Kids have been making homemade slime with Elmer’s glue and borax for years. But the stretchy, gooey concoction adored for generations has become a modern digital phenomenon, with YouTube stars and crafters wowing fascinated fans and building a “slimy” businesses.
Tower Hill sixth grader Coco Svindland has jumped into the muck, so to speak, with the launch of her own sticky venture, which she has named SlimebyCoco. Now a professional slimer, Coco has nearly 7,000 followers in Instagram, who love to see her crack open a new jar of her latest invention and massage, manipulate and generally play with what’s inside. Her videos are a cacophony of crunches, pops and squishy sounds as she presses her fingers through the slime.
Coco has traveled to slime conferences (yes, there are such things ) around the country, made thousands on the sale of her homemade wonder on Etsy, and just last week launched the product business at her first retailer in Delaware.
SlimebyCoco launches at Two Sisters
SlimebyCoco is now available in 8-ounce jars at Two Sisters boutique (clothing, accessories and gifts for girls) in North Wilmington. She’s made a signature ‘Two Sisters Twist’ batch (her cloud variety) with a mix of the store’s hot pink and bright orange logo colors. And each jar has a hidden surprise charm in it.
But there are plenty of other colors, scents and textures to choose from, including Halloween Slime – with bats, bugs and pumpkins inside, Cotton Candy, Clear Slime, Fruit Loop Marshmallows, and her very popular Birthday Cake Cream, which is bright pink and smells just right for any little girl’s special occasion.
Coco picked up an interest in slime-making two summers ago. She was attracted to the gooey substance for the same reason it’s popular with so many young girls and even a few adults; it’s soothing to play with and manipulate. Some find it relaxing – similar to the effects of a stress ball, but even more satisfying.
Coco’s secret formula
After months of tinkering, trying various ingredients, and watching YouTube instructional videos, Coco now considers herself an expert slimer. The possibilities seem endless as the middle schooler develops her “complex” formulas. She doesn’t typically follow any particular recipe and often adds ingredients until she develops the texture, color or feel she’s looking for.
She keeps her formulas under wraps. But slime essentially consists of laundry detergent, Borax, liquid glue and food coloring.
“My slime has to really look amazing. I’m proud of the bright colors I’m able to create and the cool textures I’ve come up with. There are many different types of slime. It just depends on which type you’re trying to make,” says the young inventor.
The amount of slime and type she makes varies each week. She comes up with new ideas herself and takes advice from other slimers. Her mom flew her to a large slime convention in Chicago this past summer where other enthusiastic slimers gave her gifts, cards and shared ideas with her.
Slime: an all-out cultural craze
You could say that Coco’s riding the slime craze. More than 1 million results now appear on YouTube from a search for “homemade slime.” And sales of Elmer’s Liquid Glue have skyrocketed since 2016.
Mom Allison Svindland laughs about the worldwide phenomena of slime. “This is a huge business. In some families, one or even both parents work for the child. Some full time. Some are clearing $500,000 a year making slime.”
For her part, Coco makes more than enough slime on a weekly basis to keep online and local customers happy — customers who could easily turn to another supplier. “It a really big market. But there’s room for all of us professionals,” says Coco.
“It’s a disaster to make”
Coco’s parents initially weren’t crazy about her entrepreneurial adventure.
“My Mom initially forbid me to make slime in our house because at the beginning, it was very messy. The ingredients sometimes get all over the place, and of course, everything is really sticky.”
Mom Allison is sanguine about the manufacturing headaches. “So many moms are against making slime because it’s a disaster to make. That’s why so many people just buy it.”
Coco started her enterprise two years ago out in her backyard. Eventually, her parents recognized the seriousness of their daughter’s hobby and thought about building an addition onto the house. But in the end, they settled on giving Coco the family room. “We don’t like how it looks. But we haven’t missed it,” says Allison. “We call it Coco’s Slimeatory.”
The slimer chemist says she has finally figured out how to keep her lab clean.
Learning about running her own business
With a loyal and growing following, Coco still maintains an A average in the classroom. “She knows academics come first. And she’s very good at allocating her time,” says Allison.
She shops for supplies, prints her own labels, and has developed her own brand and packaging. “My containers are really good – they don’t break if they are dropped,” she says. Her mom has provided some much-needed advice about income, margins, and revenues.
Coco also learned a lesson about school policies prohibiting students selling items for personal profit to others at school. (She wasn’t happy about that.)
Every batch of slime Coco makes for Two Sisters will be unique to the Independence Mall retailer. Ingredients and prices may vary. But most 8-oz jars are $10/$10.50 with a hidden charm inside.
And she’s gearing up to make special holiday slimes for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah. “They will all be available at Two Sisters, and they make great gifts!”