Treasure Coast Mermaid Bridgette Earney making waves
Bridgette Earney’s dream job sounds like a childhood fantasy-come-true. She gets paid to wear a very realistic mermaid costume and attend events. “I decided to make my dream a reality,” says the 28-year-old of Sebastian.
As a side gig, a tail-clad Earney shows up to meet and greet events with kids, pirate festivals, birthday parties and the like. Additionally she makes crowns and headbands which she sells through her Etsy shop TCMermaidCrowns. Her “merwrangler,” boyfriend and photographer Brian Storey, keeps her stocked with great Instagram fodder and she announces public appearances on her Facebook page. Earney hopes to increase her mermaid role to become her main source of income.
Last Saturday she attended the Save our Lagoon and Local Waterways protest in Vero beach and this Saturday (April 9) she’s appearing at a public meet and greet in Vero Beach near Sexton Plaza from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Attendees can have photographs taken with Earney then purchase them afterwards.
Becoming a part of the growing subculture of mermaids and mermen is an expensive endeavor. Quality tails and accessories retail between $600 and $6,000. “We mermaids take what we do very seriously all while have a lot of fun with it,” says Earney.
She enjoys the social aspects of being a mermaid so much that she’s organized a mermaid retreat of sorts to take place in Weeki Wachee this August. The event will include professional make up artists, photo sessions, swimming in the springs, and stays in rental houses. Earney expects she’ll have tested out her new tail (scheduled to arrive in two-to-three months) beforehand.