LITTLE GIRLS WITH DREAMS BECOME WOMEN WITH VISION...
Kazzie Mahina grew up on the south coast of New South Wales Australia, a wonderful environment for her to nurture her connection with the ocean and to feed her curiosity and imagination. Playful by nature, her first attempt at mermaiding was a game. She tied her legs together with an old piece of rope and transformed herself into a 'real' mermaid living under an old boat, imagining her life with the dolphins and whales that swam past her little beach. This planted a seed for Kazzie’s future direction.
In 2004 while working as a model, Mahina, and her friend Hannah were invited to swim with dolphins for a community ‘water awareness’ commercial in Byron Bay. Not content to just swim with dolphins, the girls decided to make their own dolphin/mermaid tails. This experience inspired a solo journey around the world where Mahina began to manifest a rather more ambitious mermaid dream. With just a bag on her back and her mermaid tail over her shoulder the adventure began.
On that journey Mahina learnt to free dive in Thailand acquiring the skills necessary to hold her breathe for up to five minutes under controlled conditions. Upon returning home, with the assistance of special-effects artists, Mahina started creating her own tails out of latex and silicone. Honing her craft, she soon created a design that not only looked realistic but was completely functional: ‘Mahina Mermaid’ the Professional Real Life Mermaid was born!
Having realized her initial dream of becoming a professional real life mermaid, Mahina began to think about how she might share her mermaid tails with the rest of the world. At first she created full-length mermaid tails similar to the style she herself wears as a professional. During the extensive proto-type design phase she realized that putting children or inexperienced users into full-length Mermaid tails was not a safe option. Mahina decided to modify her design and create a product that could still give the wearer the authentic feeling, excitement and experience of being a Mermaid, in the safest and most practical way possible. With safety as her number one priority Mahina designed the MerFin as a mermaid shaped monofin to allow quick release for users whilst also experiencing the beauty of the ocean.
It was a six-year journey in design, innovation and hard work, taking this Mermaid to three continents in quest of the perfect product and message to offer the world. It was part of Mahina's mission to ensure the MerFins would be as environmentally friendly as possible. Her persistence paid off when she found a factory that not only used environmentally sensitive practices and machines, but who were also happy to use recycled and natural rubber to produce the MerFin designs. In addition the products are dyed using organic pigment inks.
In 2010 the first MerFin was released onto the market to wonderful reviews. Since their debut and due to the high degree of "cool factor" the Mahina MerFins have been sought out by the likes of Urban Outfitters, Chasing Fire Flies, Swim Outlet & major retailer Nordstrom in the USA. Hamleys in Dubai. Harrods and Selfridges in the UK, just to mention a few. MerFins have become an established part of surf culture with the Roxy QuikSilver girls pro surf team taking them to Fiji on one of their photo shoots. The MerFins are loved & supported by surfing & music legends such as Jack Johnson, Joel Parkinson, Matt Hoy, Sally Fitzgibbons, & Barton Lynch. Mahina has won 2 awards for her Lil MerFins in 2016.
The Lil MerFins made it as a Finalist in the ASTRA American Best Toy Award, and won a Commended award with TOY SHOP for the UK Best Independent Toy Awards.
A message of conservation is built into Mahina’s global brand, both in the recycled materials of the MerFin product and in her MerPod Ocean Conservation Group. Mahina inspires how to promote healthy and clean oceans through plastic free campaigns and activities.
As a Professional Real Life Mermaid, Mahina is highly sought after for film, TV, advertising commercials, music videos, and commercial and environmental photographic campaigns Her career as a Mermaid has been rich and varied – from featuring in Redfoo's 'Let's Get Ridiculous' official video clip, to corporate branding with companies such as Optus on their television, national print and billboard campaigns.
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Mahina Mermaid, and her MerFin products have caught the attention of international media. Appearing in editorial features in The London Times, Elle magazine in Belgium & Quebec, Vogue UK, Tatler, Glamour Italy, The Wall Street Journal, Dolly, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Total Girl, Little Angels, News.com.au, Today Network, and Women’s Health & Fitness. Mahina Mermaid's photograph has even been sketched and featured on page one of the Wall Street Journal, recognizing Mahina as a Mermaiding Superstar.
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Mahina continues to travel, enjoying special moments visiting Tonga to swim with humpback whales, as well as swimming with wild dolphins on both the east and west coast of Australia.
Her connection to the ocean is profound; she embodies the beauty and essence of the ocean.
Calling the beach at Broken Head, Byron Bay Australia home, Kazzie Mahina lives with her husband Max (also a conservationist and ecologist in his own right), their little boy Makoa Tide and their 2 dogs Pebbles and Charlie. Together they enjoy travelling the world, spending their days at the beach, surfing, camping, as well as spending quality time with their friends and loved ones.