Slime. The word itself can invoke an almost icky feeling in response to just hearing it said. But that isn’t the case for White Whale Slime founder Chrissy Fitzgerald. In fact, she has turned her affinity for the squishy sensory object into a thriving small business. But what makes White Whale Slime different than the rest? Fitzgerald explains it perfectly:
“White Whale Slime is an artisanal batch-made sensory product. Texture, scent, sound, and aesthetic are all considered to create a unique experience. Every flavor is designed to calm, inspire, and revitalize the senses.”
If that doesn’t have you convinced, I asked Chrissy some questions to learn more about the appeal of slime, the creative process, and how she comes up with her flavors of slime:
Image courtesy of @whitewhaleslime
AS: What is it about slime that is so ASMR satisfying?
CF: ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) is the relaxing, tingling sensation that you feel at the base of your neck. It is triggered by different sounds, and everyone has a different trigger. For some, it's light whispering, or tapping noises. Slime can cause ASMR, but there's a debate amongst ASMR purists about whether or not slime qualifies as ASMR. Many slime videos are simply satisfying! There's a big visual element.”
AS: Why do you think slime is so popular right now?
CF: “There's a huge community aspect! It's creative, abstract, and there are infinite possibilities. Everyone wants to share their videos and slimes, and support each other. There's also a low barrier to entry- it's very easy to start and for under $20, you can support one of your favorite "famous" slimers by purchasing from their shop. Then you can own their slime, share your video, connect with others... it's great.”
AS: How do you begin the slime making process?
CF: “I usually start with a concept- it could be a memory, an object, a favorite food or book... and then try to embody that in my little sensory blob. Every sense is important- fragrance, sound, texture, visuals. Maybe not taste- don't eat slime!”
AS: Was it a lot of trial and error in the beginning?
CF: “Yes. I made slime every night for about six months before I started to sell. Tested out SO many recipes, tweaking each one a tiny bit afterward. You're a mixture of a chemist, a baker, and an artist. Very fun if you're creative but also love a bit of science. I spent at least $1000 on materials- mainly fragrance oils, clays, and different add-ins like glitter and beads. That's when I realized it was more than a hobby. I was going through a hard time in my life, and it was very healing for me. Many have similar origin stories with their slime companies. It's hard to imagine myself being motivated had I not been through that dark night of the soul.”
AS: Each of your slimes is created in small batches and usually sell out quickly. What flavor has sold out the quickest?
CF: “Freshly Sharpened Pencil- a crunchy fizzy yellow slime, scented like a floral cedar. It's more of a concept slime- I think it sells out quickly because it's quirky and stands out. Carousel in Paris is visually appealing, smells like cotton candy and berries, and the texture is very fluffy. That sells really well with kids or adults that want to present a slime as a gift. It's pretty. There's a gorgeous antique carousel by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I based my slime off of that.”
Image courtesy of @whitewhaleslime
AS: This might be like picking a favorite child - but which flavor is your favorite and why?
CF: “I love Rosewater Persian Baklava (I'm half Iranian), Volcanic Beach, and Freshly Sharpened Pencil. They all have the same fizzy yet crunchy texture, and the inspiration behind all of them is very personal. I also recently introduced a slime named Escargot- it's a shimmery color-shifting slime, designed to look like a snail trail. It's scented like a Hemingway cocktail- a mixture of absinthe and champagne. That one's more tongue-in-cheek and chic- I like it very much. It's popular with adults.”
AS: We need to acknowledge the impressive names for each slime. How do you even begin to title each one once you create it? Or do you have an idea ahead of time?
CF: “Thank you! They just come to me. I guess I can credit the Divine!”
AS: What is one scent/color combination that you've discontinued that you would like to bring back?
CF: “Slime is so seasonal, so most flavors get discontinued every few months. I've retired Teacher's Pet for the summer, but that's a fun one to bring back in the fall. I love autumn slimes! Lots of apples, spices, chai teas, and cozy inspirations.”
AS: You say slime is an all-ages product "enjoyed by children and adults alike." Do you find that most of your customers are children or adults? Or is it a good mix?
CF: “The way that I've branded myself, as more of a wellness or beauty product, has attracted a ton of adults. I mainly sell to adults! The slime community is largely children, and I do have a lot of younger customers. But I also think I have more older customers than the average 'slimer'. I'm constantly meeting people who have never heard of slime but are so curious. I ship large boxes to nurses and therapists. People use it for PTSD, sensory issues, anxiety, and depression. So many people are finally starting to value their mental health. And for $12, it's an easy sell. If you don't like it, it's not a big deal.”
Each of the slimes are created in small batches and released in her online shop and announced on the White Whale Slime Instagram (@whitewhaleslime). Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for a friend, something fun to entertain the kids this summer, or a unique souvenir to commemorate this summer's visit to Annapolis- be sure to check out White Whale Slime!