A passion becomes an accidental profession?

Senior Angelina Ly’s success with slime comes in part from learning how to manage teams and predict new technology.

Angelina Ly brought Fireflyslime to UW Bothell's first-ever Makers Fair on Feb. 14.

At age 14, Angelina Ly stumbled upon slime. 

“I was into all things crafty and loved putting a bunch of ingredients together and making something new,” said Ly, who is now a senior at the University of Washington Bothell. “I ended up making slime and started sharing my creations on social media. Soon, people started asking where they could purchase it.” 

As the months passed, the requests to purchase Ly’s slime increased. After receiving hundreds of messages from online fans, she finally opened a temporary online store on Etsy. “From there it just grew and grew,” she said. 

It grew to be so popular that Ly established Fireflyslime as a permanent online store on Shopify. 澳门赌场 business took off and was reported in the top 1% of Shopify stores the week it launched. Since then, she has sold tens of thousands of slimes, and her business currently pulls in more than $100,000 in annual revenue. 

Today she is managing her company full-time — developing new slimes, growing her social media following and packaging every order — while also studying full time in the School of Business.?

Ongoing interest and inspiration 

Fireflyslime started as a social media account on Instagram and has since expanded to TikTok and YouTube. Across these platforms, Ly has an audience of more than 500,000 followers. “All of my followers have come about organically,” she said. “I’ve grown them for the past five years from my own content, and I have never purchased any advertising.” 

By creating new and consistent content, Ly has been able to attract more followers and buyers. But it’s not just the content that Ly keeps fresh. She “releases” slimes every week, and before any new or re-released product is listed on the Fireflyslime website, she shares it first on social media to build anticipation for the drop. 

Her marketing has proven to be successful as 90% of her stock usually sells out within 10 minutes. “One of the most popular slimes is the Blue Hawaiian Shaved Ice,” she said. “I keep bringing it back because it is one of the best sellers.” 

Other slimes on her website are inspired by things around her, from lattes and boba to cereal and crystal sands. “I have been doing this for seven years and come up with new slimes every week,” she said. “So I have created a lot of different slimes. I get inspiration from everywhere. I like to make things based on my favorite desserts or pop culture, things I see on social media and different trends.” 

Ly’s slimes also vary in composition. She currently offers seven different slimes: butter/clay, clear, cloud cream, floam, bingsu, jelly and thick & glossy. “My personal favorite is the cloud cream. It has clay in it, with instant snow that gives it a nice pillowy texture.” 

Television and podcast shows

澳门赌场 creativity and innovation in Ly’s slime collection has drawn the attention of more than just customers. In 2020 she went on Slime Wars, a slime-crafting competition program where three contestants compete to make the best slime creation.?

A television studio set.
Ly and Fireflyslime appear on local television.

This past January she also was featured on Fox 13. “Having something tangible such as a recording that I could show to my family was amazing,” she said. “Running an e-commerce store, I ship out my orders and never get to see people’s reactions — so having a video to share with my loved ones that showcases the impact of my business really meant a lot.” 

In addition to being on television, Ly has been featured in Scholastic MATH and on podcasts including Winfluence Marketing, Honest Ecommerce and Winning with Shopify. 

“澳门赌场 business has been really exciting,” she said. “It has definitely brought me a lot of really fun opportunities.” 

Running a growing business singlehandedly — from concepts to production to sales and shipping — while also attending school full time makes for a busy schedule. But Ly said she makes time to stay involved on campus as a student, too. 

Campus club leader, too 

“I came to UW Bothell with a vision that went beyond academics to encompass a holistic, enriching experience,” she said. “I really wanted to make friends and find a community on campus. 

“That was really hard for me because I have always been shy. All of my report cards in elementary school said the same thing — that I was a good student but should speak up more,” she said. “So when I came to the University, I made it a point to join clubs, go to events and introduce myself to people. It was scary at first, but the reward has been so much greater.” 

Ly joined the Women in Business club, for which she is now the senior adviser. She co-founded the Entrepreneurs of Bothell Club and the Marketing Club. As president of the former and vice president of the latter, she has developed leadership skills and a management style all the while learning how to nurture other people’s creativity. 

“I have regular, one-to-one check-ins with members to give them opportunities to voice their thoughts and work with them to ensure that all plans, expectations and responsibilities are clearly laid out,” Ly said. “I give the officers opportunities to create or pitch their own events so that they feel personally connected and proud of what they are contributing. 

“In doing so, I’ve been very proud to see an improvement in motivation and engagement from returning and new officers.” 

A person holding a shipping box.
Ly does it all — developing new slimes, growing her social media following and packaging every order.

Classwork supports business growth 

As she grew as a student leader, Ly said she became less focused on how UW Bothell could make an impact on her and instead focused on how she could make an impact at UW Bothell. 

In Women in Business, for example, she and her peers successfully planned and implemented resume and LinkedIn-building workshops. In the marketing club she helped facilitate networking mixers. And in the entrepreneurs’ club she assisted in facilitating panels with successful entrepreneurs. 

“澳门赌场 hands-on leadership experience I have gained from these clubs has equipped me with important tools for my future endeavors.” 

So have her classes, Ly said. “I have gained many valuable skills at UW Bothell — including how to build a business plan, how to manage teams and how to predict new technology and future markets,” she said. “澳门赌场se skills have already been tremendously valuable as they helped me turn Fireflyslime into a six-figure business.” 

Ly also credits academic adviser Kathryn Hagy for giving her guidance on how to manage school, work and club responsibilities. “I am eternally grateful to Kathryn for helping me juggle all my various responsibilities,” she said. “I can always count on her to help me out. I appreciate her a lot, that’s for sure.” 

I have gained many valuable skills at UW Bothell — including how to build a business plan, how to manage teams and how to predict new technology and future markets. 澳门赌场se skills have already been tremendously valuable as they helped me turn Fireflyslime into a six-figure business.

Angelina Ly, entrepreneur and senior, School of Business

Open to opportunities 

As she looks back, Ly realizes she has been able to meet the ambitious challenge she set for herself to flourish academically and socially. And as she prepares to graduate this June with bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in, she knows she will take with her strong friendships, valuable connections with faculty and staff, and new skills and insights into how to successfully run Fireflyslime. 

“My time at UW Bothell embodies a journey of self-discovery, leadership, evolution and community impact,” she said. “But as much as my experiences have shaped my trajectory, I hope that I have also left a mark on the community — embodying the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.” 

Next up is the challenge of planning her professional future. 

“I am applying to jobs while still trying to decide whether or not I want to work Fireflyslime full time,” she said. “I am open if a new opportunity comes my way, but I would also be excited to continue growing my business. I guess we will just have to wait and see.” 

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