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.
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.
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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.
Her first month in business, a friend was her only sale. But after sending her slime to popular Instagram accounts for review, she was flooded with sales.
“We were getting 50 to 100 orders a day. Some days we were getting more than 100 orders,” said Zumwalt.
That's when she turned to her mom Jessica Burks for help. Together they moved the business from a corner in their kitchen to a spare bedroom, eventually outgrowing both and letting "Samantha Slime Shop" operations take over both the living and dining rooms.
Looking at the space now, Burks simply laughs.
“It actually had furniture and a television. Now we have my kitchen table as a conference table and shelves just full of slime,” said Burks.
In what once was her dining room, an industrial stand mixer is the center piece to mix up large batches of their most popular products.
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 6 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.