For Carey and Joe Davila, all it took was a simple wish from their daughter that served as the impetus to create a business making mermaids out of little girls.
LatinaLista — There isn't a little girl who doesn't dream, at one time or another, of being a mermaid princess complete with a flowing, sparkling tail that allows her to swim the seas of her own special undersea kingdom. And there isn't a parent who doesn't try to make their little girls' dreams come true.
That was the intention of Carey and Joe Davila of North Texas. Spending many hot Texas afternoons splashing in cool pool waters with their two daughters, the couple's youngest daughter had a special request of her parents one day.
"My youngest daughter kept asking us to make her something that would make her look like a mermaid," Joe said. "My wife and I finally decided to try to make her a tail."
Though it took about 40 different tries to achieve the perfect tail, mom Carey knew she could make her daughter's dream come true. Taught to sew by her own mother when she was 10-years-old, Carey grew up making her own Halloween costumes, play clothes and clothes for her Barbie dolls and stuffed animals.
She never lost her love of sewing and while she held down a day job as a payroll account services consultant, Carey kept her sewing skills polished by making a few dresses for her girls in her spare time.
So, when it came time to design the perfect mermaid tail, Carey knew she would have to draw upon the sewing skills she grew up with. Using a pattern for the tail itself, Carey designed the body of the tail taking into account her daughter's measurements.
But the pattern was only the beginning. Carey knew what would transform her daughter into a real mermaid was the fabric used for the tail.
"The fabric was actually the most difficult part of the assembly," Joe said. "Many of the ones we tried just weren't rugged enough to withstand even a little wear and tear. We eventually found the right fabric."
However, a mermaid tail isn't any good unless it's in the water. With the perfect mermaid tail in tow, the young family trekked to the neighborhood pool to make their daughter's wish come true. They quickly discovered that there were a lot more little girls who had the same dream.
"The first time we took my daughter to the pool with her tail, everyone was asking where she got it because they wanted one too," said Joe.
It was that defining moment when Joe and Carey knew there was magic to be made from their homemade mermaid tail. As a result of the interest the tail caused, the young couple decided to create a business. Wanting a name that encapsulated the magical world of mermaids, the couple christened their new venture Mermagica.
Begun in the summer of 2008, it wasn't long before news of the mermaid tails reached around the world, courtesy of word-of-mouth, Facebook and a website featuring a video showcasing the couple's daughters swimming in their mermaid tails.
"We have been getting orders from all over the world," said Joe. "Customers from England, Sweden, Australia, in addition to many from the U.S. have ordered our products."
Because of the growing demand, Carey and Joe employ contract seamstresses to make a range of high-quality custom-made mermaid swim tails and matching swim suits in six colors ranging from aqua to platinum to gold.
While things are hectic for the young couple who continue to juggle their day jobs, along with, filling orders for Mermagica, the two have already set their sights on expanding the business.
They plan to create products that are relevant to their customers and foresee the possibility of developing a diverse product line featuring such items as jewelry, soaps, lotion and clothing. There are also plans to partner with hotels and vacation destinations to spread the magic of Mermagica.
Though the couple is focused on growing the business, they haven't forgotten what the true benefit of Mermagica is for children.
"We're hoping the tail provides many children with the motivation to swim, have fun and be very healthy at the same time," Joe said. "Parents have even told us that they would have loved one of our tails when they were kids."
With all the success thus far of Mermagica, Joe and Carey admit to feeling awestruck about how magically success has come their way, but they know who to thank.
"Before Mermagica, we didn't believe in mermaids," Carey and Joe said laughing. "But now we do."