Teens Now is a new series by Grace Lee that features teens around the world that have inspired others in creative ways. This week’s article highlights Jay Kang, owner of Snoop Slimes.
Dozens of charms neatly organized into multiple metal organizers, three industrial mixers, and tubs full of metallic gold slime — this is just a glimpse into Jay Kang’s slime office.
Kang, a 16-year-old from Round Rock, Texas, has always had a passion for entrepreneurship and slime. When she was 13 years old, she decided to turn her passion for slime into a business. In February 2017, Snoop Slimes was officially open for business.
Kang’s inspiration for starting Snoop Slimes came in the summer of 2016, when she was scrolling through Instagram. As she started to scroll through more slime videos, she discovered numerous businesses that sold this item.
“With my business mindset, I got hooked on [slime] and decided to start my own business,” Kang said. “I created an Instagram account and went from there. I wanted to make my business name something really catchy and something that people could say really easily.”
However, her success didn’t come right away. Because she was a teenager, people were skeptical about the legitimacy of her business.
“When I first started my business, I didn’t have the [Instagram] platform that I have right now. A lot of people emailed me [asking] if I was a legitimate business or if I was a scam,” Kang recalled. “Also, people knew that I was a teenager and sometimes people don’t really trust teenagers. I needed to gain my trust throughout the years.”
Fast-forward to 2020, SnoopSlimes has more than 10,000 sales per week. The business has restocks every Friday on their website where new slimes are added and favorites are brought back. Although she has a collection of slimes that are always available, many of the slimes are limited-edition slimes. In many cases, the slimes have interesting names, such as Dragon’s Egg, a clear slime that includes iridescent pearls and gold flakes, and Ducks in a Pond that features duck figures floating in blue-tinted clear slime.
“When I have to create a new slime idea, I usually have an idea right on top of my head. However, sometimes I search up ‘cool dessert flavors’ or ‘cool ice cream flavors’ [on the Internet] with my sister. We find a cool picture or concept of a slime that we want to make, and we see what materials we have. If we don’t have the add-ins that we need, we order the right ones for the slime,” she said.
Kang attributes much of her success to her family, who have supported her since the very beginning. Because she started her business at a young age, she was often confused about how to manage the logistics of her business. However, her family supported her in building Snoop Slime’s website, shipping packages, and more.
“They helped and supported me throughout building up my business from the very bottom. Without my parent’s support, I don’t think I would have been able to start this business and grow it to where it is now,” Kang said.
Along with her family, Kang states that social media was an influential factor in her success. With the help of Instagram and TikTok, Snoop Slimes has flourished through the years. In the span of three years, Snoop Slimes has garnered 1.9 million followers on Instagram. There, Kang posts videos and pictures of new slimes on the restock list for that week.
On TikTok, Kang posts short videos promoting her slimes.
“I started doing ‘Day in a Life of a Teen Entrepreneur’ videos on TikTok because I wanted to show people that you can balance work, school, and being a teen at the same time,” Kang shared.
Her “Teen Entrepreneur” video series averages around 300,000 views, with the most popular video getting 3.4 million views.
“A typical day in the office starts off with me making new batches of slime because I have re-stocks every Friday. After that, I package the slimes for orders I received the day before,” she said. “Then, I package them with my staff and ship all of them out. After that, I grab some lunch with my sister or mom, and I come back to my office to film slime videos for Instagram and TikTok. And then, I come back home to answer some customer service emails, work on schoolwork, and practice my instrument.”
With Kang’s successes came many unexpected events. When Kang first started her business, she didn’t know how much it would grow. Over time, she learned to keep up with the scale of her growing business.
“Once my business started growing and expanding, I didn’t really know how to scale it that fast. That’s one of the things I learned while I maintained my business,” Kang stated.
Kang didn’t expect how many new people she would meet while maintaining her business. Kang was able to grow her connections through Slime Conventions — one-day events where numerous “slimers” gather to meet their fans and share their stories. Slimers, or slime businesses, do Q&A sessions, promote their slimes, and take pictures with their fans. One of Kang’s favorite conventions is Slime Rodeo, which was hosted in Dallas, Texas in 2018.
“Since I’m based in Texas, I got to package all my slimes in the car [whereas] people brought in a luggage of slimes. When we got there, we got our own booth to set up and a photo wall, where fans could come in and take pictures,” Kang said. “[Fans] bought slime and took pictures. There were a lot of activities, and it was really fun because everyone who likes slime was brought together.”
However, for slimers the real fun starts a day before the actual convention. Slimers who are invited to the convention stay at a nearby hotel, where they prepare for the next day, get a good night’s rest and connect with other slimers. Kang stated it was an opportunity for her to meet new people and make new connections.
“It’s really cool because most of the other slimers are teen entrepreneurs like me, and we relate to each other a lot. A lot of our friends at school don’t have businesses, so being able to relate to each other during this convention is really amazing,” Kang said.
In spite of her growing business, she has to balance school and extracurriculars. Currently, Kang is a junior in high school. At school, she takes many challenging courses and plays the trumpet in band.
“It’s really hard managing time because band has a lot of rehearsals outside of school. That means I have to balance rehearsal times and school with my business. I make sure I don’t procrastinate,” she said. “When I come home from school, I make sure that I finish all my school work. Although I make my business a top priority, I make school my first priority because I believe education is very important.”
Despite the difficulty of balancing school and Snoop Slimes, Kang doesn’t plan on giving up her business anytime soon. Although it is still in the beginning stages, she plans to manufacture items and create merchandise later on. Her motivation for continuing her business comes from her love and passion for slime.
“There’s always people that are going to talk negatively about your business, saying that the trend is over or that your products won’t sell,” Kang said. “I’ve loved slime since 2016 and I still love it. I’m actually passionate about what I sell.”
Speaking from her experience, Kang shared advice for those who want to start a business or just started a business.
“One piece of advice I would give is to not give up. Always be self-motivated, because there are always people who will look down or judge you,” Kang said. “Don’t take those comments to your heart. Focus on building your business and ignore the hate that you get.”