Spring Lake woman starts mermaid party business

SPRING LAKE, Mich. -- Sadie Johnson is making quite a splash in the kids party business. She has started her own mermaid entertainment company called Once Upon a Tide.

"I saw some Florida mermaids and Hawaii mermaids and some in California," said Johnson, 21. "I started looking in Michigan, and I saw that nobody was doing it, so I thought I’d bring something unique to West Michigan.”

And Once Upon a Tide was born.

“I swim around with the kids, I entertain the kids," said Johnson. "We do impromptu games, and I usually bring a treasure chest with me, filled with shells that the children love to look at."

“At a very young age I actually used to tie my feet together with the belt of my bathing suit and swim in Lake Michigan like a mermaid," said Johnson.

Since starting her business, Johnson has done more than 65 mermaid parties, festivals and other events. Johnson spends an hour or two with each group. That's on top of being a college student and working another job.

She's completely booked every weekend this summer.

“I think children are very shocked to see this mythical creature in front of them," said Johnson. "It also brings them joy, and it makes them believe, and I think that it’s great to let kids be kids for one more day.

"The world is moving fast, and children are growing up fast, but if we can just have them believe a little bit longer and let them have fun and be themselves, it’s really important.”

“You read so many stories that it’s all just a fantasy and it’s all just a make believe," said Johnson. "But when you have something that’s in front of you that you can have children believe in, it really brings it to life, and it really brings their dreams to life as well."

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