Mermaids on Cape Cod: Official Mermaid Gear

I met Shari Aussant owner of Official Mermaid Gear on a windy afternoon over coffee and cookies from a bakery a short walk from her cottage. Her enthusiasm and warm smile is infectious. She immediately tells me she’s a hugger and strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet. Within a few minutes, we were friends: regularly going off topic to discuss kids, houses, and life.

I’m always impressed by people who are making a living on the Cape doing something they love, and Official Mermaid Gear (delightfully shortened to OMG) is certainly one of them. From house parties, to craft fairs, to pop up shops thanks to the mobile bus and booming online sales, Official Mermaid Gear is making a splash on the Cape and beyond.

Shari had the idea to have a mobile shop, a walk on bus where she could showcase crafts, and call it Mer-Made on Cape Cod. The idea was born in January 2013, by April she had all the social media and online presence up and running. The buzz was spreading and people wanted mermaid merchandise. By the time the bus was a reality it was packed with Official Mermaid Gear. Shari says, “When you have an idea, you have to believe in yourself. And when I get an idea, I run with it.”

She started designing clothing with her trademark mermaid symbol and says “The items really resonated with people.” The items are fun, versatile pieces from size 3-3x. Tank tops, t-shirts, jewelry, cover-ups, hats, beach pants, and blankets with a nautical bent. Some pieces have fun phrases like Boat Hair Don’t Care or Girls Just Want to Have Fins. Others represent another side of Shari I saw, charms that say Gentle Strength and Never Give Up. “I said I wanted to make clothes for everyone. They said I can’t do that, but I did. I said my customer can anybody she wants to be. When she puts on something from OMG, I want her to feel like any age she wants to be. She’s carefree. She’s wild. She’s happy. She can be at the ocean and feel like she’s home,” says Shari.

It’s clear that it works. Shari doesn’t use professional models because she doesn’t have to. Devotees send in photos of themselves wearing OMG in droves. In return for using the photo, Shari gives them a gift card to use on the site. “I have the best customers. I love meeting these women when we do parties. They’re all excited to be there. They’ve got their friends together and they’re having so much fun.”

All of the items aren’t just made in the USA, but made on Cape Cod. Shari is passionate about the community on the Cape and supporting other local businesses and artisans. “There are so many people on the Cape who are believers and doers. I’m so inspired by them. I support them. They support me. I share their posts and can’t wait to buy things from them,” says Shari.

Shari’s email says Catch Us if You Can on Instagram or Facebook. If you want to catch them in person look for events online or visit the Farmer’s Market at Cape Cod Beer.

By Rebecca Romo, Lifestyle Reporter

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