Merbella Studios

Manufacturer: Mermaid Raven

Merbella Studios is the tailmaking enterprise of Mermaid Raven. Her tails feature molded scales, and are made of silicone.

Facebook Page
Etsy Page


1. Do not post a review until after you have received you tail, and used it at least once.
Otherwise it can not be a true review of the product. If you wish to complain about delays or poor customer service, or post a review after unboxing but before first use, please discuss that in a forum thread.

2. You must provide proof of purchase.
Due to abuse of the system, you MUST provide proof of purchase within your review. This can be a photo of you in your tail, or a photo of your tail with a piece of paper with "MerNetwork.com" written on it, placed on or near your tail so it can be clearly seen in the photo. This photo can be embedded (see instructions on how to do so below), or the photo can be linked to via url or hyperlink in the review. If you do not include this, your review will not be approved.
If you are having trouble inserting photos, please see THIS THREAD for a tutorial on how to do so.

3. Be respectful and objective.
If you have anything negative to say, please refrain from personal attacks on the tailmaker.

4. Share useful information.
Discuss the item's color, texture, weight, quality and shipping condition. You also may wish to describe the tailmaker's customer service and delivery time. Describe how it worked in the water, the process of getting it on and off, and other useful information.

5. Be truthful to the best of your ability.
Deliberately false or misleading information in reviews will not be tolerated.

Be aware that approval of reviews is at the Admin's discretion. If we have reason to believe a review is falsified, we will remove it.
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    This review is about my new silicone tail made by Raven Mermaid. I will be giving you as much info as I can, but I will also be giving some insight into silicone tails now that I have tried fabric and latex. I can make some good comparisons.

    My tail was made by Mermaid Raven. This was the first silicone tail Raven has made and it's my opinion that in her first try she's already addressed some problem areas I have seen in other silicone tails. I'll be following my own template for this review found here to try and give you the most accurate information.


    Made by: Raven
    Cost: Raven's tails start at 3k depending on your features- this is about the middle ground for silicone tails.
    Features: Pure dragonskin silicone, a competitor monofin, raised rounded scales, splash paint inspiration, and luminescent paint.
    Special features: Raven made this tail for me by casting the silicone thin. This was a special decision on our part because I have mobility issues that can make it hard to compensate for extra silicone weight. She did an excellent job of making the tail as light as possible for me. I would suspect other tails will be thicker unless requested otherwise.

    Used For: This tail is best used for professional mermaiding! It's a pricey investment but it's like night and day between a latex tail and a silicone. If you work with children they will be less likely to be allergic to silicone than latex. It's easier to sink with silicone, and it has a lot of stretch.


    This tail was created with extreme precision and attention to detail. The paint is pigmented into the silicone and will NOT scrape off. (to Raven's horror I already accidentally tested this, haha. If I ever stand up in the pool again she'll have my head!) The fluke is completely glued down and one solid piece. It does NOT fill up with water and it is light enough that I can lift it out of the water while I am in it. Other silicone tails are not like this and I've heard from customers of other tail makers that water becomes trapped or does not drain properly.

    The tail is pigmented all the way through except for the attention to detail around the waist. This was intentional for a blending effect. You can NOT see through my tail in any area other than the waist- whereas other tail makers have made tails that are see through. There is no lining for this tail. The silicone was measured well and any extra was cut down from the inside so there are no extra flaps. It does not stick to itself inside. The seams are virtually invisible- I could only find them by looking inside the tail. Without a person in the tail you can notice the ankle area for the monofin- but when the tail is actually on someone this area is filled with your body and remains one smooth line with no crease or folds.

    Raven did the exact painting style I wanted- a blend between the splash tail and my old mertailor tail (I was known for those colours)

    When silicone is cured properly there should be little to no lasting smell. This was a serious concern of mine because I have environmental illness. Off gassing makes me very sick and I prepared a room with an air purifier in case. I have read and heard online that other silicone tails smell for weeks after being made. My tail DOES NOT smell at ALL. I was happily surprised by this.

    The scales though made from a mould look like individual scales. They are flawless, no bubbles, no rips, no seams. I prefer that personally. I dont like my tails to look like they have gobs of paint or glue which is what can happen. The tail does NOT chip- I've been asked as I hear it has happened to others.

    This tail is built to last, Raven gave me a lot of info on how to care for it and make sure it lasts a long time. I went out and purchased sex toy cleaner- LOL. But there's a reason. It's made for cleaning silicone sex toys made from the same type of silicone! (oh the things you can learn from google) and it does not degrade the silicone but destroys bacteria. I'll talk a little more about care and cleaning in a later part of this review so you know what to think of.

    The fit was perfect. Raven was obsessive with the measurements. But I will warn you, silicone stretches. The tail will also look different in and out of the pool. It's meant to fit you like a glove and allow you to move. Make sure no matter who you order from you give them the most exact measurements you can for the best fit. Oh yes, silicone creates suction. It doesn't breathe like neoprene or fabric. Even the latex tails breathed a little. It doesn't. Your legs will be nice and toasty and tight haha.

    Above is a comparison between my new silicone tail and the latex tail made with Alex Plus and foam backed fabric. You can see how much bigger the monofin is in this image. I highly recommend dishing out the $$ for a competitor. It's safer for ocean swimming, and as I'll detail in the swimming section. The monofin itself Raven has worked into the tail so it's one solid piece with no water filling it. It's much more comfortable than the other monofins and it's got a powerful kick to it. As you can see Raven made it look like there is no monofin. Many people ask me if this is a foot pocket instead.

    I have taken some photos to compare between my new silicone and my old mertailor tail. Please remember that my mertailor tail had a lot of adjustments done on it to compensate for all the issues with it. Here are a few photos followed by a video if you're more interested in comparing it visually to the other.


    This tail is heavy on land. It weighs a little more than 20lbs. In the water it had the right amount of weight to help me sink a bit. It's totally different from swimming in the other tails. I think the monofin and the suction you get with silicone makes a difference. There was NO drag. I am so used to holding my waist when I swam with my old tail I kept doing it out of habit. With my mertailor tail no matter what we did to alter it right from the start it was too boyant. The fluke would fill with air, the waist would stretch creating drag, and I'd float butt first to the surface. I did NOT feel heavy or scared like I'd sink in this tail. I just felt balanced. I could get to the bottom and stay there- I have never done that in a tail! I could swim and have my fluke become parallel with my body- also something I could never do in the old tail. When you watch my video you'll see on my first try I go completley under and the tail does NOT float to the top before I do. Also, the competitor monofin is so powerful you'll move quicker than you realize. Even my turns were better. I got to the bottom so fast that I wasnt prepared. I'm a bit clumbsy in my video because my ears wouldnt regulate. Previously I could never get down fast so they never blocked, now they do

    I could still easily float on top if I held my breath. I will say, my breath hold seemed to become halfed. It takes a lot of strength to swim in the tail- not because it's heavy- but because the monofin forces you to make a perfect form or you just wont move My core is fairly weak and I am hoping this will improve it.

    The fluke really is GIANT. It can withstand ocean currents. I felt like I was a whale, haha. Sometimes I'd even whack myself in the back of the head because I didn't realize just how far it could reach. So keep that in mind! I do believe they're easier to swim in though. I have never been a great swimmer and it was sooo good.

    The tail looked professional and real no matter what I did to it. There are only a few instances in the video I took where you can tell it's a costume. It's all areas where I'm not holding my legs properly. Never again will I have to edit out bunches and wrinkles. it's so fluid and has such amazing movement. Like I said, I can also fwap the fin while in the water too.

    Here are all the clips I took

    Scaled Top

    (photo by Raven)

    Since Mermaid Cydney made me a kick ass shell top (which yes I still plan on using- Silicone is just easier in indoor pool in terms of changing) Raven opted to make me this silicone one. All I can say is awesome and my ladies look wicked in them haha. <3 It's made to match the tail, easy to clean, hang to dry, stayed on perfectly. No fear of that bad boy coming off.

    Things to Consider With Silicone

    It's worth the investment. It really is. It's easier to swim, it looks nicer, and when done properly it's going to last you a long time. if you're aiming to be a professional mer I just can't exclaim enough how much this can help. I think latex and neoprene still do have their place... but they will degrade faster and require more and different maintinence. They'll also stretch beyond repair eventually with enough use. Not bashing them at all, it's where I started, and I'll be owning a REAL latex tail soon (not alex plus on cheap foam backed fabric). I just think it's like night and day. I could not believe the difference.

    The tails are typically huge with a competitor fin. My boyfriend is just shy o 6ft. We're trying to find a good way to transport it and we found an expensive artist portfolio that should do the trick and allow me to carry it and pack other things. Saving up for it! The tail is HEAVY on land. If you have a mertender helping you out you may need two. Sean could carry me, but probably because he can lift and bench press 2-3 of me haha. I can barley lift the tail over my head and Raven made it LIGHTER for me.

