Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shellisa Ruvalcaba, owner of Duncans_Slime, located in Barstow, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is slime, and slime is another part of me. I sell it to people of all ages, and they buy it for the purpose of just feeling the slime itself and for the general sense of relief that it brings when playing with and experiencing it.
Tell us about yourself
I first started selling slime back in August 2018. It was totally unexpected and out of the blue for me, especially because I basically started my shop out on a whim. I was first interested in ASMR and the satisfying audio pleasure I got from it. It started with me watching people play with wrappers, to the soap cutting videos, to the kinetic sand play, but then I saw slime.
The first slime to catch my eye was SlimeYoda, and I was truly impressed. I hadn’t known slime to be a hobby or a BUSINESS, so that’s who got me started on a business of my own. I started with little to no experience and jumped in without knowing what to even expect or even how to start being that I had no knowledge of business, and boom! Here I am years later!
This answer is truly cliche but is very true, but it is my family that motivates me to do what I do. We’ve been in a series of tough patches financially, which seriously gave me moments of doubt as to whether or not I’d continue to make and sell slimes, but they’ve helped me to see that this is my calling! It’s been an outlet for me and for others as well, and I’m glad to have them in my corner to support me every step of the way.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has to be when I was selling at a local event for Panana Night Market. It was my second event partnered with them, and it was still totally new to me, but one of the OGs of slime, AudeezSlimes, AKA Audrey, stopped by. It was such a random coincidence, but when I told you I was so nervous, I was shaking from the nerves alone! My husband was speaking to her about slimes, and I was just watching, trying to confirm if it was her or not. I cannot tell you how shaken I was! Even he was at a loss for words because I was basically fangirling out about it being her! She’s such a huge slime artist, and for her to be there and to purchase from little old me had me so weak! And the best thing about the whole interaction was that she also gave me a little shoutout on her slime account which blew me away! She loved one of my best sellers, Honey, I Do, and it was just an honor to be in her presence and for her to acknowledge a shop as small as my own. That was one of the best experiences ever!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is the lows, and I mean low sales and low traffic, which means low motivation. It always sucks not being able to sell out, which happens for me quite often, but it also lets me know that maybe I could have been better in my delivery. Another thing that is hard is just seeing people surpass you in sales and always getting to sell out, which of course, I’m happy for them, but it makes me wonder if I’m ever going to be as great. It just makes things questionable, but I try to look at the big picture!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Three tips I’d give to anyone looking into starting a slime business might be:
- Before creating a shop, really look into and study the different places that you’ll use to sell. For example, Shopify, Etsy, etc.
- Make sure you have a decent following on your social BEFORE selling so that you have a larger audience that will want to purchase your product.
- Have fun with it!!! Having a slime business should be fun! Even sometimes, I forget that that was the basis for me, and I get stressed by the lack of sales and such, but I remember that this is my creative outlet! This is where I can let thoughts come to life and share my pieces with others that enjoy this same niche!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.