Today we’d like to introduce you to Serena Bass.
Hi Serena. We appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
When you have family and friends who believe in you and always tell you to follow your dreams, that happens. You become a mermaid! So if you had asked 5-year-old me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I probably would have said a mermaid.
So when I was about 12-13 years old, I wanted a mermaid tail. This was not a thing that existed on the market like it does today, so my amazing Mom, Sylvia Bass, created my first mermaid tail for me. I believe it was in the middle of February or sometime in the winter, but I was so excited about this tail I went over and jumped in my Aunt & Uncle’s pool across the street to test it out. Unfortunately, I sank like a rock, and we had to rethink some things about the tail and how to make the fin work well. Eventually, we got it, and my mom has made me many beautiful tails, props, and accessories since then. We work great as a team, and she always helps me at my mermaid events along with my wonderful boyfriend, Alex. When I first started playing in my mermaid tail, I didn’t think it would be a large part of my career. I started volunteering for events that promoted important environmental issues, making appearances as a mermaid to help draw crowds at events. I was doing this in my free time and never thought it would turn into something I could profit from! It was just a great hobby.
At this time, being a mermaid was still my hobby and was not sustainable for me to make a living. I graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and started my career at a print shop. I loved this job as it allowed me to meet different and interesting clients and sometimes had networking opportunities that led to mermaid gigs. I worked in printing for about 7 years while mermaiding on the side and then moved to an ad agency where I worked part-time. This gave me a chance to start working more on my aquatic career. My boyfriend Alex and I started an adventure guide company called Squatch & Siren and began giving kayak and SUP tours all around Florida. We offer siren sighting tours where guests can encounter a mermaid in the wild, mermaid birthday parties, and custom adventures. I also began teaching mermaid swim lessons. It is very fulfilling to help turn people into a mermaid for a day and great to see them find a new passion that they love and stick to! Squatch and Siren is a very environmentally conscious company, and we always try to teach our guests a little about the environment and how they can help take care of it during their time with us. We organize trash cleanups, go to remote areas, remove trash and debris, and always strive to keep Mother Earth happy and healthy.
We like to use our social media presence to help spread the word about any important environmental issues that need addressing. As if I did not have enough to do with that, I wanted to keep using my graphic design skills and integrate them into the mermaid world. By this time, there is a whole mermaid community full of thousands of merfolk and even companies that mass produce swimmable mermaid tails for all ages. The mermaid industry was beginning to be a multi-million dollar, and I could finally combine my skills as a designer with my love for being a mermaid. Now I make logos, artwork, mermaid tops and accessories, tail designs, custom GIFs to promote their social media channels, and so much more for other mermaids and mermen in the industry. Overall, I am loving my mermaid life right now! It is incredibly rewarding to have both of my passions together and still have time to go on an adventure with my boyfriend and dog to explore new places.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been smooth?
There have been a lot of struggles along the way, as with any career path. It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I feel comfortable as a business owner, and honestly, it is still sometimes scary. The most frustrating times I have had was when I was not making enough money on the side and had to take a full-time + overtime job. This cut down the time I could dedicate to my own company and was not very productive. It drained my energy, and I had no time to put into myself and my own company.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a graphic designer, professional mermaid, and tour guide for my company, Squatch & Siren Adventures guides. I specialize in logo design and branding but also create many different forms of media daily, such as social media artwork, flyers, GIFs, videos, vehicle wraps, and more. I am proud of my illustrations of sea life/marine-themed drawings. I have created a new branch of Squatch and Siren called Florida Greetings, where I create postcards, stickers, and other Florida-themed gifts with my drawings. My drawings are inspired by the animals and plants we see while giving our tours. I am known for my love for the environment and for always helping spread the word when needed. I am extremely passionate about my hobbies and interests and take them seriously. I do my best to go above and beyond and exceed expectations as a graphic designer, mermaid, and tour guide.
What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is playing on my Granny & Grandpa’s dock, catching fish, and playing with them. They used to fill the kids swimming pool with water and fish from the Intracoastal. It would keep me entertained all day! For my entire life, I could never be kept from the water!
- Website: www.squatchandsiren.com
- Instagram: @mermaid_bass and @squatch_and_siren and @florida_greetings
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squatchandsiren
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfX3GmTLS8j3zCErWptaOCQ
John Moran Alex Tabone