The beautifully illustrated shop front of Mermaids and Dragons costume shop

How it started

The story of how Mermaids & Dragons started is a rather typical mompreneur story- I found a problem, I didn’t like the solution so I came up with something better. I then went on to find other people who had the same problem as me and were also looking for a better solution.

Like so many other women who went before and who will come after me, my business is based on personal experience and a desire to change something for the better.

When my two daughters were 4 & 6 years old I was putting together a dress-up box for them. My choices were pretty limited. The characters available were mostly superheroes, comic books or princesses- all very interesting but not too relatable. I could find plenty of cheap colourful costumes but nothing that would last for more than a couple of hours before it fell apart, and as for washing and drying? Forget it. Everything seemed to be made for Halloween and designed to last for about as long as a mid-term break.

As the typical story goes, I decided to make the costumes for my girls myself. I started with scrubs because I had a medical background and lord they are the most comfortable thing in the world. They appealed to my girls- they had seen me wearing them for years and, to be honest, they were still at an age where being just like mom was cool. I was (albeit briefly) a role model that they could look up to. Really it was that simple a start. I wanted better costumes and figured I’m not all that unique so maybe other people would want decent quality costumes that last, can be washed and actually represent the real role models and heroes in our community. It turns out I was right and with some hard work and a lot of support, I could actually make a business out of it.

The reactions when I sent out our first orders was everything I could have hoped for.

The attention to detail is great it is like you took a real Doctors outfit and just shrunk it downHeather M

I would not be worried about my daughter going to a party in this, no doubt it will survive the bouncy castle and can easily go in the wash afterwardsKate D

In the evening my daughter waits for her Dad to come in the door. She asks if his back is sore and insists on examining himCatherine C

As I started to get to know customers in Early Childhood settings I witnessed the deeply powerful value of dramatic-play in early childhood development. The benefits extend from literacy to social and emotional development from problem-solving and critical thinking to negotiating. Imagination is a powerful tool and learning through play is just what children do. I wanted our costumes to support that learning in a really immersive way so we worked with early years educators to develop printable packs that transform a play space into a Garda Station, a Restaurant, a Doctors Surgery or a Fire Station– creating a play space that delivers real learning in a fun and interactive way.

These packs have proven to be incredibly popular, saving time, money and effort for parents and educators alike. We will continue to develop more packs and more costumes so if you would like to keep up with developments at Mermaids and Dragons then sign up to our Newsletter.


What’s in a name?

I get asked about the name Mermaids and Dragons quite a lot.

It is inspired by my 2 little girls. One was born a Mermaid and she who would happily spend hours upside down in the water. The other little one is a fierce Dragon who chases birds away by roaring her little heart out.

They are also testers, models, critics, packers and ever-present companions on the postal runs.