By Marcela Villa
This story was originally published in Art Hive Magazine issue #29, Spring 2019.
With the development of the internet has come a whirlwind of entertainment, career and creativity opportunities. We have made a spotlight available for all those willing to take the plunge and show us who they are, show us something we haven’t seen before, or show us something we didn’t know we needed. Karina Garcia is a young 25-year-old who found her niche, defined it, and has made it into an empire in her own right. The “Slime Queen” started making do-it-yourself (DIY) videos on YouTube before she delved into the world of homemade slime videos. Slime, a slippery, gooey, and fascinating substance to touch and play with, was known but not a cultural phenomenon until Karina took her spotlight. Her fascination and passion with slime manifested into the creation of hundreds of slime videos of all types of varieties, colors, smells, and sensations.
In a world with information overload, where everything seems to have been done, but yet there is still so much to discover and create, Karina Garcia has made a name and brand for herself, all while staying true to who she is. This young Mexican-American girl took her love for arts and crafts, and her fascination with slime, and shared it with the world, showing us video by video until we loved it too. She herself is a lover of slime; from the smells and textures, to the colors and aesthetics of a perfectly drizzled slime, she loves it all and it manifests itself in her videos.
Her passion keeps the videos coming for her audience, and always with an interesting twist. The unconventional subculture that she created has brought her success through her YouTube page, as well as commercial success with the selling of her “Slime Kits”. Her product line, Craft City, has slime kits, along with other DIY products that are both adult and child-friendly. Karina is the epitome of the modern American dream. With creativity, passion, and courage to follow her heart and share it with the world, she created an empire beyond her wildest dream. She took an idea, a market that hadn’t been explored, and a world that she can mold into her own, and found the bridge to connect that passion to open doors for her that were never there before. She spoke with Art Hive to give us insight into her young, entrepreneurial mind and inspire us all with her recipe for creative success.
You are a self-made YouTube phenomenon with almost nine million subscribers to your channel and have managed to level-up your whole family by doing what you love! Did you ever imagine you would be this successful by building an ‘empire of slime’?
K: Not at all! My first slime video was actually just going to be another DIY video, so when it got the response it did, I was surprised and it motivated me to make more fun, over-the-top videos. I recognized that slime was a hit after the first video.
Your creative videos include original DIYs, slime how-to’s, product reviews and much more! How do you choose your video topics and manage to keep them fresh and entertaining for your followers? Are there any new topics or avenues of interest you want to explore in future videos?
K: Brainstorming video ideas is a really fun part of my YouTube channel. Once you’re in the YouTube world, you’re always drawing inspiration from everything and your creative juices are always flowing. I also read what my followers are talking about, I see what my fellow slimers are up to and of course I talk to my friends and family about what other fun things I can do.
As far as your work/life balance goes—how do you manage your time between researching, collaborating, creating, and marketing videos, with making time for you; your time to unwind and reset.
K: I think at this point I’ve kind of gotten used to the busy lifestyle. I try to manage my time though. I recently hired someone to help me film and edit my videos. She’s a huge help! We film videos in bulk 2-3 times a week! But even with that, I have meetings, business trips, etc. Most days out of the week I’m usually working but I take advantage of weekends to spend time with friends and family. I love having a busy schedule, whether it’s working or hanging out with friends. I guess I just kind of got used to the hectic schedule. I get really bored if I sit at home all day.
Can you share with us what lead you to the creation of Craft City?
K: I always wanted to make a product. I always discussed this dream with friends and family years ago. Whether it was slime, a DIY kit or a toy, my dream from the beginning was always having a toy/craft product. So when the opportunity came, the first thing that came to mind was slime because it had become such a huge part of my life. Now Craft City has become a slime and crafting empire. Craft City is not just a slime brand, it’s a crafting line! Slime may be my best selling and most well-known product, but there are so many other products on the shelf that people might not know about like the DIY Squishy Art Bakeshop Kit. It’s exciting because we are already expanding, and you’ll see us in different isles soon!
What do you love most about being a ’Creative Celebrity’ and ‘Slime Superstar’? What do you dislike the most?
K: It’s so fun to be able to share my love and passion of slime and crafting with everyone. Especially the kids! They’re so pure and loving, it feels like we’re family. Positives outweigh the negatives but if there’s something I don’t like is that there will always be haters who assume they know your whole life story. It’s definitely something I’m used to by now. But I’m also human, so mean comments can sometimes bring you down, I can’t lie!
Do you have any creative obsessions (other than slime)? Is there something your fans would be surprised to hear that you are into?
K: I’m obsessed with makeup and fashion. Although I feel most people would probably not think that. I like to be more laid back about my wardrobe in videos because I want everyone who watches my videos to feel like we are hanging out in my room just chilling. But I like to go full glam when I go out with friends. I love dresses, heels, makeup!
What are some habits that you have learned or established since the beginning of your endeavor that you feel has contributed to the upward trajectory of your creative career?
K: I think one of the main things I have learned to do is to tune out the negativity. There is always going to be someone who doesn’t believe in you, but I have really taught myself to not let these people get me down, but instead drive me to work harder in reaching my dreams.
What is one of the most important things you have learned so far being an entrepreneur?
K: It sounds cliché, but I would say keep it up, have fun, and do what you love! Do what you do because you’re having fun, not because of other people’s expectations. Don’t lose sight of your vision and appreciate the people that support you and your vision even if your vision is building an empire on something like slime.
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
K: I would have to say it would be that no dream is too crazy or too small to achieve. Look at me – I made an entire career out of slime. It’s crazy!
• More on Craft City: craftcitylife.com
• Check out Karina’s multiple social media accounts!
YouTube channel: Karina Garcia + IG @karinagarc1a