no overnight sensation in business

I’ve heard this a few times before, “She got lucky!” or “How do I get your gig?” Well, work your butt off is the answer. Nope! There is no “overnight sensation” in business. It takes a lot of work, failing, looking at things from a different perspective, passion and maybe a sprinkle of luck.People often look at where a successful business is now and don’t realize how many decades of hard work it took to get there.

I did NOT just fall into this business from a rich daddy who gave me everything as some people have suggested. My dad, who is a chemist, created a slime product in the ’70s. I was reading in my journal and I sold my first “slime” at elementary school when I was 10 years old. In the fall of 1990, he told me and my siblings, “If you want to turn this into a business, go ahead.” So we did.

I was 22 years old, married with a one-year-old boy and pregnant. My brother Jeff, sister Jeri, and I came up with a name for the product my dad invented about 15 years earlier, GLOW DOUGH. Stretchy, stringy glow-in-the-dark fun. We used a container my dad had used in a previous business and had a friend draw a logo for us. We had the logo printed on sticker labels- ready to put on by hand. We opened our business on January 1, 1991. Jeri, Jeff and I met at my mom’s home each week to make slime in her kitchen (then somehow got moved to her garage?) Mom tended the kids while we worked. We split up the rest of the duties- Jeri was over accounting, Jeff the chemicals and manufacturing ideas, and somehow I was in charge of sales and customer service.

I took it from there and went to a few of the specialty toy stores and asked their buyers if they would like to buy it. One of the first toy stores I went to, Gregory’s Toys, in Salt Lake City, purchased it. The owner, Greg, took me under his wing and taught me how the toy industry worked. And we were off!

glow dough rainbow

My top priority was and still is my family. I knew Glow Dough would be part-time since I was excited to grow my family as well as my business. I always thought when my last child was in school full time (1st grade) I would be able to put 7 hours a day into it. 6 kids later, in 2008, I was gearing up for Melissa to start first grade. At last, I could build my business instead of building legos and Barbie houses with the kids. Finally, that day came- July 30th, 2008. Melissa started first grade. I will never forget that day. That is the day my husband, Jay, passed away. Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! So now I want to hear someone tell me I “got lucky!” Instead of growing the business, I was taken way down into a dark hole that I had to fight every single day to dig out – with 6 kids in tow. Luckily (yes this is where the sprinkle of luck, or maybe it’s reverse psychology, comes into play) 2008 was a terrible year for many businesses. Because of the economy, my sales were down this year – just like our spirits! Because we weren’t as busy at Glow Dough, I had more time to spend on the kids and myself. My kids introduced me to Matt, who was their friend’s dad. He was a widower and we hit it off! We married in September of ’09 and began to build our new family with 9 children. Blending it up. Just like slime- it got a little gooey at times. Having 9 kids teaches me a lot about balancing work and life. I have found out there is no real “balance”! Over the years I have continued to run my business and realize it is one thing that is always steady for me and one piece of my life that I have a tiny bit of control over.

32 years later and we are still in business, selling Glow Dough and other products. It’s been quite a ride. I have learned a lot about business and more about myself. I am connected with many business owners and when I hear their stories, running a business hasn’t always come easy for them, either. I haven’t met an “overnight sensation” yet. I’m sure life will continue to stretch me. Haha, stretchin’ that slime and my imagination all day.

1991 Glow Dough 1991

glow dough rainbow box2023