    Like I mentioned earlier, I bought a spray intended for silicone sex toys after a lot of internet research haha. Many cleaners can degrade the silicone and plus they'd bother me. This had no smell, came in a giant spray bottle, wasn't obviously for sex toys (so I can carry it around without weird and terrified looks from my parents, hahah) and neutralizes bacteria. After swimming in the pool with the tail I instantly rinsed it out and off. When I got it home I put it in the bath and washed it down with the cleaner, rinsed it out, then DRIED IT OUT with a towel! The only place I coudln't get was right up inside of the monofin so I hung it up over night. Im hoping to rig up something custom for drying. For now, it worked. Next day- bone dry and silicone looks great. Im not worried at all about moulds or smells Considering it could take well over a week for my latex tail to dry- another bonus for silicone

    The tails are not easy to get on outside of the water. You must lubricate yourself with something that wont harm the neoprene. I got a natural lotion. Lube up your feet too- easier to get into the monofin.

    Final Thoughts

    Well, considering this is the first silicone tail Raven ever made and it's this awesome- I fear for other tail makers. Raven takes no prisoners! haha. She's going to be evolving like crazy. She's already solved some major issues in other tails like the fluke's filling up, the smell, and the tails chipping. She's found the perfect balance of casting the tail so it's not too heavy for me, but still high quality and not see through. She's basically deleted seams from the game, and she's the first to have luminescent tails!

    Raven is taking on one client at a time and I have to tell you, if I EVER for any reason need/want another tail I will be going with her. She took all of my concerns and thoughts and ideas and melded them perfectly with her artistic ideas without making me feel stuck with her artistic ideas My tail took longer than your tail will take if you choose to order from her. Please understand, mine was the first one- an experiment, and dragonskin wont ship if it's cold haha. I believe she's working at aprox 1 month time frame.

    Raven is passionate about tails and personally, I think she should charge more for the amount of time and love she puts into them. Another tail maker might have ignored me (oh wait- they did!) with the different needs and concerns I have. Not Raven, she was up for a challenge!

    I feel like I finally have the tail I was meant to have. While mine was inspired by Splash dont have any fear about her ability to create you something totally unique and based off your own design. Her latest tail is perfect proof of that. Please feel free to ask me any questions about my experience.

    I can't WAITfor Florida and for people to see it in person.

    On a Side Note...
    I'd like you to know my tail was given to another mer for free. I don't say this to come off preachy, I just want people to realize that when we have the power to do something like that for someone we really should. If it was not for people who did that sort of thing for me, like Raven, like the people who donated $$, I would not be where I am. My old tail went to a new loving home with a mermaid who had more artistic capabilities than I have. It is my sincere hope she can make the tail last for her until she can purchase a more realistic one. <3

    video up close with tail http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd5W0...layer_embedded
    size info

    As you can see this fin is BIG. She makes them with competitor monofins which are seriously better for swimming

    She's got the perfect balance of making the fluke stiff enough with the monofin so you can EASILY hold it up, while still being strong. I know with many of the silicone tails on the market mermaids find it really hard to lift the flukes over their head without help. Well I can do it VERY easily on land and in water too! Another bonus

    The tail is AMAZING to swim in. I am not the best mermaid swimmer on the planet but I feel like my ability to move more in the dolphin kick and stay under better is directly related to this tail. My old tail was buoyant, there was constant drag, and the fluke always filled up with air and water making it hard to get any push. This tail does none of that

    Even though it's totally solid, the fluke is still the right amount of floppy to be flexible in and out of the water

    The ONLY time I ever get wrinkles in this tail, is when I use cream to get it on. If I put it on right in the water, it sticks to my skin and doesnt move around much, very little water actually gets in the tail. But I cant always get in water first when I need to put it on so I lube up my legs with cream. While it makes it easy to get on, it also makes it much easier for the tail to slip around once it's on. Remember, there's no fabric or mesh lining in my tail, it's silicone baby! I dont have any video where I havent put it on without cream, but it seems to do much better with wrinkles if I dont have it on. Just something to consider

    many people point out the bumps where the fluke begins. I wanted to point out that this happens for 2 reasons. 1: my ankles are thin, if they were thicker they'd meet up with those bumps - so on some mermaids you wouldnt get that. Also my monofin is the bigger one which means bigger gear to put your feet into. I dont find it a problem for me at all, but some people want that area as smooth as possible. I really dont see a way to hide it unless you add side fins there which just isnt my personal taste in that area. So this works for me, if it doesn't work for you, get side fins

  2. #3
    Senior Member Pod of the Great Lakes Theta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    NYC/North Jersey
    Follow Theta On Twitter Add Theta on Facebook
    Follow Theta on Tumblr

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    I've been meaning to post a review of my tail for a while now, and I've finally got a day off, so here goes!

    I ordered my tail from Raven as soon as she posted that she would be taking another silicone tail order (February 2012, or thereabouts.) the order was for 1 dragonskin platinum cure silicone tail, now priced at $3000. Outside of the Merbellas corps tails, I think mine was the second silicone tail that she took an order for.

    Design Process:

    Raven was really awesome about being receptive to design ideas- my tail is based on my favorite dress of all time, and she took the colors of the dress and incorporated them beautifully into the tail. I gave her several reference images, including some fan-created versions of the same gown, and gave her full creative license to do what she wanted design-wise. Here are some of the original pictures I sent to her:

    She totally took those images and RAN WITH IT. Holy cow, did she ever. I gave her those pictures and what I received was a work of art that I couldn't even have imagined owning. I particularly love how she incorporated the blue of the gathered train up the back of my tail. It's probably my favorite touch. The colors are amazing- so much more than I originally planned on having. Raven hand paints every tail she does, and her sense of color is really great. The way the colors go from purple/blue to pink to gold looks like it was done with an airbrush. The paints she used are pearlescent, and the color on the tail changes when looked at from different angels, particularly in the ankle area, where there's surprise blue in with the purple! I also love how she incorporated the gold from the top of the tail into the edging of the fluke.

    Raven kept me updated with progress pictures. Here is one of the ones she sent to me:

    Tail Creation:

    The tail took a long time to finish, for a few reasons:

    - it incorporates some very pale colors over most of the body, which Raven did in many coats of paint. Each layer had to dry completely before the next layer could be added. If you're looking for a pale tail from Raven, be aware of this. It is totally worth the wait- I can wear a dark suit bottom underneath the tail, and no color shows through- but it's a long process, and you should place your order with that in mind. Lighter colors take longer!

    - the seams, while invisible on the outside of the tail, had to be resiliconed on the inside of the tail, which added a little bit of time to the creation process.

    - life events! I told Raven to take her time with my tail, as I wouldn't need it until summer. I received it the week after her wedding, which worked out great for both of us as a) she didn't have to juggle tail making and wedding planning constantly and b) I was working on my thesis, which left no time for mermaiding at all. This as an agreement between the two of us, so you don't have to worry about not getting a tail on time from her at all.


    Originally, Raven and I both thought that this tail would be finished much sooner than it was. When I ordered it, I was living in the town that my university's in, and while I had plans to move back to my parents' town at the end of the semester, I didn't think it would matter. Raven calculated the shipping for my school address and I paid the shipping when I paid for the tail. I realized that I would not be at that address when the tail was finished, and Raven was up to her butt in wedding stuff when I realized this, so I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get a hold of her and the tail would be lost in the mail. I emailed her the new address, and there wasn't any problem at all. I offered to pay for any difference in shipping price, because my new address is an hour away from the old one, but she didn't charge me anything extra for shipping, which was so awesome of her :)

    My tail arrived a few days after Raven shipped it (she provided the tracking number for me as soon as she left the shipping office, so I could follow its progress up the east coast.) Here it is on the day I ripped it out of its box with a squeal of joy:

    And here are some pictures of just the tail (I'll add a few more later, as a bunch of them are on my sister's phone and she's not here -_-)

    The Tail:


    I have only been able to swim in it twice, because I've been working 24/7 this summer, and water around here has been AWFUL (more on that below.) It's an extremely tight fit, but I ordered it to be a little snug, since I'm starting dance again and when I dance I tend to lose a few inches. I was so sick of the gapping in my mertailor tail impeding my swimming that I figured a little muffin top would be worth it.

    To get into the tail I need baby oil and another person. I oil my feet and calves before sliding them into the tail. After working my feet into the monofin, the straps get pulled on. This is much easier to do in this tail than it was in my Mertailor tail, because the silicone is far stretchier. I can get my hand into the tail without breaking my arm to get the straps on. Then I roll the tail up, oiling my legs as I go. I tend to put tails on before I get in the water, and since this tail is so tight, the oil is critical for me. Then my mertender grabs the top seams and pulls it up to my waist. The top of the tail is probably unfashionably high (up to my natural waist/belly button) but I ordered it that way because I'm so hippy that I living in constant terror of tails slipping off.

