Q&A: Alyssa Jagan, the 15-year-old slime creator with over 600,000 Instagram followers

Q&A: Alyssa Jagan, the 15-year-old slime creator with over 600,000 Instagram followers

In less than a year, Alyssa Jagan, a high schooler in Toronto’s east end, has amassed well over half a million Instagram followers by sharing videos of, well, slime. In her strangely mesmerizing posts, Jagan pokes, prods, pulls apart and kneads balls of the gooey substance, which she crafts in a kaleidoscopic range of hues and a variety of satisfying textures, including fluffy, crunchy and something called “fishbowl slime” (it’s filled with tiny beads). And she’s not the only one: slime has become something of an online craze. We caught up with the slime star to ask what the deal is with this stuff, anyway.

How did you get into the online world of slime in the first place?
I’ve been making slime, glue, flubber or whatever you want to call it since I was really little, with my mom. I didn’t start making it again until the summer of 2016. I saw a lot of fun DIYs on Pinterest and YouTube, and I realized I had all the supplies to make the slime at home. I made some to play with on my own and really didn’t intend to make any more. But then I noticed some accounts on Instagram posting videos of slime, and decided to create my own account, @craftyslimecreator.

Is the slime hard to make?
Not really. There are a hundred ingredients you can put into slime, but the four most basic things are glue, foaming hand soap, and activator—that’s borax and water together, or eye contact solution with baking soda, or liquid starch, or some laundry detergents.

It sounds like a pretty educational science project.
It is, because you can see what happens when you add extra ingredients. For example, if you add corn starch, it makes the slime thicker, and if you add shaving foam, it becomes fluffier. It’s fun to try out different things and see what effect it’ll have on your slime.

What are some of your favourite things to add?
I love adding pigment to clear glue slime. I get the pigments online or from craft stores; they look like eyeshadow. I think the metallic colours are really pretty. You can only use clear glue slime because it won’t show up in white glue slime.

Your Instagram has blown up, especially in the past few months. Any idea why?
I think it’s because I post so often. I post three times every day—or at least I try to. I like to think they’re high-quality videos, and my lighting is pretty good. Another big thing is that I usually ask a question in my caption, so it gives me a chance to interact with my followers and engage with them.

How much time do you spend on slime every day?
Until now, I’ve been in school, so I would make all my slime on the weekends, and then save some of the videos to post during the week. But now that it’s summer, I spend most days doing it. I also have an Etsy shop where I sell slime.

How’d you end up selling slime?
It’s pretty funny. Around October, I’d been making slime for two months, and I had so much slime all over my room. It was everywhere. My mom came into my room one day and was like, “Aly, you have way too much slime. This needs to stop. I know you like doing this but calm down a bit.” So I had this idea that if I started selling the slime, then I could keep making more. Then I made a business plan and outlined what I wanted to do. But that’s how I started selling it. I just wanted to be able to make more slime. My mom tells me I started the Etsy shop to feed my slime addiction.

Would you say it’s an addiction?
No, I talk about regular stuff with my friends. But my mom and I talk about slime a lot.

What do the rest of your family and friends think about your hobby?
In the beginning, I only told my best friend and my mom. My dad didn’t really pay much attention to it until January, when I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. That really got his attention. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind because it hasn’t even been a year yet of me doing this. But my family’s been really supportive. And my friends don’t think it’s weird or anything. They’re like, “This is totally something Aly would do.” They think it’s really cool that I’m following my passion and using my creativity to do something cool.

favourite slime trend? i love daiso clay mixing videos also, this slime is a fail😂

A post shared by alyssa j (@craftyslimecreator) on

What’s next for you in the slime world?
My original goal was reaching 100,000 Instagram followers. I never thought I would ever, ever, ever reach it. I’m just totally surprised by everything that has happened. It’s awesome. Now, I’m writing a book about slime [published by Quarry Books]. I never expected to be doing that until my editor reached out to me. Now that school is out, I’m taking stock and figuring out new goals. I’m registered to go to the Wharton School of Business for three weeks and a summer program at the Richard Ivy School of Business. I want to explore the business side of slime more.

What will the book talk about?
It’s called Ultimate Slime. It’s anything and everything you need to know about slime. It teaches you how to make your own slime at home, and about all the different additives. It has lots of different recipes and projects you can do with it.

So, what is it about slime that you love so much anyway?
I love the creativity that’s involved. There are so many different colour combinations and things you can add to slime, and different scents you can make. I love the creativity of being able to decide all that, sharing it and inspiring other people.