Karen Robinovitz, CEO of the Sloomoo Institute, On Being Fearless
October 13, 2023
Karen Robinovitz is a media veteran who launched Digital Brand Architects (DBA) the first talent management agency for digital influencers. Largely credited for creating the social media influencer market, Karen has been listed as one of 80 Women of Power by Variety and Forbes has called her one of the best-branded women in social media. Before DBA, she created social media strategies for brands such as Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Coach, and Estée Lauder Companies. She spent a decade as an accomplished journalist, contributing to the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Marie Claire amongst others, and was on-air talent on VH-1, E!, MTV and more. She has authored three books, all of which went into over seven printings.

What inspired you to make the leap into starting the SlooMoo Institute?

Sloomoo Institute came from a very personal place. Nearly 7 years ago, I went through a period of tumultuous loss - first my husband after a difficult period in our marriage, while we were separated, and then my cousin, who was a victim of the Parkland shooting. I was in a crippling state of depression and hopelessness for a long time.

My friend, Melissa, visited me and her then 10-year-old daughter happened to have slime with her. I had to feel it. I grew up with slime in its first iteration in the 70s. I knew there was a cultural zeitgeist, billions of views on social media and a movement around DIY, handmade slime.

I sat down to play and didn’t even realize that 4 hours went by. It was the first time I experienced joy after a long spell of darkness. I was back in my 7-year-old self and immediately obsessed with it.

I started buying slime from kids all over the internet. I became what is known as an #adultslimer. I brought slime to my friend, Sara, as she was going through an equally difficult time.

We were inspired by so many things - tapping into the senses, the way it brought us and then other friends together, how her daughters responded to it (one of her daughter’s is neurodiverse - seeing her beam as she played was beautiful).

We decided we had to bring the magic of playing - a concept that is for all ages - to life. A year later, we opened our NYC space in SoHo.

The two of us are risk takers and we believe in being fearless (without being reckless) when it comes to business.

The two of us are risk takers and we believe in being fearless (without being reckless) when it comes to business.

What have you learned running your own business that has surprised you?

For me, the hardest part is the moment the team grows to a certain point and you realize you have to let go of a lot of things you once held on to so tightly, be it certain decisions, approvals. While the business strategy and growth are in the hands of my partner and me, we also know we can’t do and manage everything. It’s not easy for someone who likes to have a hand everywhere. But it’s necedsary to remove myself from certain areas.

I knew this going in as I have had other businesses. But it’s never easy!

What do you think is the future of immersive experiences?

To us, immersive is more than photo moments but true interactive, hands in (literally), and emotional, mental immersion. The future is when you embrace something more analog and have the freedom to let go of everything else in life so you can connect with friends, family, and yourself. 

What are your plans for your company as you continue to expand?

We are opening more locations - one is coming this December in Houston. We have three leases for 2024 and we are also looking at additional real estate to have at least 10-15 by 2025. We are working on licensing Sloomoo Institute abroad.

We are constantly in development to being new elements to the experience, things that tap into our concept of delivering joy through play and exploration of the senses. We are more than slime and have things in the works across other tactile experiences and ways to invite guests to let loose and engage; in our world, guests actually activating the space by playing, whether they’re kids or kids at heart.

There are new off shoots of the brand we are developing with our IP but it’s all under wraps at the moment. 

What is the role of mentorship in your career?

​​I love mentoring and supporting others. It’s really important to me because I didn’t have a mentor of my own outside of my parents who are both entrepreneurs. I do have friends with whom I can bounce things off of and get insights and advice from, which is invaluable to me.

Finding ways to provide guidance to others is part of my human mission.

Who is one woman you admire?

It’s too hard to pick just one. I always say my mother when this question comes up. She is now 77 and a mathematician. She was a computer programmer at a time when no women were doing that. She worked in an office of all men and was, by far, the smartest one in the room. She had to fight to be heard and seen as an equal. I can remember hearing her vent to my father when I was supposed to be asleep as a kid and my dad always encouraged her to keep going. 

She started her own business in her 50s and built a thriving company with hundreds of employees. She still works as hard as she did 40 years ago because she loves it. 

It was amazing to have that as a model as I grew up. 

What is one thing you cannot live without?

And slime, of course. 
Sorry, that’s two things. 


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