    This tail is a dream to swim in. I haven't really been able to go full throttle in it yet, because I don't have access to a pool. Of the two lakes I have access to, one I haven't been able to get to time-wise, and the other doesn't allow any kind of swimming apparatus while your'e in the water. But Theta! you say, don't you live in a region full of rivers and lakes? Well, yes. However, due to the Drought of Insanity that's been going on this summer, the rivers have been incredibly low and choked with weeds. I took my tail in the water at Sandy Pond, and the water was only two feet deep until you got almost a hundred feet out! No one can remember the pond being so low (The pond, btw, a large lake connected to Lake Ontario.)

    <----- see, it's big

    Anyway, the following photos and video were taken at Sandy Pond (where I am now some kind of sightseeing attraction! lol.)

    (This video is unedited, and not ready for general consumption yet, hence the 'hidden' status. Also, the water was only two feet deep, hence the odd close-to-the-surface swimming)

    I'm hoping to be able to have some professional photos/video shot within the next few weeks.

    So, the long and short of this is:

    Raven is an amazing tail maker and an amazing mermaid, and I can't wait to work with her again. This tail is one of my favorite things in my life, and purchasing from Raven was the best decision I made. It's an expensive investment, but so worth it. She was in touch with me every time there was a bump in the road, and explained why things were taking longer than expected (see section on pale colors, above.) Raven really puts her heart and soul into each tail she makes. She was wonderful to work with from start to finish.

    If you're looking for a high quality, one of a kind work of art silicone tail, I would recommend Raven every time!

  3. #4
    Member North Pacific Pod Oceana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Add Oceana on Facebook
    Follow Oceana on Tumblr

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Here's my review of a performance silicone tail I purchased from Mermaid Raven!

    I've had quite the hard time finding and buying a tail that fits and works, and I finally struck gold when I bought with Raven.

    It cost me about 3 grand, it's made of pure platinum silicone (dragon skin), and has a foil monofin inside. I would have got a competitor, but even the smallest competitor is too large for my feet.

    It took a bit longer than we both expected because of the extremely light colours that I chose, but I got the tail on time!

    It's actually the most beautiful prosthetic tail I've ever seen. I ordered the new scales and the new scales look almost holographic when pictures are taken at a certain angle

    It is rather heavy (34 pounds to be exact) and that takes a bit of getting used to. It's much easier to maneuver in the water, although it still feels vastly different than anything that I have ever worn (in a good way)

    There are no mold imperfections that I can see, and it swims beautifully. It is a little loose at the waist, but that is only because I am losing weight a little more rapidly than I thought.

    Raven is always quick to answer questions/concerns and I was never worried about this product.

  4. #5

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    I'm gonna use AniaR's review as a template for mine, because otherwise I WILL end up going off on a billion tangents, and that's no fun.

    Made by: Mermaid Raven of Merbellas
    Cost: My tail is her performance model, and cost $3,000
    Features: Raised molded scales, a Finis Foil monofin, Dragonskin Silicone, and a glitter topcoat.
    Used For: My tail will be used for both swimming and dry events.

    Where's the button to import photos straight into the review? D:
    My tail took a bit longer to make because of the white base coat that I had requested. The lighter the color, the more layers the tail needs to not be transparent, thus the longer the tail makes to create. My tail colors were inspired by a bracelet I had made when I was younger. It had silver beads, and then every 3 beads there would be a pink heart. Three more beads and there would be a purple heart. That bracelet is still laying around here somewhere, but that perfect mix of silver, pink, and purple has stuck with me ever since that day. The black tiger stripes were inspired by Raven's orange and white tail, and do very well to hide the seams. They were also a very nice addition to the tail because I could extend the black down the sides of the fluke to highlight the tail and give it more detail. The paint is mixed in with silicone and then airbrushed onto the tail. This means the paint will not chip or scrape off or detach from the tail at all. I don't even think it will fade or turn white from the water. The one thing I absolutely cannot get over with this tail is how stunning the purple color on the fluke is. Its mesmerizing. Its like a wonderful pearly/metallic vibrant purple color. I can't even hnnnngggg

    The fluke of the tail is completely solid. the silicone is bonded to itself and is either bonded to the monofin, or very tightly around it. Either way, the fluke will not balloon up in the water at all. The foot pockets of the competitor monofin are open toed, so if I slide my feet down into the monofin far enough and wiggle my toes, you can see it through the silicone. That's as far as the water can get. However, there are drainage slits at the bottom of the fluke, which means there must be some way for water to escape from the foot pockets. These slits aren't noticeable at all. I discovered them by accident when I first got my tail, because I pretty much sat down with a magnifying glass and went over every single inch of my tail, just admiring it. The fluke has amazing detail. The ridges running from foot to fluke tip are very deep and very precise. One thing I really wanted in a tail is symmetry, and this tail does that perfectly.

    There is glitter up at the top of the tail, from waist to hip, and then on the bottom of the fluke where the white silicone is. This glitter is very fine. It won't show up in photo shoots, but I can get it to show up if I take the camera very close on it. In person the glitter shows up really well. Its a very fantasy colored glitter, all sorts of greens and blues and pinks. It reminds me of a mother of pearl shell, or an abalone shell. I didn't want a full glitter topcoat because I thought my tail was girly enough already and I didn't want to overdo it. The glitter is also mixed in with the silicone and will not come off. These sentences are really short. I'm not good at writing. Perkins.

    There is some sort of nylon type fabric on the inside of my tail. It's like a very fine, yet strong mesh, that I'm guessing is either to reinforce the silicone, or was used to help lay the silicone sheets. Now that I think about it, it might have been used to draw the measurements onto the sheet so it could be cut to my size. I'm not sure how well marker would stick to pure silicone. Either way, I see the mesh as a plus, as it seems to add a bit of strength to the tail, and it also helps the tail grip my legs.

    Production Time:
    When I ordered my tail, I had made two payments. I made the first payment of $2,000 in the beginning of July. Raven was very understanding about the financial situation, since my parents had paid for my tail, we had to do it in installments because my dad was pulling the money from his monthly retirement checks and wanted to replenish his bank account before making the second payment. I sent Raven the last $1,000 in the end of August. After we had sorted out all the details of my design, I heard very little from Raven. Turns out, I had ordered at probably the worst time possible. She had her wedding to focus on, then there was Merpalooza, then she went to a few Renaissance Festivals, and when she finally got back home, she was moving her shop around or something. So it took a few months for her to get started on my tail. I didn't mind, I had actually mostly forgotten about my tail anyways. Then my friend brought it up one day and I was super anxious to get it. My parents worried about how long it was taking. Mostly because it was such a big financial investment and they were wary about internet scammers, thinking Raven would take the money and run. But they settled down again when I got into communication with someone else who had also ordered from her, and she had also started updating her page more often.

    Raven completely made up for the long wait. Usually her orders are COD [cash on delivery] where you have to go to the post office and retrieve your package and pay the shipping there. Well as my family and I were taking down our christmas tree, a fedex truck pulls up to our house and delivers a humongous box! Of course with my dad being the inconsiderate guy he is, he ran to the door, grabbed the box from the delivery man, carried it into the kitchen, and he f*****g opened it. =,,= I didn't even get to open my own tail. He did that with my laptop too when I started online school. I'm surprised he doesn't open my Christmas presents too. Anyways, the tail was really hard to get out, mostly because I had no idea it would weigh so much. Here's a picture of how it looked in the box. The fluke was packed with peanuts around it, and then the body of the tail was just kind of frumped over the rest of it, which made it easier to pull out. My mom and I had to both work together to pull the tail out without spraying packing peanuts everywhere. So long story short, in order to make up for my longer than usual wait, Raven gave me free shipping. It was a godsend, considering I was really stressing out about acquiring enough money to pay for shipping. It was like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders, and it made the wait so worth it. <3 <3 <3

    The Fit:
    A few days ago, I opened up a tinychat room to do a live review, and I ended up stripping down to my undies in front of four other women, and wiggling into my tail. They laughed as they watched me slather myself in Lubriderm, and then try to use my slippery lotion hands to grasp at the silicone. I must say, it was a lot easier than when I tried to slip into it without any sort of lubrication. In order to put on the tail, you have to fold the top half inside out over the bottom half, so you can reach farther into the tail and get your feet into the monofin. The monofin is a bit uncomfortable and does tend to bite at the inside of my feet, but I'm pretty sure that's due to the fact that I've never worn a monofin before, the foot pockets weren't broken in yet, and I didn't even know if I was putting the tail on right side up. So I'm going to get some neoprene booties to wear until I learn how to hold my feet properly in the foot pockets of the monofin. I don't want to get blisters. So anyways, here I am, trying to slither my way into a silicone tail, while four ladies are laughing their butts off at me, and I decide I needed help. I grabbed my cell phone and called my mom downstairs to come up and help me wiggle the rest of the way into this thing. Now these four ladies are laughing their butts off as my mom sits there, trying to yank the tail up my legs, while I hold onto her because I'm going to tip over. It was quite a comical experience. Hopefully I have better luck putting it on next time. Practice makes perfect :)

    We managed to get the tail on to a comfortable and mostly fitting level. my hips and calves were where they needed to be, the back of the tail came up high enough, even when I bent over, and everything felt like it was where it should be. Almost. There was a huge wrinkle at my ankles that could only be taken out if I had straightened out my feet and then pulled, but ain't nobody got leverage for that. I fell backwards onto my bed and tried flopping the fluke around. Holy man, is that thing heavy. I had to move it really slowly to keep it from hitting me in the head and knocking me out. :P There is no way I'm going to be able to lift that thing out of the water to splash around. So the giggles died down, my mom went back downstairs, and I decided enough flopping around. I stood up, and that's when I noticed that the hips and calves weren't quite very tight against my legs. I'm not sure how to describe it other than if someone had ironed the tail flat and then made it stiff so that even when I pushed the loose parts in, they just stuck out. But that's no big deal, I highly doubt anyone will notice. I have some belts I can wear to hide any flaws. It could have been because of me giving Raven inaccurate measurements, I had to have my mom help me take them and we were coming up with different numbers every time.

