Mermaid obsession of little girls becomes fascination and side-gig for two Houston entrepreneurs

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Mermaid obsession becomes fascination and side-gig for two Houston entrepreneurs. (KTRK)

It's a whole new world that's making quite a splash around the pools of Houston. It's the world of professional mermaiding.

"People always ask me 'can you swim in that' -- of course I can swim in that," said Sherry Rozas as she flipped her silicone tail around in the water of a Champions Forest pool.

Rozas uses hair conditioner to slide the custom made, 30 pound tail onto her legs.

By day, she is an accountant. However, on the weekends or any other day she gets booked for a gig to slip on her mermaid tail, she's better known as "Sherrielle."

"Mermaids are really going off, it's been a big trend," Rozas said of the popularity of all things "mer."

From cuddly blankets in the shape of a mermaid tail, designed to keep your toes toasty while watching television or reading a book, to mermaid workouts posted to YouTube using the equivalent of tail training wheels, it seems like both young and old are having a moment with the mermaid lifestyle.

Rozas and her business partner, Angela Lorio, created the company Siren Star Entertainment, turning their childhood fantasy into a business venture. Lorio is a Magnolia science teacher better known around water by her mermaid name "Zaya."

Both are paid $200 an hour per mermaid to flip around in the water at pool side festivities, ranging from kids birthdays to adult anniversary parties.

The pair have "mer-tenders" that help to strategically place them in the water and adorn them with "pirate treasure" -- lots of colorful beads.

Still, if it looks like easy work luxuriating by the pool and dipping in and out of the water, think again. Lorio says it's intense cardio that works the entire body -- especially the more impressive flaunts of the tail.

"It's called a dolphin kick. You're driving it from your shoulders and through your core," said Lorio.

Both women train about five hours every week to be able to maintain the strength and stamina for their lives as mermaids.

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