People anywhere in the world can swim like mermaids and mermen, thanks to Angela Mullens. In 2000, she performed at the annual Medieval Fair of Norman and created her first mermaid tail. Many would follow.
"I came up with a design of my own that was both functional in the water and on dry land. By late 2000, we sold our very first tail online," said Angela, whose mermaid name is Garnette.
In the years since, Angela has stitched and sold 158 tails from www.merfolktails.com to customers across the country and throughout Canada and Europe. All the tails are custom-made and the prices vary with each design, starting at $175.
"Our typical customer is usually a teenage girl who loves 'The Little Mermaid' or saw 'Aquamarine' and just really has always wanted to do this," her husband, Robert, said.
Angela said, "We like to keep the illusion alive for people, and though it is obvious to the eye that we are not real, it is not always so obvious to the imagination."
Now, more than six years after selling the first tail, Robert has high hopes for the business.
"One of the biggest things that any entrepreneur or small-business person would like is for your business to keep you occupied full-time, to be successful, to make a lot of money," he said.
However, it's not all about money.
"When you're performing, and you see that look in a kid's eye " that moment when they suspend disbelief and are able to see an actual mermaid as opposed to someone in a costume " that's our goal," Robert said.