How my fifth-grade slime obsession led to a small business

April 5, 2024 — by Meher Bhatnagar
Graphic by Leyna Chan
I loved to experiment using different ingredients in my slime. 
They used to call me the slime queen for a good reason. 

As the slime trend took the internet by storm in 2016, several Gen Z kids like me became instantly addicted, opening up little businesses to sell their slimy creations. For me, my slime obsession was so complete that it led me to start a small business and defined a large part of my childhood.

The basic ingredients of slime are glue and an activator like Borax or a laundry detergent. However, during the early days of the slime trend, I never seemed to have these ingredients on hand to make all the cool slimes I saw on the internet; so, I decided to improvise. 

“How to make slime no glue no Borax” riddled my YouTube search history, the words rearranged in at least 10 different ways to get a variety of videos. I eventually stumbled upon a recipe using shampoo in salt which — in my futile hopes as a little fifth grader — would make the perfect slime. Mixing the ingredients together, I was disappointed to find out it made nothing more than a thin slush that had the consistency of water with sparse shampoo bubbles.

Determined to make my first slime, I dragged my mother to the Michaels Arts and Craft Store where we bought a gallon glue jug, as well as Safeway to purchase Borax, landing me one step closer to making all the creations I had seen on my Instagram page from accounts like @Peachybbies, @snoopslimes or @slime_og. I first made my Borax solution by mixing a tablespoon of borax into a cup of boiling water. As I poured out the glue and mixed it thoroughly with the borax, my first-ever slimy creation came to life.

From there, I continued to experiment with my slime each time I made a new one. Purchasing food coloring to make them colorful, Daiso clay to give them a “buttery” texture, adding essential oils for a nice fragrance and even shaving cream to make the slime fluffy is what helped me to diversify my product enough to begin my business. I had noticed a lot of the other slime account names used the name of a food item to give their shop a unique name; I ended up deciding on @slime.ramen which eventually gained a steady following of 300+ on Instagram. 

I soon decided I wanted to sell my slimes and created a website with weekly updates on what slimes I had in stock for the week along with sizes and prices. By the end of the month, I had orders rolling in from friends of friends, neighbors and relatives. There were times I had to bargain the price of my product so I could make more sales but at the end of the day, I still made a profit. I eventually recruited some friends to work with me and we ended up increasing our outreach and selling to people in our community. 

Though this obsession did eventually fade away as I grew older, @slime.ramen’s legacy will continue to live on. To relive the memories, I still make new slimes every once in a while.

8 views this week