Jessica was 26 when she came up with the idea of starting Merfolk UK's first event: the now annual convention. Jessica is from Brentwood Essex and currently works full time in PR for a Plant hire company called Quattro Plant Ltd.
Jessica has always loved mermaids, ever since she first saw Disney’s The Little Mermaid, she became completely captivated by all things mer related, and in 2014, a friend of hers sent her a link to a website that offered courses in how to be a mermaid (Freedive UK). At the time Jessica was attending University, and in the final year of her degree. Because of these commitments and financial restrictions, there was no way she could attend the course offered by Freedive UK who are based in Cornwall.
As soon as she graduated and began her full time job and had her first pay day, she checked the website again and found that they were now offering holiday courses where you travel to Gozo, Malta and learn to Freedive as well as learn to be a mermaid. Jessica booked the course there and then. While on the course she learned that there are actually a lot more like-minded merfolk than she had expected, people who dream of becoming a beautiful mythical being and swimming at ease under the water.
On returning from the course she purchased her own mermaid tail.
Jessica found that she had trouble finding a pool that would allow the use of mermaid tails, or even monofins in the pool. She even tried to hire a lane so that she would not interfere with any other swimmers. The fins are either plastic or rubber, and therefore do not cause damage to the pool and they also wouldn’t hurt anyone if you were to accidentally strike them with your tail, but no local pools would allow them.
So June last year she began to research meet-ups, or groups, or societies where people interested in mermaids or mermen would meet and swim together. All she could find were the large events in America. There was nothing this side of the pond. So Jessica decided that she would create an event, Merfolk UK Convention 2017. She began searching through various social media groups and started asking if people would be interested and what they would expect to see at an event like this. To her surprise she found that there is a very large mer-community out there, of men, women, old and young alike, and they took every possible opportunity to slip on their tails and be a mermaid or merman.
Considering this further, she discovered that there were a lot of people creating business out of, and are working professionally within, this world of mythology and magic, and there was no convenient way for them to reach their target audiences in any capacity. There are many small mer-communities out there without any national awareness of each other; it took Jessica 25 years of being mermaid obsessed before she knew you could buy mermaid tails, or book onto a mermaid course! Jessica decided that she did not want other people to be unaware of the opportunities out there for like-minded merfolk, and so she resolved to find a way, and a place, to bring the community together; and aid little girls who have dreamed of being a mermaid know that it is actually possible.
"It’s been really tough doing this alongside a full time job, but we really want Merfolk UK to be effective, it’s something we feel extremely passionate about, and we really hope the events continue to be successful and provide a place for mers to meet and have fun and learn just how much this incredible community can offer.
Thank you ever so much for reading, and we hope to see you one of our next events! Please leave any comments, suggestions or questions in our contact form on the home page!
- Jessica and the Merfolk Uk Team.