May 23, 2024

Mark Lin stretches a blue slime apart. The first-year pre-business economics student is the owner of Sliimeyhoney, a slime business. On Friday, he will pitch his business to five investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” (Sofia McMaster/Daily Bruin)
Mark Lin is cooking up a sweet storm of slimes.
The first-year pre-business economics student is the creator behind the online slime business Sliimeyhoney. He said he first started making slime as a hobby when it was trending around 2018 and began his business in June 2020 as a way to share his products and the stress-relieving effect of playing with slime. On Friday, Lin will appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” to pitch Sliimeyhoney to five potential investors known as Sharks. Lin said he loves interacting with individuals from all walks of life, including the “Shark Tank” community and his followers.
“I like to be really personal with my followers,” Lin said. “That’s my entire TikTok brand. I tell stories in my TikToks and… my journey as a teen entrepreneur to maybe inspire others to do the same type of thing.”
Currently, Lin said Sliimeyhoney operates from his family home’s garage, side garage and guest bedroom, with each room serving as a space for manufacturing, storage and content creation, respectively. For content creation, Lin said he owns around ten different studio lights and multiple backgrounds to film social media videos at his table.
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Lin said his parents helped with several aspects of his business, including being his first investors and providing their legal and accounting services. Similarly, Sliimeyhoney’s part-time staff, composed of a handful of Lin’s friends, also assists with manufacturing and packaging. Lin said he asked his friends for assistance when his business started growing and ended up hiring them for the long term.
Every Saturday, Sliimeyhoney releases new slimes, totaling more than 200 designs since the website first launched, Lin said. He said his designs are inspired by food, charms he owns or his interests and popular trends, such as a collection of slimes inspired by Taylor Swift’s newest album “Midnights.” Occasionally, a few ideas come from his staff and family, such as the newly released holiday slime “Grinch’s Goo,” which Lin said in a TikTok was the product of an inside joke among his staff.
An advocate for the “Grinch’s Goo” after listening to “The Grinch” soundtrack, first-year political science student Arpi Krikorian said she worked at Sliimeyhoney for almost a year before starting classes at UCLA. Krikorian said Lin created an enjoyable environment to work in by being flexible with his staff’s schedules.
“He’s (Lin) our boss but also a friend. … He’s so lenient and kind to his workers, and it’s such a fun environment to be in, and I was really excited to be a part of it,” Krikorian said.
First-year pre-computational and systems biology student Jenna Jabourian said she also worked for Sliimeyhoney for about a year before pausing to attend UCLA. In addition to packing orders, Jabourian said she helped shape the clay mix-ins that come with certain slimes. Jabourian said Lin did not initially publicize his business at school when he launched Sliimeyhoney, but when their schoolmates saw his videos on TikTok, more people began to ask to join the staff.
As Sliimeyhoney grew, Lin began to need more workers who could take on longer hours, said first-year pre-psychobiology student Lena Jabourian. While she was working there, she said she saw Lin devote a lot of time to the business – planning employee schedules and filming content, for instance.
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After two years of selling slime, Lin said he decided to revisit his past two failed attempts at making it onto “Shark Tank” by posting a TikTok in March. Though in the past he said he never heard back, this TikTok received more than 58,100 likes and caught the attention of the “Shark Tank” team. Following a few interviews, Lin said he made it onto the show at the age of 17 and met his childhood idol Mark Cuban.
“I have watched the show for so many years, and it was such a surreal moment for me,” Lin said. “It’s great to see how supportive they are of young entrepreneurs.”
After becoming a part of the “Shark Tank” community, Lin said he has received advice from others who have pitched on the show and was able to work with e-commerce companies like Alibaba and Shopify. As his business expands, Lin said his main priority is finding a warehouse to operate from, but he is also working toward selling Sliimeyhoney in retail stores such as Walmart and Target. In the long run, Lin plans to sell his business, but for the time being, he said he loves being able to run the company and strives to keep up with the demand for his products.
“Prior to starting the business, I didn’t even know what entrepreneurship was, and I didn’t even know I wanted to be an entrepreneur or even go into business,” Lin said. “Being able to experience this, especially at such a young age where I have my whole entire life ahead of me and career, it’s been such a blessing.”
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