Most teens spend their days worrying about who’s at their lunch table or how to navigate the high school hallways. But Samantha Zumwalt has an entire business that dominates her thoughts.
Her occupation? Slime creator.
Samantha’s Slime Shop has sold more than 40,000 jars of slime on Etsy alone. On Amazon, she sold 9,000 products in 2018. Last year, she grossed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
What’s her secret?
“I think slime is so popular because it's something you want to touch,” the 16-year-old told InsideEdition.com. “It's ooey and gooey. Everyone's attracted to it.”
The teen’s Garland, Texas, home is her office, factory and warehouse. There are shelves and shelves of multicolored slime in different flavors — from Pinkalicious to Pumpkin Cake to Melon Ball.
Nearby, sparkles, sequins and glitter are stored neatly in their own containers. One flavor, Samantha’s Slime, is teal and full of glitter and fishbowl beads. “It’s everything that would represent me,” she said.
Samantha started the business after a friend first taught her how to make slime. Her mom, Jessica, “left it up” to Samantha to see how far she wanted to take it. Since Samantha’s not 18 yet, Jessica oversees the business side and helps run the shop but lets her daughter be in charge. She left her 9-to-5 desk job to do it.
“I've always wanted to be my own boss,” Samantha said. “My mom calls me a boss all the time.”
She even has about 10 people working with her to help keep up with the growing demand of orders. “For a long time it was just my mom and [me], but then we had to start hiring employees,” Samantha said.
During the week, Samantha gets 20 to 40 orders. On weekends, that rises to 50 to 100. She’s always checking sales on an app and curious to see what flavors people are ordering.
“There is so much variety and our prices are very affordable,” Samantha said.
On her website, prices for a jar of slime range from $1 to $32 depending on the size. Samantha said she promotes her products on Instagram with photos that “catch the eye.”
But running your own business at 16 can be challenging.
“Sometimes the batches don't always come out as well as you planned them to and so you get mad,” Samantha said. “I've thrown slime into the trash because it was just bad.”
When she gets frustrated, she turns to her horse, Pony, for support. He was her rock when she was going through what was described as a “breakdown cycle.”
“My horse was there for me,” she said. “He was the one other than slime.”
Samantha’s able to focus on her shop every day because she’s finished her schooling. All she needs to do now is take the GED exam once she turns 17. But in the process of running the store, she’s also getting a good lesson on how to be an entrepreneur.
“I'm teaching her finances. I'm teaching her accounting. I am teaching her business management [and] customer service,” Jessica, who has a BBA in accounting and an MBA, said. “She's going to be well-versed for the future by being able to take all the business knowledge that she is gaining.”
Like any other mother and daughter, the pair fight. “Especially when your daughter's a teenager and she's wanting to experience her own individuality in life,” Jessica said.
But she’s a proud mama nonetheless.
“I have a kid who will hopefully inspire others.”