I have always loved mermaids like most little girls do..
However I never imagined I would actually have the opportunity to become one! Growing up I watched The Little Mermaid and I had all the mermaid accessories, but as I grew older like most; I stopped dreaming so much about mermaids and moved into the reality of life and building a career. Lucky for me something magical happened and I was able to step back into the imagination I once had and became a living version of it!
Four years ago I made a name for myself on an app called Periscope. Periscope is Twitter's livestream app and I built a following of almost 200,000 within 8 months of the app launching. Because it was a smaller and newer app at the time and I had become friends with so many of it's biggest influencers - I made a little name for myself in live broadcasting. Fast forward a year and I had done everything from launching 360 live with twitter to strapping my 360 camera to a drone. I was looking for another way I could take live streaming to a different level. My next step was to take it underwater, which is not an easy task as live streaming underwater involves running wires down to your camera from the surface to keep a signal. But with the help of a very techy friend of mine, Alex Pettitt; we were able to successfully broadcast underwater! Now I don't remember exactly where I got the notion but I decided that this underwater livestream needed an added element to make it interesting since my first broadcast would be in a pool and there are no fish to see. And with that I decided I should be a mermaid for the broadcast! I googled mermaid tails and sifted through the companies that emerged. I found a fabric tail with monofin for about $200 and went for it. It was a beautiful scale pattern with a coastal blue. I also hopped over to BestBuy and purchased my first GoPro. A Hero 4 silver with no back screen (worst idea ever).
And with a few tweaks here and there, next thing I knew I was gliding underwater in a fish like frenzy live for thousands to see. It was fun and magical and so playful, and it was one of the first times it has ever been done! After my swim for the broadcast I continued to swim in my tail on a regular basis. I was instantly hooked! The feeling of connection with water in such a natural and graceful form had me wanting more. I started to do research about mermaids and mermaid tails. I soon learned that the best tails on the market are made of dragon silicone and range from $2,000 to $10,000. That was it, my next to do on the list was to get a silicone tail and see how far I could take this mermaid thing. I started to meet others along the way who were also into mermaiding. The Treasure Coast Mermaid was my very first friend and the first mermaid I ever photographed.
I quickly came up with a name and joined some social media platforms so I could share this journey with my community. It was so quickly and so well received and after no time Vero Beach Mermaid was becoming a household name in the area. I started working parties, events and festivals while also creating tons of unique and fun content for my pages. I am a professional photographer specializing in social media content creation with my company Brandee Anthony Media, so this fit in so perfectly with what I was already doing!
I started to work with brands and other mermaids, collaborating and creating as much as I could. My platform grew very quickly with the help of a couple of viral videos I created and a whole lot of shares and support with the community! And the rest becomes history. So many amazing moments and opportunities have happened since then. I am today still working around the clock with both VBM and my media company and I am not stopping anytime soon! I now have an online shop with all kinds of mermaid goodies, a YouTube channel with over 13 million views and I am in the process of designing my dream tail as an ambassador with my favorite company. I have met the most amazing people and I can say I really do have the best community both in Vero Beach and online.
It goes to show that if you can dream it, you can achieve it. With a lot of hard work and perseverance you can create the life you want. Now what I didn't tell you about in this story was all the hardships and naysayers. I won't get into all of that but trust that I deal with them on a daily basis, and they will not stop me from being exactly who I am meant to be!
See my video for more about my story!
And be sure to follow me on all of my social media platforms if you are not already!
Until next time