Mermaid in the Mojave – Exclusive Photos & Interview

By Lisa Lynn Morgan

When my sweet, beautiful friend let me know how much she loved mermaids, I’ll admit, I took it lightly. I mean, who doesn’t love mermaids? I’ll also admit that when she purchased a mermaid fin to wear and practice swimming in, I was a bit… well… silent. I was quietly concerned. It was not a small investment, and where in the heck was she supposed to wear them – the office? I know that I was kind during the process, but I wasn’t exactly supportive. It was a little out my perception of “realistic dreaming.” I loved the stunning professional photos she took swimming or sunbathing with her dreamy handmade headdresses, ornate bodices, and the assortment of colorful, magical fins. I don’t know anyone who looks better in them. But was her fascination going too far? Was this woman, who felt like a little sister to me, going off the deep end? Turns out she was – the deep end of the pool, that is.

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Today, Desiree Safrans, Joshua Tree resident, mother of 2-year-old Ace, and wife to local musician, James St. James, has a full-blown side hustle as a professional mermaid. And she is rocking it!

JTV had the opportunity to get an exclusive interview with Desiree aka Dolphina.

JTV: Where did your fascination with mermaids start, and how did you manage to turn a wild dream into reality?

Dolphina: I grew up watching and singing along to Disney’s The Little Mermaid and always dreamed of being Ariel. The love of Ariel and mermaids followed me into adulthood, and my dream of being a mermaid was still well and alive. I was finally able to get my “fins” on a silicone tail exactly like Ariel’s and that was the beginning of my mermaid journey. I started living my childhood dream of performing as Ariel for children’s parties, which is something that we didn’t have when I was growing up. You could only see Ariel if you went to Disneyland. You could never have her show up at your home and swim alongside you in your pool or sit with you and tell a story. It’s truly a unforgettable experience that will last a lifetime for children. After that I created my own “mersona,” Dolphina.

JTV: What have your experiences as a mermaid been here in the desert?

Dolphina: It’s been fin-tastic! Joshua Tree is such a magical place and has helped so much with the creativity to bring this dream to life. Not long ago, I did The Little Mermaid story time live for the local community FB page The Vibe Tribe. Just last week, I performed for an upscale private event in Palm Springs! I also perform out of the desert with HB Mermaids and will be making a second appearance at Babetopia Festival this August. My sea calendar is already filling up for the summer, and I couldn’t be more grateful to the community we have here in Joshua Tree and the hi-desert.

Consider the magic of booking Dolphina at your child’s next celebration, or adding her to your festival, corporate event, pool party, or call her for your own mermaid makeover.

Contact Dolphina on Facebook and Instagram @Splashmermaidco or by sea-mail

The handmade crown made by Dolphina/Desiree can be purchased at @theaquaticmoon IG and FB.

Photo Credit: @specularphotography

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