Monday, December 07, 2009

Mermaid Tails

As far as magical creatures go, mysterious, beautiful, seductive mermaids have provided authors with plenty of fantasy fiction fodder, with origins in folklore and literature. Believe it or not, the first stories of mermaids (the name comes from the old English "mere" meaning sea) appeared in Assyria ca. 1000 B.C.

With such a profound history, and romantic mythology it's not surprising that mermaids continue to fascinate. Disney's Academy Award winning The Little Mermaid, despite it's 1989 release 20-years-ago, continues to remain a fan favorite of little girls around the world.

So it doesn't come as much of a surprise when BeansTalk contributing editor Colleen Malone's tenacious daughter Katy uncovered the SO-gotta-have-itness of Mermagica's mermaid tails.

BeansTalk spoke with Mermagica's Texas-based Joe Davila about this inspired creation.

BeansTalk: Who designed the tails?

Joe Davila: Our mermaid tails were designed by my 7 and 12 year old daughters, Vanessa and Shauna. In the summer of 2008, Vanessa (our youngest) became obsessed with mermaids and kept asking my wife to make her a tail that she could actually use to swim in our pool.

B: How did you and the girls come up with the idea for the mermaid tails?
JD: YouTube. Vanessa began searching for mermaids on YouTube and found videos of other people swimming in their mermaid tails. Hannah Frasier was a huge influence on the designs that we eventually offered on Mermagica. After many design iterations we finally found the right balance between style and function. The first Super Tails we made had really big fins on the ends that weighed her down in the water. We made the fin smaller and gave it better curves for the realistic look that you see today.

B: What was the process for selecting the type of fabric?

JD: This was the hardest part. When you walk into any fabric store you can easily get lost in all the different types of materials offered. After making test tails with the thinner, cheaper materials we noticed that they weren't as durable as we needed them to be. We decided to use the more expensive, thicker materials in order to provide the best durability while still keeping the eye-catching factor we get from all our tails. We are always experimenting with different fabrics to improve the overall experience for anyone who buys our products.

B: What were the critical issues to the design?

JD: Functionality, Durability, Style, and Value - striking a balance between these factors is what we always strive for in our tails and all our products.

B: What is the difference between the two tails -- is their usability the same?

JD: The Super Tail design is more realistic and has extra skin on the ends of the monofin that really moves nicely underwater. The Basic Tail design is made around the monofin so does not have the extra skin. Both of our tail styles include the exact same swim monofin, so if someone buys a Basic Tail they can always get the Super Tail design by purchasing the Extra Tail Skin. It is really easy to remove and replace the tail skin if people want to change the design or color of their tail.

B: Where can one buy the tails -- is it only on your site?

JD: We are 100% online and have been since we opened for business in August 2008. We do not have any plans of opening any retail locations since being online allows us to keep our costs as low as possible without sacrificing our level of customer service. We also find that being online is a great way to introduce new products to our customers and very quickly learn which ones will be successful. For example, we just launched a new line of nutritional drinks we named Mermaid Drinks and have been seeing a generally positive response from our customers to those products. Mermagica is a wellness company that focuses on providing products that promote good health, fun, and youth.

B: Are they used in any water shows?

JD: We have taken a few orders from people who used our tails for special events and parties, although, the majority of our orders come from girls with shoes sizes between 1-4 who use them in pools all around the world! We have customers in 28 different countries around the world in places like Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Malaysia, and even Egypt!

This holiday season, BeansTalk loves the idea of promoting unique gift-giving -- and Mermagica's Mermaid Tails certainly qualifies. If there's a little dreamer in your house who can swim like a fish (or aspires to), this is a gift likely to illicit many appreciate "ahhhhs...."

For information: Mermagica, Inc 1310 Heather Brook Dr Allen, TX 75002 (469) 277-2357