TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Mermaids and mermen at heart can find apparel meant for them at the News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo & Boat Show this weekend at Armature Works.

Mermade Florida” is owned by Gloria Haas, who travels the state selling her products full-time.

“I have eco-minded mermaid apparel featuring hand-drawn mermaids and mermen with original designs. Eco-minded meaning they are made from recycled plastic bottles,” Haas explained. “I have sun protection shirts. They have plant-based inks that are either soy or water and little to no chemicals used in the printing process. I have recycled cotton bags. All different types of recycled products.” 

She said she creates the sayings and the basis of the designs, then has a few artists draw the mermaids and mermen by hand before her graphic designers puts the final image together.

Haas started her company in 2019 and said the break of “not doing anything in 2020” actually helped her. She decided to make a website to sell her shirts and said things took off from there.

“I was a musician full-time for over 10 years and so last year I switched over from doing that full-time to doing this and I was doing both at one point, so one of my shirt designs is ‘mermaid by day, siren by night’ and that’s actually the design from my band,” she said. “Because I was singing at night and doing this during the day and it was completely insane for awhile.”

She has since started to travel and work events and markets throughout the state. She attended last year’s Outdoors Expo & Boat Show, but said she loves the new location at Armature Works.

“I love being by the water, obviously!” Haas laughed.

Haas is committed to her craft and her travels with her cats.

“I just moved in to a van full time. Fulltime, hashtag van life, to also tow my little show shop that I bring with me, Sunny the Show Shop, and travel all around the state. I go down to the Keys for the Key West Mermaid Festival,” she said.

The News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo & Boat Show lasts through the weekend. A full list of events and seminars can be found online.