    Along with the tail, Raven sent an abalone shell belt, and a mermaid necklace. I absolutely love them both. I'm honestly a little nervous about the shell belt though. Raven went and picked up real shells, and every time I move the belt around, the shells clink together and I'm so scared they might break! I'm reserving that belt for special occasions and photo shoots. It's too pretty to use around kids. I always wear the necklace. It's really light and its a gorgeous color of purple that matches my tail perfectly. I think I might put it on a chain instead of a cord though, because it is a bit light for the cord.

    Pros vs Cons:
    -the tail is extremely realistic
    -neutrally buoyant in water
    -made specifically to my measurements
    -beautiful glitter topcoat
    -raised scales instead of pressed scales
    -nylon fabric inside for extra grip
    -custom paint job
    -free shipping
    -two free accessories
    -dat purple color

    -seams are a bit gunky
    -bubbled silicone up by the waist
    -calves and hips could fit a wee bit better [or I could just pack on a few pounds]

    There's not any major cons that even come close to being anything worth worrying over. They're all very miniscule flaws that will easily go unnoticed. I did make a video review that I have to post to youtube, but you can find it by clicking the link in my signatrue, because I should have it up by the time anyone finishes reading this review.


    Last edited by Ayla of Duluth; 01-10-2013 at 12:50 AM. Reason: Formatting/Finis Foil

  5. #6

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Raven is an absolute genius, and knows exactly what she's doing.

    At the time, there were basically no reviews or other people with basic tails from her, so it was pretty much a shot in the dark. But I was willing to risk everything. I placed my order with her on December 6th, and I got an email reply right away. Less than 24 hours! Through it all, we kept pretty frequent communication. At the time, she wasn't taking orders, but she let mine slide. <3

    I gave her my design and paid a few days after that. I didn't hear much after giving her my measurements. She was busy with her renaissance fair, but whenever I had a question she would answer my email in a day or two's time. She's an absolute sweetheart. Though I will admit that the lack of communication made me wanna pull out my hair! Haha. She was a bit late on my due date, but that's expected. Considering she had gigs and was sick for a while. It didn't bother me, but my parents, who paid a good portion of the cost, were getting antsy.

    So I asked her for a picture, and in less than a day she updates me with this image.

    Now I'll be honest. I was a bit worried since I had ordered a more blended, teal tail. But Raven assured me that it was just a trick of the light. After that, I didn't hear from her for about a week... then all of a sudden she tells me my tail had been shipped, and it was due to arrive the day after! I screamed, I cried, I danced on my bed... and I also called my friends to let them know they HAD to be there for my "Tail opening party!"

    When I opened my tail... Oh my god. I cried! It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. The colors were so well blended... It was just so gorgeous, and shimmery. It was absolutely perfect. I fell in love with it. The seams were invisible, the fluke was nice and thick. Everything was just.. breath taking. My tail is my baby! It's even perfect and neutral in the water as well! I loved it so much, that I'm saving for another one of her tails already. Haha!

    I'll be honest, Raven is DEFINITELY underselling her basic tails. They're worth MORE than what she's asking for!

    PROS: Everything! It's gorgeous and fishy and realistic.
    Cons: I'm to weak to carry it, and I need a stand for it to dry!

    PICTURES!!! <3



  6. #7
    Senior Member Euro Pod
    Undisclosed Pod
    Ariel Starfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Add Ariel Starfish on Facebook
    Visit Ariel Starfish's Youtube Channel

    4 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Tail model - basic tail with competitor monofin ($ 1200,- )


    Ordering process:

    I ordered my tail at the end of january 2013 and got in line for the beginninf of february. When I got hold of Raven she was very polite and professional. I had my mesurments, tail design (with color sheets and pictures for reference) and funds ready so it went all really quick. I paid her 3 dayís after I contacted her.

    The first two months passed by and I was getting curious if there was any progress of my tail so I contacted Raven. After a few tries; still nothing.

    I Kept trying and got hold on her a month later. She told me she hasenít recieved any of my emails? But what the heck : I got a responce so I was happy! :D

    She told me she was going to paint the tail soon.

    A while later I got a first sneak-peak picture from the seam side.

    I was in love with the colors and blending of it!

    But I was concerned seeing a cracked edge on the on the seam side , on top of the waist line.

    I contacted Raven asap and she told me this could happend. Also: hiding seams was much harder on basic tails she said.

    I was a bit upsed when reading this (after seeing other peopleís tails go out seamless) and I told her if she could re-do the seams. (Yes, I had the currage to ask her. Iím a little perfectionist and This was my first realistic tail for alot of money so I wanted it to be perfect.

    (I know: I AM A TERRIBLE CUSTOMER >_< )

    Raven was a bit upsaid but she was still professional and told me this was going to be alot of work re-doing the howle tail and I would get at the end of the line.

    I thought about it and exepted the challange and thanked her grathefull!
    It was the beginning of May back then.

    In mid July I got told Raven was still working on the last bit of my seams and touched up of the paint on my fluke.
    when I saw the picture of my fluke I was almost hyperventilating! xD I could not believe this was going to be my tail! <3

    At the end of July my tail was being shipped! I got it on July 31st;


    Sorry for not freaking out when opened the package! I was pretty nervous and I was actually pretty speachless (literally!!) when I saw my tail in real life for the first time! <3


    Pictures from unboxing:

    Pictures of me swimming:


    PROíS :
    customer service:

    Raven gives the customer exacly what he/she wants!! Even If u are a terrible customer, like me *ashamed*


    Perfect tail fit
    vibrant colors
    competitor monofin (not standard) makes you go superfast!

    customer service:

    Hard to keep contact (the emails u send get lost quickly)


    the momofin elastic straps are a pain to stretch over your heels, but when on, the foot pockets feel like a second skin! (so thatís a PRO to ^^ )

    Overal rating: 4/5 stars for Merbella Studios!! <3
    Last edited by Ariel Starfish; 09-15-2013 at 12:25 PM.

  7. #8

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Myreview is a little different I suppose because I didn't design it.

