How 'Slime Queen' Karina Garcia Dominated YouTube To Launch An Empire
Karina Garcia, 24, launched her first YouTube video only four years ago after seeing her twin sister enjoy making beauty videos. Since that first upload, she has over 10 million social media followers and has amassed a global community that's passionate about all things slime -- whether that's reading the books she's written or buying the slime kits she's created.
As a young businesswoman, Garcia has utilized social media to connect with community and build her brand, Craft City. I chatted with Karina by phone to learn about what inspires her and how her content creation has led to fulfill her dream of creating a slime empire.
What inspired you to get into slime?
My first slime video was actually going to be another DIY on my channel. When I first started, there were only a couple of slime videos on YouTube and I wanted to put my own twist to it. I started experimenting, making unique slime videos and overall having fun with it! I started incorporating different types of slime in my videos and it took off from there!
You were one of the first YouTubers in slime, how did you take advantage of that?
Honestly, I just love slime. Being 24 years old sometimes it sounds strange to people. It's such a stress reliever for me so making slime videos is easy because I genuinely enjoy what I am doing. When I first started making slime videos, there weren’t many on YouTube. Also at the time, there weren’t slime videos on Instagram. It definitely wasn’t a huge trend back then and glue used to be so cheap! I never envisioned slime to become such a huge trend - it happened so fast! It’s been so fun being able to make my crazy slime videos while still being myself.
What has been your favorite video to create thus far? And, what was the reaction to it?
Recently my favorite video that I created was where I wore long acrylic nails for 24hrs. They were about 8 inches long and it was such a challenging 24hrs that it made for a funny video. My favorite slime video is when I made a giant fluffy slime. That was definitely the first time I had made slime of that size and I was obsessed. A lot of my followers were saying things like “WOW THAT'S SO MUCH SLIME” commenting on how it looked satisfying. I have the most fun with big slime batches.
Slime is such a niche category that has exploded in recent years, why do you think that millennials and Gen Z are attracted to these YouTube videos?
Slime is very satisfying. Whether you are playing with it or watching videos, it’s just oddly satisfying! It’s one of those sensory experience that is also very therapeutic. Most people who cringe at slime, typically don’t know much aside from the fact that it’s made of glue and an activator. It’s so much more today! Slime has truly evolved and I think that’s why it’s so huge right now.
Kids don’t just like to make slime, they like to play with it and experiment making different sounds: bubble pops, crunching, sizzling, etc. There are also so many textures and scents available. There is an entire community of slimers and I think that’s also why kids are so involved. The slime community is huge and you are able to make so many friends. It’s not just about making slime now a days, it’s about sharing and being a part of the this unique community. It’s a whole world itself and I definitely see why kids are obsessed!
How do you give back to your fans daily through social media?
I try to engage with my fans daily by commenting back as much as I can whether it’s through YouTube or Instagram. I like to do fun posts asking them questions about their day, etc. to get them involved. Being able to talk to my followers daily is a great feeling - it feels as though I have such a big group of friends . They’re the best.
What are tips do you have for building your own brand?
Building a brand takes a lot of work and you have to be patient because the chances of everything running smoothly 24/7 is not likely . You’re going to have rough times and need to accept that failure may be ahead. You have to focus on your overall vision no matter what.
For me, whenever I’m feeling down, I always think about my vision. I have to remind myself that I will get there and to keep pushing and do my best. Having a team surrounding you who understands your brand 100 percent is also key. You can’t have people who are trying to mold you into something that you’re not. You also need to be very involved and stay motivated because it’ll be a huge part of your life.
What does launching Craft City mean to you?
It’s a dream come true. I always discussed this dream with friends and family years ago. It’s always been something I’ve wanted. I thought I dreamt big, but I’ve exceeded my own expectations. Having my own slime kits and slime in stores like Target and Walmart is so exciting. I never would have imagined creating a line that was truly authentic to me and being able to share with everyone!
What did you learn from that experience of expanding your brand?
Expanding my brand takes a lot of work and it also takes a village. With the team and support that I have, it just keeps me motivated to create something bigger than myself.
Who is your inspiration as a businesswoman and entrepreneur?
Jessica Alba and my mom.
The best piece of advice you’ve received and any advice you have for anyone wanting to get started with YouTube?
Best piece of advice I’ve received for anyone wanting to start their own YouTube is to just do it and have fun. It sounds cliché, but really that is what holds people back, me included. I wanted to do it for years and I never knew if I was really “ready.” I learned there really isn’t a right time. Just sit down and film and be yourself. At the end of the day you’re making these videos because you like the content you’re putting out there and that’s what matters.