With more than 60 bottles of clear, opaque, and glittery glue, Karina García began making a gigantic, 100-pound ball of slime for her YouTube channel. The 10-minute video – uploaded in September 2016 – garnered 17 million views. In her next video – uploaded exactly a week later – she (with the assistance of three others) popped the multi-colored goop all over herself for the Slime Bucket Challenge. García’s life revolves around slime, and it’s proven a very lucrative business move for the 23-year-old Mexican American.
In the last few years, slime has seen a rise in popularity, and according to The New York Times, García’s partially responsible for this trend. Formerly a waitress, García – known as the Slime Queen – was initially a beauty vlogger. But in fall 2015, she began making slime. “I decided to do sensory play, like squishy things, because I feel that’s what kids like” she told the NYT. “They’re into Play-Doh and anything else squishy.”
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Slime videos didn’t really exist when she started uploading them onto YouTube, but now if you search for the term on the site, there are nearly 15 million results. Because the slime innovator uploaded tutorials – something missing online – she quickly racked up views. Within seven months, she began making money from her videos. And now she’s so successful that she supports her siblings and parents with her videos.
Unlike other slime creators, Karina doesn’t sell them. Instead, she receives sponsorships – from $30,000 to $60,000 – from companies like Disney, Coca-Cola, and Audible. She typically earns six figures a month, sometimes reaching “$200,000 in a really good month.”
Three months ago, she bought a six-bedroom home in Riverside, California. Her parents and siblings live in the house, which has a game room, a hot tub, swimming pool, and a soon-to-be-completed guesthouse. “I’ve retired my parents,” she said. “It’s definitely really crazy. Even I can’t believe it. I’m like, ‘How is this happening?'”
For now, García is working on a DIY slime kit and a recipe book, which will incorporate hot Cheetos slime. She’s not worried about the slime industry’s long-term sustainability, because she’ll adapt her business and tackle other DIYs. “But it would kind of suck,” she said, “because I love slime.”