Monika Naumann has three daughters who were fascinated with mermaids.
Her daughters drew mermaids and dreamed about them. They even tried to fashion tails by shoving their legs into one side of their mother's pantyhose.
So their mother stepped in to help. The Vancouver woman made them their own mermaid tails using two fins from a local dive shop that were screwed onto a polyurethane board shaped like a mermaid's tail. The "tail" was covered with a bit of padding, then wrapped in dazzling, stretchy swimsuit fabric.
Her daughters loved it, so she stared to offer the tails for sale on the website 3-Fins. They retail for about $250.
Lori Pappajohn, a swimmer who discovered Monica, and wrote about her, is now a mermaid convert with five tails of her own.
"I always take my tail with me and it just fits in the overhead bin on the airplane," she said, adding of the mermaid experience, "You are at one with the water; it's a beautiful feeling."
Naumann says people are fascinated by the tails, and has shipped them to customers in Norway, Japan and Australia.
"People were always asking where you got them, who made them? And the girls would always say, 'Oh, my mom made them,'" she said.
Naumann notes that though the mermaid tails are fun, they are not a toy. The tails are for good swimmers only and should always be used with adult supervision, and not as flotation devices.