Local Business Heroes - Mermaiding UK

Professional mermaid, Carla, is a photographer and entrepreneur who sprinkles a little narwhal dust wherever she goes!

Carla Watkins moved to Essex to be nearer her family following a break-up, but found herself falling in love with the creative community in Colchester and now lives in Wivenhoe. Being beside water, you see, is a must for this photographer and entrepreneur, as she is also a professional mermaid! And Colchester, she says, is the perfect place for it - rivers and the coast so nearby and full of creative people who don’t bat an eyelid when they spot her in a tail! 

Carla uses her narwhal (underwater unicorns) magic to turn other people into mermaids. She runs hen parties, birthday parties and photoshoots so that both children and grown-ups can make the clamshell bras & mermaid tiaras of their dreams, indulge in her prop box and tail wardrobe and take home beautiful photos of their experiences. She also runs an online shop (and will be at the Minories Bazaar in October) so that everyone can have some mermaid goodness in their life, regardless of budget, confidence or swimming ability, and hosts bespoke swimming parties - a side of the business she is looking to expand, despite the challenge of finding tail-friendly pools!

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Carla's work revolves around imagination - so many people carry their childhood dreams around with them into adulthood, and a surprising number of those dreams are of being a mermaid! Carla aims to provide a way to experience freedom, escapism and joy, whilst fulfilling that dream. And, she stresses, you don't need to look like Ariel to be a part of it - mermaiding is all about body positivity and is definitely not restricted to any particular body type.

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So if you've always fancied sitting on a rock and luring sailors to their death... (Oh, no, that was the Sirens!) I mean, sitting on a rock, running a coral comb through your hair, then contact Carla through the directory, and indulge your fishy fantasies!

And as a Colchester Life cardholder, if you book a mermaid portrait session, or a mini mermaid session with Carla - the next minis are on 28 October, and are open to children & adults aged 6 upwards - you will receive a free 8x10 print of your favourite image, as well as the digital images included in the package.