Visiting his grandparents in Florida, he was five years old when he first encountered the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs, he stood in front of the glass, so close he could hear and feel the bubbles as he watched a dark-haired mermaid swim by in a gold lame mermaid tail. He made his first tails from whatever materials he could lay his hands on, trash bags, masking tape, even the sheets off his bed! He pleaded with his Grandmother to sew him tail after tail, until she finally taught him how to use the sewing machine himself.
At 9 years old he began attending mermaid camps at Weeki Wachee, where he met his “mermaid mother” Barbara Wynns, with her help he was scuba certified at 13. He learned every role in the show and at 16 he was officially hired as a “Prince” he swam in the show, designed and created costumes, choreographed routines, he even scrubbed the floor!
Now 22 years old, he eats, sleeps and breathes mermaids, swimming in his tail 3 times a week in one of Florida’s natural springs. He started his business, Mertailor LLC making custom spandex and silicone tails that he sells, helping others realize their dream of becoming a mermaid. His work has appeared in ads for Target and Skittles; Lady Gaga wore one of his tails for a performance. He gives people “that magical experience of swimming in a tail. It’s a lifestyle choice.”
For more information, check out Eric’s website The Mertailor