A Floridian student has her own entertainment and educational business dressing up like a mermaid for events while wearing the tail she designed.
Savannah Staver, freshman psychology major, is also known as the mermaid Sirenia.
When she was a sophomore in high school she learned people could be employed as a professional mermaid.
“I came across a lady, who I am now friends with, who was known as the first professional mermaid,” Staver said. “Through her, I found out there is a website that is a social network for people who want to do this professionally. They helped me grow my business and find the right tail maker.”
Staver designed her tail through a special effects company specializing in the production of mermaid tails. Staver said she looked at many different companies until she found one to make her perfect tail.
“When I found the right (company), they did my measurements and color schemes to make my one-of-a-kind tail,” Staver said.
The mermaid tail is made of Dragon Skin silicon, which is a common material on movie sets for masks and additional facial features. When the silicon gets wet it lightens the weight.
“(Out of the water) my tail started off as 30 pounds, but I added extra fins and now it is about 35 pounds,” Staver said. “Luckily, in the water it is about 10 pounds.”
Sirenia is Staver’s character name when she puts on the tail and she said, depending on the event, she is asked about Sirenia’s personality.
“My personal favorite (personality) I like to do all the time is that she is the warrior,” Staver said. “It helps with my tattoos because it gives more of a tribal effect rather than the princess look.”
Dana Roberts, a client of Staver’s, said she hired Staver for a summer event and was impressed with her work.
“She was very personable, answering the unyielding questions from curious children and explaining how to keep our oceans safe and protected during the summer,” Roberts said. “She smiled and laughed with everyone, keeping in character the entire time. Parents were amazed at her beautiful tail as well as her ability not to be phased by any questions the children asked.”
Staver said the little girls get excited when they see her swim.
“I feel like they get most excited at the beach because sometimes I’ll come swimming up from out in the water,” Staver said. “I think that adds a whole new level of realism to it for them.”