Raina Mermaid is the owner of the award winning companies Halifax Mermaids and Canadian Mermaids Inc. She runs a mermaid school in Canada, and published the first study on functionality of mermaid tails. Raina has a degree in child development and a degree in education, and has published 3 books to help others learn to be mermaids. Raina just finished organizing the biggest Mermaid Convention to date: Mermania 2017!
1. What did your first tail look like?
My first tail was a stretch vinyl plasticky material that was a hot orange. It didn't have a monofin and wasn't great for swimming in but I loved it.
2. What is the best part of being a mermaid?
I love empowering people, especially kids and especially women. I like to help kids tap into their imaginations and I like to help women tap into the unique femininity surrounding mermaids to help boost confidence.
3. What are some of the challenges you face?
I live in Canada and we have less population in my entire country than in the state of California. I don't always get the same opportunities as mers around the world and I really have to constantly be innovating in order to grow. It can be exhausting sometimes, especially when coping with chronic pain/illness. but I manage.
4. Did you plan on making a business when you where putting a tail on for the first time?
No, I used a tail to help me overcome chronic illness and pain. It evolved into a business very slowly and I was very reluctant at first. Many people believed in me long before I believed in myself. I had a linear plan in mind for my "grown up job" and it didn't include being a mermaid full time. But with the support of many mentors I learned how to infuse my business with all my skills and passions to make something both financially rewarding, and in line with my values.
5. What is your favorite thing to do with public groups, events or parties as a mermaid?
I really enjoy surprising people, whether it's being the surprise at a party, or spooking people at the aquarium, the reactions are priceless. I like being in the ocean and sneaking up to passing boats.
6. What is something you support as a mermaid to you have a cause or charity?
I was a premature birth by 3 months and a very sick child. Children's Wish Foundation sent me to Disney to help as a kid. I like to give back and donate a lot to them and also do hospital visits. I also support a local wildlife rescue, many non profit children programs, and World Ocean's Day. I am getting ready to help with a fundraising campaign for a new ocean literacy program.
7. If you where throwing a party what top 3 things are need for your perfect Mermaid Pool Party?
My merwrangler. (haha) won't go anywhere without him. A spare top (had one break at a gig) and about 5 towels more than I think I need!!
8. Any tips for beginners looking at starting out as a mermaid?
Check out my free resources, my video tutorials, and my books at www.makemeamermaid.com I offer everything in detail from big things to small things, common things to unusual things, general and specific!
9. What is your favorite on land mer-accessory?
I have a necklace that my partner bought me in Switzerland 8 years ago, long before mermaids were a trend. It was hard to buy or find mermaid merchandise, even online. No one was making anything. He found a one of a kind hand crafted silver mermaid pendant and brought her back for me. She was so heavy she broke many chains so for a birthday I got a heavy duty silver chain. I love wearing her and I think it's funny my partner had to go across the world to find me a mermaid pendant, when they are so plentiful now. I am not a big jewelry person outside of what I wear for my costume. She's really the only thing I consistently wear. She's accidentally had a few trips down the bathroom sink too haha.
10. Other then a Fabulous tail what is one thing no mermaid can go without?
Honestly, a good hair care system. Chlorine will kill your hair, I know, I have lost my hair to it 3 times in my soon to my 9 year journey. Just bite the bullet and invest in some really good quality clarifying shampoo, and a really good repair mask and use it A LOT. It is very emotional to have your hair fall out or break off especially in large chunks. If I could save someone that but of trauma I would.
More info is on www.halifaxmermaids.com
She also has a mer-mazing youtube youshould subscribe. Check out last years Mermania below.