Surfer, singer and gypsetter human, Lauren Chu always identified as a Long Island water woman, but it wasn’t until the New Year of 2016 that she first swam as a mermaid in the crystal clear reefs of the Bahamas. She instantly knew she had found her calling and started HamptonsMermaid.com where she started selling swimmable fantasea fashion accessories like her popular Clamkini shell tops. She soon discovered her mersona when she was gifted the Burning Man playa name of “Soluna,” a mermaid who embodies the light of both sun and moon into one soul.
In October 2016, Mermaid Soluna was appointed to represent her country as Miss Mermaid USA at the Miss Mermaid International competition held in Egypt. Frolicking in the Red Sea with 26 mermaid beauty queens from around the world, Soluna shined in many of the mermaid contests. She won the award for “Most Photogenic Underwater” for her graceful performances in the coral reefs and placed 2nd Runner Up in the International Finals. As a musical mermaid, she also represented as Miss USA at Miss Supertalent of the World in South Korea, winning the award for Best Musician for her drumming performance. Hamptons Mermaid then partnered with Magictails to import tails from Germany and was featured as one of the Mermania 2017 official vendors.
Soluna is currently off to mermaid and sing with her band Dan Bailey Tribe at Envision Festival in Costa Rica. In March she will host a panel on Mermaiding 101 at I-CON, the Northeast’s Largest Non-Profit Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention. She is also hard at work on her first silicone tailmaking project, which she will debut in this summer to offer mermaid parties and performances in the Hamptons, NYC and beyond.
1. What did your first tail look like?
My first tail was a Christmas present from my mom while our family celebrated the holidays in the Bahamas! It was from The2Tails, misty blue fabric with a snake skin pattern (see photo). My sisters and brother also got tails, we were an instant mer-family!
2. What is the best part of being a mermaid?
Swimming underwater in a tail just feels so right! Underwater is where the magic happens.
3. What are some of the challenges you face?
Making my silicone tail is my biggest challenge so far. I love to create, but I travel so much and not having a consistent artist's space has been holding me back. I’ve decided that can’t let that stop me, so I now traveling around with hundreds of tiny clay scales that I sculpt whenever I can steal a moment.
4. Did you plan on making a business when you where putting a tail on for the first time?
I had worn a tail on land a few times before, but it was my first tail swim in the coral reefs of the Bahamas where the magic happened. At the time I had no idea there was a whole world of professional mermaiding. Right away I started diving into the mermaid world through Mernetwork, and at once I knew this was my calling. It was the perfect combination of all my favorite things: oceans, free diving, costume design, modeling, videography, conservation... I had to go pro!
5. What is your favorite thing to do with public groups, events or parties as a mermaid?
I love when I have the opportunity to turn someone into a mermaid or merman for the first time! Mermaiding is always more fun with friends, so I always carry 2 tails, one for me and one for the next lucky human who wants to transform. Last year at Envision Festival in Costa Rica, a merman told me that getting to swim in a tail was his favorite experience of the whole trip!
6. What is something you support as a mermaid to you have a cause or charity?
Protecting our oceans is my number one priority as a mermaid. As a Miss Mermaid Beauty Queen I am inspired and empowered to use my title for ocean activism. I’m involved with local missions to keep our NY waters clean such as Riverkeeper and the Moriches Bay Project. This summer I’m excited to host a local beach cleanup!
7. If you where throwing a party what top 3 things does your perfect Mermaid Pool Party need?
Bubbles! An Underwater Tea Party. And my swimmable headdresses & clamkinis.
8. Any tips for beginners looking at starting out as a mermaid?
Just get yourself a tail (they have never been more affordable) and mermaid as much as possible! You never know who will see you and lead you to the next big thing! I was simply mermaiding for fun at a friend’s pool, where someone recommended me to the agent that appointed me to be Miss Mermaid USA!
9. What is your favorite on land mer-accessory?
Bubbles guns and face paint.
10. Other then a Fabulous tail what is one thing no mermaid can go without?
I love luxuriously long Mermaid Hair! As long as you have Mermaid Hair you don’t need to wear anything else ;)
Georg Sebastian (1st cliffside pic, underwater pics, & Most Photogenic sash pic)
Barbara Mack (sitting on boat pic)
Alexander Feyh (all others)