Meet the slimers of Mumbai
Pre-teens take us into their oddly satisfying world of slime where they poke, squish and stretch colourful home-made goop that has become a viral sensation
Lokhandwala resident Ayesha K likes to call herself an Instagram entrepreneur. Every alternate weekend, she announces a restock of her products on her account, @pastelslimessssszz, and within half an hour, they are sold out. Since launching this June, she has sold 600 units across Mumbai. She is all of 12. The product she's selling? Slime.
Twelve-year-old Reet Sharma (@slimehousemumbai) has invested in lighting and camera equipment to make her slime videos. Pics/Falguni Agrawal, Sneha Kharabe
Slime videos can be strangely addictive. Instagram abounds with accounts of young people squishing and prodding home-made slime, which is usually a mixture of glue - either clear or white - and an activator like borax or lens solution. The trend reportedly took off in Thailand a few months ago, with teenagers posting videos on how to make slime. Soon, youngsters the world over were making the goopy stuff - often adding ingredients like shaving foam to make it fluffy as a cloud, or glitter to give it that satisfying crunch.
Sanjhi Yadav and Yashika Gulati make slime
"Ayesha ends up selling 60-odd containers of slime every time. And the money she makes from it is pumped right back into the business. The excess goes into my cupboard, but that and the delivery are the only aspects
I handle. Everything else, from the ideas to the business model and packaging, are her decisions," says the young girl's mother, Nivya K.
Tvesha Khurana says they tried out over two dozen slime recipes before cracking the formula for the perfect slime
To market, to market
There are at least seven other Mumbai-based accounts making and selling slime on Instagram, but none are as popular as Ayesha's - which has over 2,000 followers and has even found a fan in actor Jacqueline Fernandez. But, they all have two things in common - they're mostly pre-teens, and they've cracked the code on how to run a profit-making business, helped along, of course, by the fact that slime is the new fidget spinner.
Creators like giving their slimes interesting names
Take, for instance, @slimeleen, which made its appearance on the social media site three months ago. Based out of Oshiwara, 12-year-old Sanjhi Yadav and her friends Yashika Gulati, Simar Kohli and Jiya Bhatia are currently working on Halloween Edition slimes, which come in three variants - Pumpkin Spice Floam, Purple Candy Corn, and Spooky Slime. "The three of us live in the same building. So, we get together every evening to make the slime. We sell it to kids at school, as well as a bunch of people who DM [direct message] us on Instagram and place their orders," says Yadav.
Above is the Cookie Dough slime by Ayesha K, who also likes sending her customers a care sheet to help maintain their slime
Yet another trio, @slime.for.a.purpose, does things a little differently. "Our slimes are priced at Rs 100 (100gm) and Rs 200 (200gm), and we donate our profits to Animals Matter to Me. For us, this isn't just a hobby. We are looking at making constant contributions to animal rehabilitation centres," says 12-year-old Tvesha Khurana, whose little start-up includes her eight-year-old sister Trishla, and a friend, 11-year-old Kashvi Kunder.
A slime video by her on Instagram
Hello, we're anonymous
Although very active on their social media accounts, most of these girls prefer to keep their identities a secret. In fact, many of the slimers we approached didn't want to do a "face reveal" due to safety concerns, including the fear of being cyberbullied.
"Ayesha faced a challenge a couple of days ago, when a 20-year-old customer abused her on Instagram. That upset her. She might be mature for her age, but at the end of the day, she's only 12," says Nivya.
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