Entrepreneurs

This 15-year-old makes over $100,000 a year selling slime on the internet

Marli Perl, 12, mixes slime at her home in Scituate, Mass., March 2, 2017. She sells it to other students at school. It's part of a larger trend among middle school kids that has swept the country.
Marli Perl, 12, mixes slime at her home in Scituate, Mass., March 2, 2017. She sells it to other students at school. It's part of a larger trend among middle school kids that has swept the country.

At just 15 years old, Samantha Zumwalt is the head of her own company. The teen launched it last February after begging her mom to buy her a box of Borax to create the slime she’d seen all over the Internet.

"She told me no, 'I don't want slime all over the house'," said Zumwalt.

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But eventually, she got her mom to cave. It took only a weekend of creating and playing with her own gooey, sticky substances to decide there was a market for unique variations.

With her mom's blessing, Zumwalt launched "Samantha Slime Shop" on Etsy with dozens of types of slime differentiated by glitter, charms, colors, textures and even scents.

When it comes to the business side of things, Burks encouraged Zumwalt to figure out the accounting and business management on her own.

"I made her do all the ground work so she would know, because there’s no point in doing it if you don’t learn anything from it," said Burks.

Zumwalt said they're lessons that came easily. Perhaps because she was there right next to her mom during business school years before.

“I got my bachelors in accounting and my masters in business administration all while I was working full time and raising Samantha. Sometimes she’d come to class with me because I couldn’t find a sitter… I think when you’re young like that, you just soak it all up like a sponge," said Burks.

And while they don’t know how long the slime trend will hold out, for now they’re working to build the business that’s already providing Samantha a six-figure salary.

"That's really big. I think that's so cool,” said Zumwalt.

Of course, mom agrees.

"I'm here to support her in whatever she needs to make her dreams come true,” said Burks.

For now, there are still a lot of unknowns about what those dreams will be.

While some have encouraged Zumwalt to try her hand at "Shark Tank" to snag an investor, she wants to remain in control of her product. Mom is encouraging the homeschooler to jump into college early.

But for now, Zumwalt wants to stay in the slime business as long as it remains trendy. After that, she hopes her entrepreneurial spirit will lead her to another project.

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