is why she touts: Buy a Bottle…Save a Bee.
At the age of 10, she landed a $60,000 Shark Tank Deal and her lemondade is in 55 Whole Food stores in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, and is available at a growing number of restaurants, food trailers and natural food delivery companies..
African-American Brenda Palms Barber is the CEO of Sweet Beginnings, a producer of natural honey-based personal care products and premium honey under the brand name, Beelove.
She originally started the company in 2004 as a transitional-jobs program for former offenders. The success of the program spawned the formation of the Beeline brand. The program boasts a 3% recidivism rates versus an average rate of 80+% in most rehabilitation programs.
Her website states that “Sweet Beginnings is a wholly owned subsidiary of the North Lawndale Employment Network and offers full-time transitional jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and others with significant barriers to employment in a green industry – the production and sales of all-natural skin care products featuring its own urban honey. Sweet Beginnings workers care for the bees and hives, harvest honey, make beelove™ products, package and ship products, track inventory, fill product orders, and sell at retail outlets and special events. These training and work experience modalities transfer to market positions in manufacturing, food service, distribution, warehousing, hospitality, customer service, and more. The recidivism rate for former Sweet Beginnings employees is below 4%, compared to the national average of 65% and the Illinois average of 55%.”
BeeLove products can be found at Whole Foods, and Mark Shale Stores.