MARISA AT THE SLIME BASH, AND HER PRODUCT.
MARISA AT THE SLIME BASH, AND HER PRODUCT.

“Slime,” to most adults, refers to green goo or sticky sludge used for Halloween parties. But for preteens and teens, “slime” has taken on a whole new meaning.

In the past few years, a slime trend has been oozing across America. Hundreds of middle-school and high-school students are taking to Instagram and YouTube, posting videos of themselves making and playing with slime.

This version of “slime” is made mostly of school glue or shaving cream, and may have essential oils added for scent or beads mixed in for a crunching sound. Many slime videos are popular because viewers find the sounds of slime satisfying and relaxing.

For many “slimers,” making slime is more than just a hobby: Hundreds of youths are starting businesses, selling their homemade slime for profit.

Marisa Gannon is one of those slime entrepreneurs. The young­est of three in her family, she’s finishing her freshman year at Schenectady High School, where she plays on the volleyball team, and a parishioner of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Schenectady.

At just 14 years old, Maria also runs her own slime business: Parakeet Slimes, LLC.

Like most slimers, Marisa gained popularity through social media. Her main Instagram account for her slime has more than 400,000 followers, and her YouTube channel for posting slime videos has more than 150,000.

Despite her popularity, Marisa is humble about her business. She says she’s just doing something she enjoys: creating slime.

“I always loved making slime,” she explained.

Marisa has been making slime since 2014, but said she “never thought to make a video” until two years later. In September 2016, the teen created an Instagram account specifically for her slime and uploaded her first video. It’s been viewed more than 30,000 times.

Two months after her first video, Marisa decided to try selling her slime. She named her business “Parakeet Slimes” after one of her pet birds, Elliot, who liked to sit on her head when she made slime.

In November 2016, Marisa started selling her slime on an app called Mercari, but later switched to the Etsy website. She now has her own website, http://parakeetslimesshop.com.

“It was cool,” she said of her first online order. “I didn’t know people would want my slime.”

Marisa’s mother, Maria, was nervous at first about her daughter selling slime online, but said she knew that Marisa was “very determined.

“We’re so blown away” by her business, Mrs. Gannon added.

Marisa said her popularity started around June 2017, after she posted a video for a slime she made called Cereal Milk: “I would stock, like, 20 orders and they would sell out in, like, 10 seconds. I was like, ‘Wow!’”

Marisa makes around 500 batches of slime each week, which requires around 10 to 20 gallons of glue. She sells varieties like Cap’n Crunch, blue raspberry limeade, banana split and blueberry pancake. She recently purchased an industrial mixer to speed up the mixing process.

“I do this 24/7,” she said. “It’s tiring, but I like to do it.”

Marisa stores her slimes in large containers and spends her Saturdays placing slime in three-, six- and eight-ounce containers for sale. Individual slimes run from $10-$15, or $25 for multi-packs. Once everything is assembled, her website goes live. Typically, everything sells out within the first 10 minutes.

“It’s really surreal,” the teen remarked.

Marisa’s father, Scott — who is director for CYO basketball at St. Paul’s — and Mrs. Gannon run the business’ finances, organize business emails and help Marisa box and ship the orders.

Mrs. Gannon said she is proud of how her daughter’s business has helped others. One mother wrote an email to Parakeet Slimes saying that her daughter is blind and loves to play with Marisa’s slimes for the textures. Another fan wrote that Marisa inspired her to open her own shop.

Marisa has also learned to deal with negative comments online. She said it’s made her “more mature about bullying;” she finds “it’s more rewarding not to say anything back.”

“I pray every night that God is with her, giving her strength,” said Mrs. Gannon.

In May, Marisa attended Slime Bash, the first slime convention for slime creators and fans, held in Stamford, Conn. Marisa said that the moment she walked into the hotel where the convention was held, groups of kids asked for her photo. The next day, fans stood in line for two hours just to talk with her.
Marisa was happy to speak with everybody, but “that whole time, it was a shock,” she said.

If she isn’t making her own slime, Marisa is playing with her three birds (Bean, Pete and Nugget), or buying slime from other fellow slime creators.
“It’s a lot of stress — but I found a lot of friends in the slime community,” she said.