Sunday Signal Series: Interesting Hobbies and Jobs
This is one installment in an occasional series about unique Santa Clarita Valley residents, from those who enjoy the quirky side of life to those who are at the top of their field.
BY CHERI JENSEN
Slime: A goopy, stretchy, taffy-like toy trend that started out as “how-tos” on social media a few years ago.
In years past, you may know it from a Nickelodeon TV show, or had seen it on retail shelves as Floam or Gak. The stretchy toy is back and has became so popular that there was a shortage of Elmer’s Glue on store shelves for a time.
One dynamo has put her entrepreneurial spirit to good use by capitalizing on the slime trend.
Audrey Joyce Fierro, known to her friends as AJ, is a 9-year-old ball of energy. She has used her love of the hit slime craze and has created her own successful business, Slimy Fun Creations. The Rosedell Elementary school student is making a profit and learning about business as well as having a whole lot of fun.
The basic recipe involves some, or all, of these ingredients: glue, cornstarch, foaming soap, boric acid, baking soda, liquid detergent, contact lens solution, hand lotion, scent and food coloring.
Fierro and other creators of batches of the stretchy glob, called slimers, like to personalize their concoctions by adding embellishments like confetti, glitter, foam beads and baubles. She aerates some of her slime products by using shaving cream for fluff. Her favorite slime product is the lemonade slime from her Summer Scented batch.
Do you like the popping noise from bubble wrap? Slime sounds are similar during the kneading process.
Fidget spinners may have had their minute in prime time in terms of relaxation, but slimers like Fierro claim that making slime relaxes them, with the constant “kneading and mixing and poking. Plus the sound.”
At a recent summer workshop at a Valencia park, the ambitious Fierro and a group of want-to-be slimers tested their mixing skills. They followed along as she showed them how to create their own goop.
“We want it to resemble taffy in terms of the stretch and the feel,” she said at the slime factory session.
She started Slimy Fun “to make kids happy and to use the money to buy her first computer.” Her business started in June, which includes selling the addictive stretchy wonder in themed, decorative containers; social media tutorials; parties; and “how to” get togethers throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. The preteen sells her slime on social media and by word-of-mouth. She also has a Slimy Fun Creations Facebook page full of tips, giveaways, updates and selling information.
The fourth grader said, “Slime is a stretchy, sticky, fluffy mass of fun that you can play with your friends.”
“Watching Audrey discover her entrepreneurial spirit is something I couldn’t be more proud of,” said her father, Anthony. “She took something that was just ‘fun’ and turned it into a growing and exciting business. She has grown and is understanding the cost of goods, quality control, sales and marketing, branding and customer service. We couldn’t be happier.”
She held some slime themed workshops this summer, including Star Spangled Banner, Aloha Pink Fluffy Flamingo and a Super Hero slime session this month.
AJ’s mom Jave, and friend Danielle Jacobs, help her out with different aspects of Slimy Fun.
“I make slime, host parties and make party favors with special decorative themes,” she said. She packages them in “cute plastic decorative cups.” For parties, she uses mason jars.
The best part of her business? “Duh, making the slime.” Her least favorite part is “going shopping for supplies and arguing with my mom on how my slime decorations should look.”
Although she has been officially in the slime biz for about three months, Fierro is learning a lot about entrepreneurship via hands-on experience.
“It is important to make good slime so my customers are always happy. Running a business can be fun. I’ve also learned that it costs a lot of money to start a business.”
She was offered to sell her slime with a vendor at the yellow Victorian building in Newhall but “she was told she had to give percentage. She didn’t know what that meant. I explained it was the percentage paid for the space she was using,” said her mother, Jave.
School is about to begin for most Santa Clarita students, but AJ plans to continue what she started this summer. “I plan on doing birthday parties, selling different slimes and hosting workshops on weekends and holidays.
Handle it with care and not in the hair. There may be a humorous learning curve with handling slime. Jave added, “The other day she was playing with slime and got some in her hair, so I had to help her carefully remove it.”
AJ suggests keeping slime in a container with a tight lid on it. Keep it away from fabric and unprotected furniture as well. Fierro accidentally got some slime on her carpet and they had to comb the goop out of the fibers. “And never, ever, eat it.”
Audrey plans on entering an Elmer’s Glue slime contest featuring one of her favorite creations: Clear slime with gold pigment.
When she isn’t focused on her slime time, Fierro can be found at a gym. The spunky Valencia resident is starting her sixth season as a cheerleader for the SCV-Allstars.
“It is exciting for us as parents to see Audrey develop a business-owner mentality so young,” said Jave. “0ur hope is that this will blossom and continue to grow in other areas.”
Do you have an interesting or unusual hobby or job? Contact The Sunday Signal with details and contact information. Email: [email protected]