    1. My newest tail 'Arellia' is from Merbellas. It was her first hybrid tail, she said performance scales with a basic fluke. It was $2,000, so smack dab between her current basic for $1,000 and performance for $3,000. It is made of dragonskin silicone, and a competitor monofin, although I think it might be cut short but I don't know as I've never seen a real one in person, also there is a black lining inside my tail that is like mesh, it doesn't detract from the stretchiness, but it helps me to not be terrified of piercing through my tail on accident. She had made this tail as a tester, and then it wouldn't fit any of her mermaids so she posted it for sale, when I asked for the measurements she replied quickly, and my knees and waist were both an inch larger than the tails measurements but she said that the tail would stretch 2-4 inches so I would be okay. I bought it, and then she shipped it a month-ish later as I was leaving for the mainland for a month and wouldn't be home to grab the box.
    2. What I use it for: I bought the tail as I had a Fish Butt Partial Silicone, however after much use the tail was looking a little worn and I wanted to have another tail that I could switch out with, and also I've always dreamed of having a merbellas tail. I do mostly children's parties, and they are about half in the water and half out of the water. The monofin is much more rigid than my oceanika in my other tail, and so I have to be extra careful when swimming with children, because a fin tap is a little bit stronger with the merbella tail. The other reason I bought it was because it looks way more realistic, the painting job is so exquisite and beautiful and the fluke is closed down (yay no more holes), and is tight around my hips down making me look much more realistic and it's just remarkable. I also wanted this tail with a stronger monofin to use in the ocean due to currents and when I swam in the ocean the propulsion I get allows me to swim without fear of getting caught in the tides.
    3. The Craftsmanship: The tail itself is beautiful, the paint on the front is subtle and striking and the back is just a rainbow of color just like a real fish. The way she blends colors is seamless and I love it. The silicone job itself is good, there are some odd patches of overlay where the scales look a little gunky, but this is mostly on the back to hide seams and it's not that noticable, and most kids just believe its how scars heal on tails. The fluke looks like she took a fine tooth comb through the silicone and there are all these little raised lines on the tail that feel like the edges of pages in a book. The scales are the basic scale look, but there is no neoprene, just a mesh black backing. It came in a fedex box with no wrapping around it, and a sheet of how to take care of it. There was no smell or anything, just a lot of glitter reflecting off of the tail in the light. Draining the tail is hard, as it fits so well that the water that is in the tail when I flip up drains slowly. There are mini puncture holes in the fluke for water to flow out of, which work effectively. The Competitor is odd to use at first (I'm used to an oceanika in my fish butt, and a rapid to practice with). I could barely walk after due to the pressure it put on the tops of my feet of how I swim, now that my muscles are used to it (I've swam three times so far in the tail), it doesn't hurt, which is quite a relief after my past with fins and feet). She did a new thing where she put thing of neoprene where my heel and tops of my feet hit in my tail, this way when I swim and when people poke at my legs it doesn't seem as though my heels are as evident. I don't know how this effects my swimming, although I feel that it pulls in the inside of the tail a little bit. However the padding is nice to smooth out that transition that is otherwise quite evident in tails. The neoprene on the inside by the heels took two days to dry, using a peet wader dryer, without that, I'm not sure if it would have dried in a short amount of time as the first time I tried drying it with a small fan it took 2 days and it still wasn't dry.
    4. The ordering process. She posted the tail on facebook, and then I messaged her on facebook with my information and questions, and bought the tail the day she posted it through paypal. I gave her my address and after she sent it she sent me a tracking number. It didn't seem difficult, however three weeks prior to that I had tried to order a basic tail and received no communication back whatsoever. She wasn't taking orders at the time, so perhaps she saves emails that are ready to order, but I didn't know what the wait time would even be, so when the chance to order a tail and skip the wait time of 4-6 months I hopped on that train faster than a bandit.
    5. Communication. I honestly had a very simple experience, she communicated well with me, and sent me screenshots of the tail when I asked, (well a week later, but it was because the weather was bad). Overall, she kept me informed, and was nice to talk with, and I'm a little relieved I didn't design the tail, because I don't think I could have come up with as cool of a paint scheme as she created. I was impressed, and glad I was able to contact her with questions. The only thing was I didn't know I had to pay for shipping until she said the day before she shipped it that it would be $136, as we scraped together 2,000, I was little like, Okay hold on! But we figured it out.
    6. The pros and cons. Pros: Fits well, BEAUTIFUL paint job, closed fluke, awesome sculpting, pre-made so it shipped to me in a month (would have been less than had I been home), responsive in communication, very realistic (for a mermaid) swims well in the ocean, new padding in bottom by heels to hide my feet! Cons: Some scale smudges, a little tear in the silicone in two places on the tail, which might be my fault because I'm a little bigger than the tail, and might just be thin silicone patch, I'm a little bigger by the waist and so sometimes the tail rolls down the front, also the competitor monofin rubs the tops of my big toe and first knuckle under the big toe on both feet raw, so I have blisters from them, but it'll eventually callous, so I won't have to worry about that in a month or so, I need a second person to help me put on my tail as I have to be 'stuffed in' at the end, and it's really hard to do with just me, not completely made to my measurements, when I swim the back ends up getting pulled down from the extra padding in the back so my swim bottoms can peek out if I'm not careful.
    7. Adaptations. I wear a zumba belt around my waist so that the roll down when it does happen isn't noticable, and I wear socks with the tail. I use water and water based lube to put on my tail, which made it easier, putting it on without that is impossible and would hurt.:
    8. Conclusion: I had a great experience, I didn't have to wait because it was premade, Raven was lovely to talk to, and I love my new tail. I would recommend that she start padding all of her tails because I love that. The paint job is fantastic, the tail itself is really well made and the quality is evident, it feels amazing to swim in and becomes a part of me and the fluke is so easy to lift out of the water and to splash, which is tons of fun, I like this tail because I know that it's going to hold up for the long run, I don't have to worry about kids poking holes, or any craziness, although the fiberglass monofin makes me nervous when kids accidentally step on it.
    9. **Go to http://www.facebook.com/mermaidharmony for pictures of the tail, it's also the galaxy tail that was talked about in the merbellas thread a while back.

  8. #9
    Senior Member Euro Pod Talia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Madrid, Spain

    Visit Talia's Youtube Channel

    3 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Bought from: Merbella Studios through Etsy.com
    Article: Seaweed top with netting and pearls
    Cost: $225 plus shipping ($62.50). Total= $287.50
    Rating for the article: 3 stars
    Rating for the service: 1 star

    I bought this top to use for recreational purposes along with a Magictail whose matching bra did not fit me.

    Since I bought the top on Etsy (of which I am a regular user), the purchase was easy. I had to contact Raven so she could fix a shipping price to my location, because I live in Europe, and only shipping to the US was set. I specified my preferences (bra size, color, pearl detailing and black netting) at the time of purchase.

    The wait:
    When I purchased the top (August 23rd), the listing specified 3 weeks of waiting time before shipping. Knowing that Raven takes her time to deliver, I knew it was going to be more than 3 weeks, but I assumed it would not be more than 2 months. I assumed this because waiting time for tails is usually around 120 days (which is 4 months), but I thought a top would take less than that.
    I did not send any emails, as I also know that Raven does not pay much attention to them. While waiting, I learned to look for news about her work in her Facebook page and the forums of Mernetwork. This is how I learned, for example, that she gave more priority to tails than any other thing, and this upsetted me. I would not expect that she drop everything to make my top, but I thought that the way it worked was first come, first served, not the amount of money spent on an order. About a month later, I learned that she was waiting for a late shipment of bras (she did not have my size in stock), so that meant that my top was not even started. Later on she posted on Facebook (October 9th) that her email account had been hacked, and she had lost all her customers emails. She asked that all current customers send her emails with their info and a summary of their orders. She did not need my sending again my info - all she had to do was log in on Etsy and everything was there - but I did anyway. Two times, before I got a response on October 19. Was told they were working of tops for the next two weeks and mine would be ready very soon.

    I kept on wating. No news on any of her current orders, nor I got mails of any kind. I waited until November 20 before writing again. On November 25 got a response saying the top would ship that week, and would be notified when it did. I took the mail at heart, and I hoped I would get a shipping notification by the end of the week. It did not happen. I thought maybe she posted the box, but forgot to write. Two weeks later, since the package did not show up, I wrote again (December 5) and got no response.

    On December 10 I wrote again, and Raven answered back, saying the top had shipped the week before. I got the top some days later.

    The shipping:
    Shipping was on December 5, and the package arrived on destination on December 12. The bra came in a shoe-sized box, with air padding under the bra cups and a bit of green paper covering the silicone. The shipping price on the label read $24,15. Since I paid $62,50, there was an overcharge of $38,50 that was unaccounted for - certainly the box did not cost that amount. When I opened the box I found a hair clip had been included.

    The top itself:
    The first thing that struck me after taking it out of the box is that the netting color was crude, when I had requested it in black. How could she had had it wrong after 3 times of me specifying my preferences is beyond my understanding. After a careful inspection, I took notice of some details; the pearls in the listing picture were more abundant, not so in my case (I have 18 pearls exactly); also, some of them had a hole showing. The silicone had not been carefully trimmed in some areas - some of the tips looked like they have a sloppy finishing. Also, when comparing it with the listing picture, the paint in my bra is bright green, not dark green, and the gold/brown tips are barely visible.

    At this point I am thinking maybe I got someone else's top, and she got mine.

    Overall impressions: I am disappointed. What I saw on that listing, and what I requested at the time of ordering was not what I got. I had seen endless of positive reviews on her work, but after this purchase I would not trust her to make me a tail that would cost thousands of dollars. Maybe the problem is that I did not spend that amount , but a "mere" $225.

    My personal feelings: I have been anxious, and felt ignored throught the whole process. There was no communication on her part that did not begin with me asking for news; no info on the delayed order of bras, no explanation on why my bra has crude netting, not a line saying my order had shipped, not even a sheet explaining how to take care of my bra. I have also felt that I was mislead when I did not get an estimated time for delivery, after the 3 initial weeks had passed. It is not a question of having to wait. It is a question that if I have to wait 4 months, I would have rather known that before hand. I feel my order was not "good enough" or "important enough" to have her full attention. Other tail makers have been largely critized precisely for that, and I never thought I would feel the same way about Raven.

    Am I happy with my top? - Not really, but it looks good, and it fits me. At this point, I have to be content with that.
    Would I recommend her as a seller? - I don't think so. Certainly not to a nervous and/or anxious person. The thing that I am more upset about is the lack of communication. I believe lack of time is not an excuse, specially when you have the time to post pictures and videos on Facebook. Communication with customers is essential when doing business online. I have worked with other artists that make custom orders, and they were fast and precise about communications, answered questions or concerns within 24 hours, communicated with me when or if there was an issue with my order, and ALWAYS delivered on time.

