By Keri Blakinger
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Three water-loving women have created a new business venture dubbed “Houston Mermaids.” The company offers mermaid pool parties combined with tail rentals and swim lessons for pint-sized aspiring sea creatures.
Gleeful giggles fill the air when Mirella Aram arrives on scene, her glittery tail glinting in the sun.
“The Little Mermaid” songs are playing on a loudspeaker as the 32-year-old — who moonlights as Mermaid Ella — begins explaining the basics of mermaiding to a wiggly group of little girls all sporting their own rental tails.
Aram is one of three water-loving women behind a new business venture dubbed Houston Mermaids, which held its celebratory launch party Saturday in the Pearland pool of co-owner Esther Nduagu.
Although Nduagu is not a professional mermaid herself, she’s the spark of genius behind the new biz, which offers mermaid pool parties combined with tail rentals and swim lessons for pint-sized aspiring sea creatures.
“The idea for the business came when my daughter wanted mermaid tails and she kept bothering me about it,” the mother of four said.
So she went online to search tails for sale and discovered a whole mer-industry.
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But most of the local businesses, she said, focused on bringing in pro mermaids for entertainment; they typically didn’t include tail rentals and swim lessons for youngsters.
“I found tourist towns like Vegas and New York had that but nothing in Houston,” she said. “There was nothing I found that included tails.”
And so a business was born. Nduagu, a computer engineer by day, recruited two professional mermaids and sold them on the idea of launching a party business complete with kids’ tail rentals, mermaid make-up instruction and lifeguards on hand for safety.
“We like to provide entertainment and parties in any atmosphere,” said 24-year-old Katelynn Bauer, who’s been mermaiding for about five years. “We try to keep people happy, to give them the option to be a mermaid for a day.”
In addition to pool parties for kids, Houston Mermaids offers corporate events, bachelorette parties, charity gathering and weddings. As of now, two-hour parties start at around $400, and eventually, the enterprising mermaids are hoping to get a portable tank so they can be more versatile with their underwater appearances.
But aside from offering a festive time, the tail-wearing women hope to offer a bit of fantasy and inspiration to little girls interested in the deep.
“We want to let everyone be a mermaid,” said Aram, whose lifelong dream has been becoming a mythical sea creature.
“Ever since I saw ‘The Little Mermaid’ when I was a kid, I was like, ‘That’s what I wanna be when I grow up,'” she said. “And here I am.”