(Photo credit: @craftyslimecreator/Instagram)
Every weekend, 16-year-old Alyssa Jagan wakes up and gets to work making 21 new videos for her Instagram channel. But before she can hit record, she has to roll up her sleeves and make slime. If you’ve somehow avoided hearing about the the trendy substance all over social media, it’s just what it sounds like — gobs of highly squishable, malleable, pokable material in every colour and texture you can imagine. The videos are satisfying to watch, with soothing sounds and predictable content that’s a far cry from the rest of the hectic media landscape. That might be why accounts dedicated to making and displaying slime, like Jagan’s, are helping young people gain millions of followers — and money in the bank.
As with most trends these days, for Jagan, it all happened so fast. “The first couple weeks I got like 100 views, and that was totally insane to me,” said Jagan, a.k.a. @CraftySlimeCreator, who started making slime using old craft materials she found in her basement after watching YouTube tutorials. “I had no idea that people wanted to watch me do something like this.” Each of Jagan’s videos consists of her well-manicured hands poking, prodding, and mixing up different types of slime, sometimes adding pigment, or fun materials like gold foil. She doesn’t show her face — one of the laws laid down by mom early on.
Only a month into posting videos, her account blew up — a purple glossy slime garnered 30,000 views, and Jagan’s followers only grew from there. As of publication, she has 691,000 followers and counting, and those kinds of numbers can translate into actual dollars. For the Toronto teen, who posts three new videos daily, it even meant a publishing deal. Her book, Ultimate Slime, which comes out October 17, is full of recipes and DIY tips and tricks for the fans who message Jagan “a ton.”
“When an opportunity came to write a book about it, it was the perfect way to answer all those questions,” she said.
From slime to dimes
The slime community is an active one. Instagram and YouTube accounts dedicated to making and displaying slime are everywhere, and the tag is attached to over five million posts. Accounts like @SlimeQueeens and @Glitter.Slimes have over a million and a half followers each, and links to their e-commerce platforms are right in their bios. Glitter Slimes’ online store sells 4-6 oz containers of slime for $9 to $13 each, and more often than not the products end up sold out.
Twenty-three-year-old Karina Garcia, a YouTube-based slime creator and DIYer, has 6.5-million subscribers, and slime recipe books of her own, not to mention features on shows like Good Morning America. These young ladies are literally spinning slime into gold.
Once she convinced her mom to let her open an online store, Jagan, too, made thousands of dollars selling slime for one year. But ultimately, she said, as someone who enjoys the creative aspect of slime above everything else, the payoff wasn’t worth it. “I wasn’t experimenting as much with slime or having as much fun with it,” she said. “I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to make the perfect slime.”
Making perfect slime takes time and effort
Depending on what kind of slime she’s making for her channel, it can take 10 to 45 minutes to make the product. Add in filming, editing and posting the content, Jagan works up to 20 hours every weekend. She’s no slouch during the week either. On top of her regular schooling, she’s on the basketball team, the robotics team, science and tech club, math club, and she runs an art club with a friend, among other activities. With all she has going on, the online store was easy to let go of, but Jagan continues to post three times a day for her many fans.
A whiz with time management at only 16, Jagan already understands the realities of overdoing it, and is adept at work-life balance, making sure that no single area of her life takes over another — a lesson many grown entrepreneurs forget to apply. “I don’t want to burn out, so I always try to make sure I schedule in time to watch a show on Netflix or hang out with my friends,” she said.
Better than a business class
Her mom, Ahilya Singh-Jagan, while skeptical at first, is proud to have seen Alyssa grow from a shy girl into a bold entrepreneur. “As a parent, I love the fact that she did that business for a year,” she said. “She learned so much about accounting, about sourcing materials, so many really important business concepts — things you couldn’t ever get from just a business class.”
This goopy venture may even have changed Alyssa’s future path. “This has opened up a whole new area. I found out I enjoy learning about business,” she said. The majority of the money she’s made from selling slime, and the proceeds from her book will go directly to her university fund. Even after she heads off to school, she wants to keep making videos and engaging with the slime community online. It’s a creative outlet that’s been a learning experience, and a money maker, but ultimately for Jagan, it’s fun.
“You can do so many different things with it,” she said. “Slime is like an art form.”