“Moment-of-weakness” promise turns into a successful cottage business providing swimmable mermaid tails for girls of all ages. Laine loves to play dress-up. Princess gowns, superhero costumes, big hats, long strings of fake pearls — like young girls everywhere, Laine loves the magic of pretending. For her eighth birthday, her mother, Diana, bought her a mermaid tail, opening up a new avenue for her child’s imagination. Laine’s friend Kat loved the tail so much that Diana bought her one for her birthday as well. And the girls played for hours in their mermaid dress-up, a fantasy especially well-suited to the beaches and pools of Long Island’s Hamptons, where they live. And that might have been the end of it, but for one minor tragedy. Kat left her tailat Laine’s house, and somehow Laine lost it. Putting on her “good parenting “pants, Diana told Laine that since she had lost her friend’s tail, she would have to give Kat her own beloved mermaid tail. Laine loved her friend, but was very sad about giving up her tail. “She was sobbing, and I felt so bad that in a moment of weakness I told her that I would make her a new tail,” says Diana. And she did. It was blue and shiny, with just enough stretch, and Laine loved it even more than the one she had given up. Laine wore it at home; she wore it in the pool and to the beach. After 10 moms asked Diana if she would make one for their daughters, she realized that the market for mermaid magic was larger than she had imagined.
In 2012, the Hampton Mermaid Company was born. Today, Diana’s mermaid tails are sold in children’s boutiques, surf shops and gift stores across the United States. “Hampton Mermaid tails are brilliant! What girl, big or little, hasn’t dreamed of being a mermaid?” says Susan Seitz-Kulick, owner of Gone Local East Hampton. Jennifer Ginsberg, owner of Bean2Tween in Southampton, echoes that endorsement. “A best seller! At my shop, I hang the mermaid tails outside the front door on a hook. People stop all day long and check them out. They bring customers into the store and are a best seller.” Hampton Mermaid tails are perfect for a day at the pool, for little-girl dress up or tub time. Safe for playing in the water or on land, mother-approved and child endorsed. And the lost tail that started it all? Turns out it wasn’t lost at all, only temporarily misplaced. Maybe it was just a little bit of mermaid magic nudging the Hampton Mermaid Company to life.
Hampton Mermaid tails are manufactured in the United States.