    This is my second business with Raven, and the second that has gone badly. There won't be a third.

    I still have not been able to try it in water, but when I do, I will do an update on that.

    ETA: since I cannot post pics, you can see pictures on my blog.
    Last edited by Talia; 01-13-2014 at 02:09 PM.

  9. #10
    Senior Member Pod of the Great Lakes Arella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    South Eastern Michigan
    Follow Arella On Twitter Add Arella on Facebook

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    I am also going to use Raina’s post as a template : )
    Made by: Merbella Studios
    Cost: My tail is the basic tail with a competitor mono fin, and cost $1,200 ($1000 for the tail and $200 for the monofin)
    Features: Raised molded scales, a competitor monofin, Dragonskin Silicone, and scalloped waistband.
    Used For: My tail will be used for both swimming, dry events, and recreation.

    My tail is very well made! It’s very sturdy and is just what I asked for. I chose royal blue as the main color because that is sort of my signature color, originally I wanted the blue with a whiteish-silvery color but Raven suggested gold so we went with that and I am so happy we did because it looks so much better with the gold then the other color would have. The gold really makes the blue POP! I asked Raven to paint rays on to the fluke, which she did, and I love them because I think they make the fluke look more realistic and give it more dimension. Just for fun I asked her to do speckles where she thought they would look good. So my tail has gold speckles down the sides and on the fluke, I think they’re fun J. There are some imperfections in the scales (teeny little bubbles or bumps of whatever) but they’re so small I really don’t care about them. That’s also to be expected in any silicone tail. They’re hard to see unless you’re looking for them of examining the tail really closely. The colors blend together really nicely (and I’m picky about harsh color lines). The tail feels soft and rubbery; I’d compare it to a stingray’s skin but a bit grippier. I’m pretty sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the fluke, I can’t see them at all I just know this because I was rinsing my tail and I could see the water escaping through them. I love the tips of the fluke, they’re floppy even though I got a stiff monofin. It adds a nice flow to the tail. The seams are very well hidden, you have to know they’re there and know what they look like to spot them.

    Production Time:
    My tail took about 120 days to produce once I sent in my measurements. I paid for the tail then waited a couple months to actually send in my measurements and Raven was really nice about it : ) but once I sent them in production time was normal.

    The Fit:
    The tail fits well it’s comfy and snug. It was originally a little short but Raven fixed that so now it fits perfectly! : )

    Raven sent me this really cute clip with white-silver seashells and seaweed to go with my tail; it’s so cute I love it! I also ordered a seashell top which it great too!

    Pros vs Cons:
    -Neutrally Buoyant
    -Raised scales instead of pressed scales
    -Beautiful custom paint job
    -Free hair clip
    -Possible monofin upgrade
    -Beautiful product
    -Hidden seams

    -For the product none, I love it : )

    5/5 Stars : ) I would 100% recommend Raven as a tail maker and artist she was absolutely wonderful to work with! I love my tail and it’s everything I wanted and more!

  10. #11
    Senior Member Pod of the Great Lakes Arella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    South Eastern Michigan
    Follow Arella On Twitter Add Arella on Facebook

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    So this is a review for the Merbella Studios "Merbella for a Day" experience. It was amazing I loved it so much!!! For those of you who don't know the Merbella for day is basically a photoshoot when Raven transforms you into a mermaid with her tails an accessories : ) I had my own tail that she made for mer last summer so I used that during the shoot because I love my tail with all my heart <3 but if you don't have one you she has tails for you to use! She had tops and all sorts of accessories to use during the shoot and it was so much fun trying on all the stuff and feeling extra mermaidy. I used a top she brought for some pictures and then a top that she made me to match my tail for the other. Basically it worked like this; I arrived to the site with my Mom who was traveling with me and we met up with Raven and Tyler. Then we went onto the beach and I got my tail on and accessories then we went right into shooting. Shooting with Raven and Tyler was so easy and natural it was amazing! You don't even really have to pose too much basically I just moved to different spots on the beach that Tyler and Raven thought would work well for a photo, sat how they directed me and just talked with Raven and got splashed. It was so incredibly for I really can't even begin to tell you. Shooting was so much fun!!! We did pictures from 3 to 5 and ended up with tons of shots. After the shoot I said bye to Raven and Tyler and Raven gave me a couple accessories and a merbellas t-shirt. When I got home and began to see the pictures I was amazed they looked so much better then I ever thought was possible. Tyler really knows how to take the pictures so you don't look awkward because lets face it, being a mermaid really isn't always graceful. But with Tyler's pictures you would never know it. The whole thing cost $600 (I would like to add that this is a really good price for photography particularly because you get ALL the photos on a flash drive) which when I first saw the price was a little concerned about (being a broke college student) but I decided to go ahead and do it because it's one of those one time amazing experiences and I think it was over and above worth it! I recommend this to everyone and anyone who likes mermaids, fun, beaches, pictures, or sun : ) Too see pictures from my shoot check out my Facebook page.

    Last edited by Arella; 03-14-2014 at 04:49 PM.

  11. #12
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    I had posted this before and somehow the post got eaten after only being up for a while because of a bug. So I am posting it again!

    Last summer I bought two used merbellas studios silicone tops. I also own 1 shell top. THEY ROCK. And are still holding up awesomely.

    The octopus top I have is super realistic, and extremely comfortable. It has beautiful details added and netting and seaweed and pearls. I have a full range of motion without any fear of any of my girls falling out. Even though it was used you can barely tell.

    My seaweed top is also awesome. It is the most comfortable of any top I have ever worn. I have 3 different mermaids wear it and one who is bustier than the others doesn't have to worry in the slightest.

    Me shell top isnt as comfortable, but compared to pure silicone everything else is crap. It is beautiful and very mermaidy.

    These items are all used and have held up under extreme use. I use them in fresh, salt, chlorine water and lots of time in the sun.

  12. #13
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Raven offers tail upgrades, and I wanted to show how drastically awesome they are and the differences. I am very happy with my upgrade. It has been over a year since I had my upgrade, and my tail is currently over 2 years. It really extended the life of my tail, and added so much beauty to it. I much prefer it like that.

    What was done:

    -re-painted and clear coated
    -monofin re-cut/shaped and re-glued
    -pelvic, heel, and dorsal fins added
    -took the tail in 2 inches all over
    -reinforced heel, knee, and waist area

    Raven did a rush job on this, I sent it to her at the beginning of May and she had it back to me by the end so I wouldn't have to take too much time off gigs.



    Extra fins are delicate and mine have come off a few times due to overuse and one dumb boyfriend not paying attention, LOL But I have managed to glue them back on without any trouble. I wouldn't get extra fins if you think you'll be needing to ship them back and forth constantly to be fixed. Only get them if you can be careful, and can fix them if they do rip.
    Last edited by AniaR; 01-12-2015 at 01:06 AM.

  13. #14
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    I am beyond happy and over the moon with my tail. I am so excited to share all the details with you now that I've had a chance to put it through the ringer.

    I ordered my tail at the end of March 2014, and I received it at Merfest January 1st 2015. This was done on purpose to help me avoid insanely expensive shipping fees and import fees.

    I ordered a performance tail with a foil fluke, a new fluke design, extra fins, dorsal fins, top, head dress, and was given a necklace as a gift.

    I originally last march had a very elaborate design in mind. But I switched to working full time mermaid in the spring of 2014 and with the huge amount of work I was getting we realized that the elaborate design I had originally decided on- would not be very practical. We decided to do without pelvic fins, and keep it with rounded scales (as opposed to dragonscales) and do a shorter and stubbier dorsal fin. I just wanted to replace my current splash tail that I named Rapidash. I have Raven free reign within that colour spectrum to design whatever she thought would be the most effective for the amount of gigs I was doing.

    This was the design we decided on

    It would have heel fins, new fluke (with a foil). side ankle fins, stubby dorsal, and all the splash colours plus a blended waist and glitter. The plan was to have it made thicker than my original tail as well.

    This was the photo I was sent when Raven constructed it in November and wanted my approval.

    I instantly loved it and approved it.

    Flash forward to Merfest 2015 and here's a video of me opening it. (Normally she packs things super well with peanuts etc but this was being driven from Florida so she didn't bother.)

    As you can see, everyone (including other tail makers) were totally floored by it. The amount of detail, the amazing blended waist which literally blended from tail, skin, to nothing, and the glitter- all a really big hit!

    The fluke is actually just about as big as my competitor monfin, but because it's a foil I was able to fold it. I found it heavier when I first picked it up but now that I'm used to it I think it doesnt weigh that much more, it's just that the competitor distributed the weight more evenly and made for something really wide and hard to balance. This is small and compact.

