LYNN — A small group of fifth-grade girls turned their gooey hobby into a slimy success.
“We love making slime so we started a notebook and came up with a bunch of ideas and used that first,” said Grace Jean, one of Aborn Elementary School’s mini-entrepreneurs. “We have another idea for the business, we just can’t share it yet.”
Grace and her best friends, Tatiana Velasquez, Neiza Quinonez, Kylie Bussell, Isabella Morillo, and Mea Papazoglou, share a passion for slime. With the help of Aborn principal Patricia Muxie, they were able to turn their hobby into a profitable business.
“We wanted to help our school and our fifth grade class raise money for end of year activities and field trips,” Mea said. “It wasn’t just for our benefit, it was for the benefit of our school.”
The girls pitched the idea to Muxie last October and began production immediately. In just two days, their small business generated over $300 in profits, with $170 going toward their fifth grade class. The rest of the money was given to each of the girls to use at the school’s holiday fair.
“Even though I knew it was going to be a lot of work, it’s an opportunity for them to figure out what small business owners need to think about in terms of making a product, who to sell it to, how much product you need, how you are going to get the materials and how much they cost,” Muxie said. “It was an eye opening experience for them because they had to meet several times, had to coordinate the meetings and each one had to buy certain materials to be ready by a certain time.”
The success of the slime inspired more business pitches from other students in younger grades, according to the Aborn principal. The positive reaction sparked bigger ideas in the minds of the elementary educators on how this could benefit all of their students.
“There was a program they used in Melrose, at least when I worked there, that taught students about the practice of owning a business and it’s something I’d like to consider, but I’d have to clear it with the district,” Muxie said.
Muxie helped the entrepreneur power squad come up with different ways to market the slime, such as creating professional flyers to send home with fellow students. The profits rolled in, motivating the girls to keep raising money for their school. They sold slime up until the first week of December, ensuring kids had a handmade Christmas gift under their tree.
“My favorite thing was bringing people together to do something that we love, Neiza said. “This whole process helped us to learn about teamwork and partnership.”
Even though the scientific part of making the slime was the most fun, it wasn’t without many trial and errors, according to Isabella. The girls tried several times to making borax-free slime right.
Parents of the mini-moguls love the small business concepts they learned, but aren’t the biggest fans of the messy product.
“My dad was really happy about it until my 4-year-old sister started playing with it and got it all over her hair and our brand new couch, but he’s still proud of us,” Neiza said.
Other than the fun of making slime, these young girls were able to learn what it means to work hard for something and appreciate it, according to Muxie.
“For the rest of their lives, I think they’ll always remember these lessons they have learned,” she said.