Oftentimes the key to making good money is to find a demand that needs to be filled — and professional mermaids and mermen are doing just that.
And it’s not as easy as it may sound.
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What exactly is a professional mermaid?
‘It’s really hard, which is something I don’t think people fully understand, because we want it to look so effortless,’ Rachel Smith, a professional mermaid who performs every night at an upscale Sacramento lounge entertaining guests, told Fast Company. ‘Our legs are tied together, the fish are running into us, and it’s dark. Our tails can weigh up to 35 pounds, but the saltwater makes us float, so we have another 5 to 10 pounds strapped between our legs; the movement is all from your core, so your abs are really working as you go through the tank.’
The mermaid business is booming
But despite the physical strains, the mermaid business is ‘booming,’ according to Fast Company‘s in-depth look at the unique profession that’s growing across the country. ‘Mer-community experts’ estimate there are now nearly 1,000 full-time professional mermaids and mermen in the U.S. who spend their days modeling tails, entertaining audiences like those at Dive Bar (the Sacramento lounge), and performing at children’s birthday parties.
And we are talking about making a few extra bucks here and there. Mermaids are in high demand. The going rate for a professional mermaid to attend a child’s birthday party is around $250 an hour.
The boom is due, in part, to an increasing number of companies creating costumes, toys and other products around the mermaid industry — like fish tails for kids and adults to wear when they go swimming, ‘allowing them to live out their dream of being a mermaid.’ According to Fast Company, Fin Fun, one of the industry’s largest brands, sells about 50,000 tails a month, and other companies can create custom-made tails for professionals in just a few days — for costs ranging from a few hundred bucks to up to $25,000.