Ruby Sheldon - She/Her
Founder and Director of Slime Party UK
Ruby Sheldon is the founder/director of Slime Party UK and the Willy Wonka of sensory slime & putty. Slime Party are the only sensory putty that is sold in shops that is made in the UK. Ruby created Slime Party’s signature sensory putty, which has a butterslime texture and is extremely holdable - perfect for squishing, stretching and swirling. Gently scented, the putty provides hours of sensory stimulation. Expanding into manufacture after hosting Slime Parties across the UK, Slime Party’s sensory putty is now sold in over 60 stores in the UK and Ireland as well as their own website. They have worked with brands such as River Island, Ticketmaster, Carmex, Ladbible and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Please tell us about your career
I am the founder/director of Slime Party UK. We manufacture sensory putty for toy shops and our website. Back in 2017, two of my daughters were attempting to make slime but just created a mess. I wanted to ban it but saw how engaged and focused it made them. So I found out how to make it, hired the village hall and put on a workshop for them and their friends. A mum I knew asked if I’d do the same for their daughter’s birthday party, which I did. I couldn’t get over how you could have a group of over excited screaming kids and within minutes of starting making slime, they were quiet, focused and loving every minute of it.
After that, I set up a Facebook page and within the first month I was booked into the next year. I was travelling all over the UK hosting slime parties in houses, halls, The Berkeley and Bulgari hotel. I worked with Ladbible, River Island and other brands. Then Covid hit and everything stopped. I was going to give up my little unit that I hired, but then thought why not put together a kit and sell it online. It sold well and I kept plodding along. Then in late 2021, I came up with a compound, a sensory putty with a butterslime texture. I had it all lab tested and the day I put it for sale online, a shop asked if they could stock it. Then in May 2022, Toymaster asked if I would like to exhibit at their toyshow. We’re now in over 60 stores across the UK & Ireland and going into many more. We’ve moved to a 5500sq ft factory (the only slime/putty factory in the UK) and we’re expanding into Europe and beyond in the coming year.
When I first made slime in the village hall with my kids I never thought I’d end up as a manufacturer, but I absolutely love it and I’m proud of what I’ve built. I am excited to continue to build the brand and have it as a staple in all toy shops.
How has being Neurodivergent shaped the direction of your career?
When I was younger I had many jobs, all of which I could do and do well, but if I wasn’t focused, that was it and I’d go off it quick. If my brain doesn’t like it, then it almost refuses to process any information to do with it. My company started as a hobby with my kids and grew into what is a manufacturing company now and my brain loves it! It’s my focus, all the stress, all the success, and even more stress! I cope with it because it’s the perfect environment for me, I can get out all my creativity, whist sticking to a strict routine (I have to have a routine with everything).
Is your industry/job a good fit for an ND woman?
It’s perfect for me. I get to be creative, but stick to a strict routine. I’m very reclusive, I like to lock myself away and focus on projects, which is both a positive and a negative. I can still get to do this on occasion but as more staff are joining the team it’s getting harder to hide away. Meetings/zooms with companies across the globe is definitely out of my comfort zone, but I plan ahead, write a list of bullet points for the meeting and just go for it.
For employees we’re a good fit, we’re very open and clear about everything. So you know what you’re doing and what you need to do. We have four neurodivergent team members and they’re very happy with their positions.
What advice would you give to another Neurodivergent woman navigating their way through life?
For every fault or complaint you have each day, think of something that’s gone right, that might just be that you’ve got your jumper the right way or that you’ve remembered your EarPods, but those little pick me ups really help!