Introducing Mermaid Kendall from Florida! I had the chance to sit next to this amazing Mermaid at the San Marcos Mermaid parade this year. Kendall felt like a long lost mermaid friend from the start. She has a passion for kids and ocean conservation. Recently she moved to Florida and getting to know the mermaid scene there.
Read her full interview below!
Where are you from? What do you enjoy filling your day with?
I was born and raised most of my life in Michigan and spent the last few years in various parts of Texas. Now I reside in the lovely New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
I enjoy spending time with my two boys, hanging out at the beach (obviously) and I’m looking forward to spending time volunteering and making appearances for local conservation efforts in my area starting in February. I enjoy crafting and creating my own mermaid themed everything, getting together with mermaid friends, and anything I can do outdoors in beautiful places.
Where did you learn your love for the water?
My parents always called me their “water baby” as a kid. There isn’t a time that I can remember that I wasn’t playing or wanting to be in some type of water. If I couldn’t get to a pool or lake, I was either playing in my tub, or filling up a portion of the sidewalk outside of our apartment with the hose to play in the puddles.
Why do you love Mermaids so much?
I love mermaids because they allow me to tie all of my favorite things together. My love for the water, photography, conservation, and education.
I especially love the reactions I get from children. Some have been so excited they actually cried, and knowing you are the cause of that much excitement to a little one’s life is such a precious feeling.
Mermaids are attention grabbing and magical to people of all ages, so they are an amazing platform for ocean conservation and education, especially for children. When a mermaid explains how pollution and other environmental dangers affect their home, it sticks with them much better than words on a page, or a class project.
The best part of being a mermaid is spending so much time in the water. There is nothing that calms me like spending time submerged not only in the water, but in the moment, looking up to the surface, and just listening to the sounds around me. It’s peaceful and beautiful.
Where did you get your mermaid tail?
I have been using various types of mermaid tails for about a year and a half now. My first tail was a fabric tail from FinFun. After spending about a year or so getting comfortable with swimming in a monofin and tail skin, I did some research to find the best higher level tail for my needs. I ended up going with the Mertailor Spellbound Tail, which has a super comfortable all silicone monofin. I’m so happy with my current tail, I can’t imagine getting something different, unless it’s another Spellbound. My whole overall experience with the company and their customer service was fantastic as well, so I would have to say Mertailor is my favorite for mermaid gear.
What do you think people can learn from Mermaids?
Gosh, there are so many things! The ones I can say for sure are the things I have learned myself since getting started. I have learned to be more confident in myself, and feel more empowered. My favorite thing to say to people is,
“ain’t no shame in my mermaid game!”
I definitely have friends and family that don’t “get” the whole mermaid thing, but it doesn’t bother me one bit.
I also have a new found respect and love for our planet and our oceans, and I strive to learn more about what I can do to help keep them safe and clean every day.
Mermaids have also taught me to be a more caring and accepting person. I have met so many people from all walks of life. There truly is a mermaid tail for EVERYONE. I am proud to say I have good friends of all different shapes, races, orientations, and all with different beliefs and lifestyles that love and cherish each other equally. I have truly been blessed to meet such a wonderful group of merfolk!
What is your favorite Mermaid or ocean quote?
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” – Rumi
What camps or mermaid gatherings have you been to?
I have been to a couple mermaid parties and gatherings both in Texas and Florida. There is a wonderful group in Florida that arranges regular “Mermaid Meet Ups” in some of the springs across the state, that I plan to continue attending because I had such a blast at the last one. I enjoyed spending time meeting new people, exchanging tips and tricks, and taking lots of great photos with some very talented photographers. Plus, we all like to bring food, and that’s always a bonus.
What ocean conservation efforts do you support?
I have donated funds and symbolically adopted “Fife” the orca from WDC (whales.org) while I lived in Texas. Now that I’m in Florida, I am taking a more “fins on” approach, and I’m scheduled to attend a volunteer orientation in February at the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, Florida where I will be helping with tasks associated with the rehabilitation efforts they offer at their facility. I might make a mermaid appearance or two there as well.
I also plan to help out seasonally with the local Sea Turtle Habitat Conservation Plan, as well as the Washback Watchers doing some work to help out the sea turtles, and every now and then participating in the Volusia County Manatee Watch program documenting manatee sights in the area.
What are you favorite Mermaid theme items or clothing?
All of them. I need everything mermaid. I love Mertailor’s line of leggings, I wear them under my tail to get it on and off easily, and they are super comfy for around the house and workouts. As far as other mermaid gear and home decor, I went as far as buying myself the materials and machinery to start making some of my own custom things.
One can never have too many mermaid items.
Any tips and tricks for fellow Mermaids?Ben Nye’s Final Seal setting spray is life. I’m obsessed. I get to use whatever makeup brand I want, and that stuff helps it stay put in and out of the water. I have sensitive skin, so I can’t layer on many of the heavy, waterproof products.
A good tip I received from a few mentors and mermaids friends with some insanely amazing breath holds is to take freediving courses. I’ve set a goal for myself to take at least two courses this year to progress my skills and education.
Kendall is the administrator of the Texas Mermaid Squad Facebook group which serves as a place for merfolk to meet, empower eachother, share their journeys, and give back to the community. You can expect to see showcasing of many existing charities this year, as well as participation in athletic events, fundraisers, retreats and swim meets!
If you liked getting to know Kendall from Florida, check out my Meet a Mermaid page for other interviews!
- Dan Compton
- Tim Cullen
- Paul Cardoza
- Laura’s Lens
Instagram handle is: @lauraslens2 or #lauraslens2