    My first time trying it on, the blended waist was really amazing. This photo is straight off the camera. No editing.

    The tail was harder to put on than my first one. My first one I would roll it down, and I'd wear half booties so my toes wouldnt get blistered from the monofin. With this one the waist was extra reinforced so I couldn't roll it down. I had to lube up and slide down into it. I found the foil monofin considerably harder to put on and Raven warned me that finis has decreased the quality in the straps of the foil so they easily break. I was very careful not to break the straps. She was right though they felt very thing compared to wearing a competitor.

    I did manage to get my feet in. I injured my finger and had to lube up really well and put the tail on one handed. It wasn't easy. YOU WILL SEE WRINKLES IN THE NEXT VIDEO BUT IT IS NOT BECAUSE THE TAIL IS THIN OR DOESNT FIT BUT BECAUSE I PUT IT ON ONE HANDED WITH NO HELP AND COULD NOT SMOOTH OUT THE TAIL ON MY OWN.

    Here's a video of my first swim:

    As you can see the foil is very different than the competitor. A competitor monofin is really wide and really stiff. It has a lot of push and a lot of strength. It really makes a good splash at the surface too. The foil is stubby and flexible. It has very little push but was amazing for flips, turns (I could barely turn in my competitor) agility, and creates that beautiful flowy motion. And guess what? It still makes a wicked splash at the surface! I wasn't expecting it to.

    In terms of monofin I found the foil seriously uncomfortable. So much so that when I got back to Halifax the half booties weren't cutting it. I went out and bought full socks AND THEY WORK LIKE A DREAM. I totally recommend them for foils. Saved my tootsies. And really cut back on foot cramps.

    I also found this tail much more boyant than my first. I think part of that is because it's made with much more silicone. my first tail was vast really thin and the fluke was thin. This one was thick and about 15lbs heavier. When I did a photoshoot later I added 10lbs of weight to help me sink. I don't use weights when I do birthday parties etc, but they do help for modelling.

    One of the things that is totally amazing with this tail besides the amazing blended waist, is the drainage system. Raven has figured it out and mine is the first tail with it. In all my years of mermaid tails I've never seen a 100% effective drainage system. Usually there is nothing, or there are holes cut into the silicone or places in the fluke. More often than not it puts way too much stress on the fin and causes breakage of silicone or monofin, or mermaids can't lift the fluke, or it has to be dumped from the waist which can take a long time.

    I don't want to give away Raven's trade secret but this tail is AMAZING in terms of drainage. It took all of 10 seconds, wasn't noticeable at all, and thanks to this whole system in the fluke I was able to effectively drain really fast at merfest. I've since done a gig with the tail and Sean wont stop calling it the magic tail because of how fast and effectively it drained. As someone who uses her tail constantly and tries to minimize the stress on it, plus wants to limit moments that look "fake" around kids, I can't tell you how amazing this new drainage system is. I am so glad Raven decided to test it out on me. I LOVE IT.

    The fluke is miles above my first tail. Remember I have the prototype- the very FIRST tail Merbellas ever made in silicone. One of the things you'll notice about my old tail was how boxy the ankle area was. This had none of that. Perfectly seamless and smooth and no monofin ridges or outlines. While it's heavier than my first tail, Sean found it just as easy to pick me up BECAUSE the water drained out so well.

    The top is a work of art. My chest never looked so good. ;) And the hair piece was amazing. She made me a custom splash style necklace too.

    In terms of comparison I did do a comparison video where you can physically see the difference in the tails up close, compare footage of me swimming, and compare when I opened them. Hehe. I think it really shows how good Raven was right from the very start, but also how much she has improved since then. I actually get a little emotional watching it haha.

    I just got back from doing a gig with it and now that I've had all of merfest and a gig under my belt here are the pros and cons for this TYPE of tail. (not a reflection on Raven, because I honestly have no complaints! This is just for people who are trying to decide between which type of tail they should get)

    -super high end realistic
    -clearly very durable, much more than the first
    -amazing drainage system
    -blended waist like you wouldnt believe
    -parts of the fluke are a bit transparent at the tips which allows light to shine through and looks amazing
    -much more durable and better attached fins and dorsal
    -thick, but not too thick that you can't get it off or on
    -inside is much less porous than the first tail, very durable, easy to clean and dry.
    -beautiful floppy tail
    -amazing detailing
    -monofin is hidden much better
    -cirtually seamless. Really hard to spot the seams!

    Things to consider:
    -Heavier. Not heavy enough that you can't swim, but def heavier
    -foil isnt as comfortable or as strong as other monofins, be sure you pick the right monofin for your skill level, get booties, and keep in mind the thing about the straps
    -Your fluke wont stay up perfectly because it's not all solid, it'll flop over.
    - a little more buoyant than the other one.
    -stubby dorsal is perfect for the mer who has to sit in tail a lot, but wont look flowy like the long dorsals

    Here are some photos from my gig today!

    (looks redder due to poor pool lighting, it's more like the orange you see in merfest photos)

    I don't know if I'll ever be able to accurately capture just how far Raven has come, but also how right she's had it since the start. The issues I had with my first tail just from so much use and time, I feel like she's addessed them all with this tail and learned from them. She took all my feedback, all my concerns, and instead of making excuses she got to work and made me a kick butt tail that accomodates all my professional needs. It's so well reinforced I don't aniticpate any majoy issues. The fins are so well affixed I know they'll stay in place. The dorsal is super durable and awesome. It's so well blended the kids don't even question now if it's real or not. No more wearing a belt! lol.

    I HAVE NO COMPLAINTS I LOVE MY TAIL SO MUCH. Happy to welcome mega rapidash to the family :)
    Last edited by AniaR; 01-12-2015 at 01:16 AM.

  14. #15

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    made by:merbella studios
    cost: $2,600
    wait: 248
    add ons: basic scales and performance fluke
    + a free necklace!!!!

    I ordered my tail on june first 2014 and within the next two days i had stent my design, measurements,and money over to her.i got an update on september 10th saying that my tail had been started, and another on november 13 saying that it was fully constructed and awaiting painting. i got my first picture on december 29th and i really liked it. i asked Raven to make a few changes and she sent me a photo a few hours later and it was perfect! I got my final pictures on january 11 and raven planed on shipping it within the week but I ordered a top to go with my tail and she made that really fast but it did hold up the shipping a week or so. my tail shipped around january 23 but we had a massive snow storm and I didn't get it until january 29th, but when I di oh my gosh it was incredible!!!

    my tail was so much more beautiful than I was expecting and it was really heavy (about 20 pounds)the colors were so vibrant and beautiful i just couldn't believe it was happening. my seams are very hard to see exempt for a very small area where you can see some overlap but you have to look very closely for it. my scales are nearly perfect exempt for some extremly hard to see little spots where the silicone derped a little but i dont mind at all and you can't see them. the indside has a type of mesh lining the silicone and it is very stretchy and awesome! i have a modified version of the new drainage system in my tail and it works so well i can't believe. i just hold it up for about 20 seconds and all the water drains out. my mono fin is pretty tight but thats just because i ordered it that way, and i noticed Raven wrote "Annika mer" on the straps. i thought that was really cute! ;) i have no complaints on my tail i think it is perfect for me!

    my first time putting the tail on i was in a chlorine pool and i struggled for about 5 minutes trying to get my feet into the pockets with no success so i just swam with my toes inside the mono fin. i saw no difference with my feet not in the fin i could swim relatively fast and could do fin slaps and twists. i was very sore after (as was expected) and cleaned and dried my tail that night and went swimming the next day, i got my feet in on my second swim with very little trouble and i could go really fast! i was very popular at the pool and had everyone taking photos of me swimming, the manager even lets me go for free now ;):):):):):) the tail has a very fluid motion and looks very natural underwater the fit is amazing around my legs but does gap a little at the waist which i totally expected because i lost 10 pounds since ordering my tail but it doesn't bother me at all and you can't see it in photos/videos i did get very suddle blisters after my second swim but i swam for 4 hours straight and 3 the day before so i understand,in my more recent swims i dont get them anymore. here is me swimming for the first time https://www.dropbox.com/s/m7jp1a2ix9...83931.mp4?dl=0

    overall i love my tail i think it was one of the best decisions i have ever made in my life and raven made me a necklace free of charge yahhh!!! I have no complaints or problems with it. she swims like a dream and looks like one too!

  15. #16

    2 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    I’ve waited a while to make this review because I wanted to truly experience my tail and make a fair, honest and accurate review of my entire experience as a Merbella customer from ordering to product usage. I feel as though now is the time in which I can do so.

    Back in early November, Merbella announced via Facebook that they had a production slot open. I had been considering them in my top two choices for my new silicone tail and thought this was the perfect opportunity. Because I work as a mermaid year-round (although much more heavily in the summers) I was anxious to get my tail as soon as possible. I was already aware that Raven is not known for moving quickly on orders, so I inquired into a rush fee, in which I was told that $450 would guarantee a 60-90 delivery of my tail. I paid the hefty upcharge. I also purchased a top as well. I paid the entire purchase up front.

    In the beginning, I didn’t expect immediate movement, although I did presume that things would have to begin moving within a month or so for her to meet deadline. I did have a sketch from her within a month. After that initial sketch, there was very little contact for sometimes weeks a time. Again….I was told this was to be expected. I don’t consider myself to be an unreasonable customer. I certainly am not the type that will email every day for updates. I generally would request an update every 2 weeks. I was lucky if I got a response back half of the time. I am sorry….but for the amount of money invested in these products, this is completely unacceptable. I run two businesses myself. I don’t charge my clients one dime until the final product (websites) is delivered. When people invest in you, the least you can do is answer their emails….it is common courtesy not to mention good business practice. Frankly I am tired of hearing about how overbooked Raven is and how you can’t rush art. Again….this is business. Hire help or don’t take on as much work. DO WHAT IT TAKES to please your current customers lest you find yourself with unhappy customers and then no customers.

    So in late January, I finally heard from Tyler informing me that they were still waiting on a monofin, but I should expect pics in 10-15 days. EXACTLY ONE MONTH after this, Raven responded and they STILL had nothing to show me. 13 days after that I got the first picture. The first thing I noticed was that the top was completely wrong…they made a scale top when I requested an Ariel top. Now, I will take partial blame in the miscommunication of this. I sent a PICTURE from their FB page of the top I wanted to order…but when we were talking about it, we both referred to it as a scale top. So that is how it was listed on the invoice, and that is what was made. However, I think this problem could have been avoided if a proper FILE was kept on each customer with their emails and images sent (I sent a complete order sheet with the top and a tail mockup that I made). I don’t know why this stuff isn’t referred back to when they sit down to work on a job. I was told they could make the CORRETC top for me ONLY if I paid the upcharge to what the Ariel top was. Frankly, I thought it could have been eaten because a review of their files could have saved us both time and money. But I paid the $100+ for the new top.

    Between March 3 and March 26 we went back and forth on a few color touch ups and I got a total of 3 photo proofs. In each proof, my tail appeared to be a very vibrant, metallic blue color. It wasn’t quite the “teal” I requested, but I was really digging it, so I approved it BASED on the pics I received. I did not know that apparently those images very color adjusted.

    Now, let’s make a note here that we are well out of the 60-90 day rush order time I was promised but I have not requested any refund or partial refund on my rush fee. I just want my darn tail at this point.
    I received my tail on March 30.

    Unfortunately it was not the glorious unboxing that I see so many other mers enjoying. First of all, it showed up in a busted up box with NO packing materials or care sheet. I cannot in earnest blame Merbella for this because this truly could be a result of poor handling in the shipping process. The box had a huge rip at the top so it is likely the packing fell out. I’m glad the top or tail did not.

    While I could see the tail was well crafted, I was not thrilled with the color, as it was noticeably different than it appeared in pics. The top color looked much more matte and almost greenish. The back colors were more vibrant and even had a gloss coat on them. It is like they were painted at very different times.

    I immediately contacted Raven to let her know about my disappointment in the color. Her response was I could send it back, pay the shipping and she could repaint. But oh by the way she could not guarantee when she would be done. Again, UNACCEPTABLE Why? Why can she not guarantee this? I paid a $450 upcharge that she did not deliver on….can I get ANY slack here? I am a working mermaid with gigs lined up…I can’t wait around till Christmas for a tail to come in. I also told her that I don’t think it is fair that I pay for shipping either for her misprepresentation of the tail in photos. She then agreed to pay shipping. And for full disclosure, I went back and read several of the threads on this forum regarding Merbella and realized she tends to often include free accessories with her orders. That’s nice. Would have been a nice gesture on her part for all the trouble and missed deadlines. I don’t expect freebies nor do I ask for them, but when I see she gives them to some and not others, I think she has a major problem with equitable treatment of customers here.

    I will say the measurements were perfect and the tail fit well. The fluke was beautiful and I am extremely impressed with her overall craftsmanship.
    I’ve swam in the tail several times now. It stays on much better than my last tail and drains wonderfully. I love the movement of the fluke.
    My initial disappointment in the color has somewhat subsided….I have begun to love it for what it is. It is beautiful, even if not exactly what I was expecting.

    That said, this will be my first and last purchase from Merbella. Raven is talented, but I just can’t deal with this type of service. I expect more and will PAY more if I need to just to get it. My friend recently purchased a tail from Mike Van Daal, who takes on VERY limited orders. Therefore, he fully devoted himself to her order, giving her daily updates and even sending her VIDEO of the tail production process. Then he would fully invested on her happiness with the finished product. THIS is service, people. This is what you should expect when you pay top dollar. If I wanted Wal-Mart service I would have ordered a $100 fabric tail.

    As for quality, we put the tails side by side and there is just no comparison. His double silicone treatment, invisible seams and extreme elasticity on the tail is unreal. The seams in my Merbella or sloppy and not even fully glued down in some areas.

    I know Raven has her fan army on here and I am not interested in going to battle with any to you. You may have had a different experience. This is mine, and it is honest and it is documented. I want people to know what they are getting and what they are getting into when they order from Merbella. Thanks for reading.

    Last edited by Venessa Louisiana Mermaid; 04-29-2015 at 11:31 PM.

  16. #17
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Due to popular support Im doing a mini review on the tails we bought second hand. my franken tail made of recycled pieces, and our new tops.

    PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that these tails are made to MY measurements, so they don't fit some of my girls I have wearing them the way they fit me.

    We have our blue tail- one of the first tails Raven ever made. it's been remade a few times. No drainage, competitor monofin, smaller scales, hand painted, fits on several of our mermaids, and looks great. It has a seam on the bottom of the body where it attaches to the fluke where Raven had to remake it. Considering it's almost as old as my first tail Rapidash it has held up amazing. Raven added a blended waist to it. It has a lovely dorsal fin, and pectoral fins

    Next up is the she creature. One of the first versions of the tail Raven made. It does not have drainage but it has the blended waist and some dragon scales, and her newer stubby dorsal fin. I much prefer this dorsal fin, less of a chance of it breaking. The pigments are quite pearl-ecent. It has a foil monofin in it and the fluke is the biggest I believe so far that she makes, also the heaviest. It has a lot of drag when swimming so I dont recommend this fluke for beginner mermaids. It looks amazing in the water and very realistic, but it is our most challenging tail to swim in. It has a broken strap nut we get by wearing booties inside. It looks amazing on everyone. For me it's the comfiest fit out of every tail I've ever used. My splash tail is skin tight, the she creature isn't it's much nicer and easier on my body in that regard.

    Finally we have the franken splash tail. This is a tail created from left over recycled pieces. It's intended to be a dry tail for me to use instead of my main tail. though we frequently use it for wet gigs too. It's all of 5lbs. Very lightweight. It has no extra fins or dorsal to make it easier to use on land, and has a blended waist. It's very reliable. I believe it has a rapid or wave inside.

    We got three new tops to go with them They're shown here. on me the new starfish top, on Mutiny, an orange scale top, and on the mermaid on the far right a darker sea weed top. we love them all.

    I have a few videos showing the tails in action

    This one shows me wearing the she creature and mutiny wearing the blue

    The blue tail

    The baby splash

    Behind the scenes during the dry photo shoot

    I hope this gives people a sense of the various options she offers in terms of flukes, scales, fins, dorsals, and more!

  17. #18

    2 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Made by: Merbellas
    Ordered on: April 12 2013
    Item: Simple Scale Bracers
    Cost: $41.64 CAN + $5.57 CAD Shipping
    Rating for Article: 2 Stars
    Rating for Service: 1 Star

    I've waited for a long time to write this review because I'm nervous about posting something negative about a maker that everyone loves and adores. It's hard being so excited about owning something from the great and amazing Merbellas only to have it not be what everyone makes out the quality and the experience to be. It feels like you have to actually buy one of her tails to get the amazing quality and experience that everyone is dieing to have, not just her 'cheaper' items. Anyways,

    I placed an order on April 12, 2013 for the bracers when she announcing they would be restocked. I was so excited and made sure I had enough to purchase them. After I placed my order I messaged her to ask her if she needed my size, she said yes, so I said my wrists are 6" all the way around. (super small) And then I waited.

    I messaged her on April 23, asking when I could expect them. She said it took two weeks to make but she was planning to get them sent out later that week. I waited.

    Fast forward to June 3rd. I sent her a message asking if these had been sent as I had no yet received them. She got back to me that same day and said
    "No Shipped SO many orders at once I didn't get any tracking numbers.
    But I shipped everything priority so they definitely should have gotten there by now. I wont be home till next week , if they STILL haven't arrived by the time I get back from my trip I can make a new set and ship them."

    So I waited.

    On June 11th my bracers finally arrived! I rushed down to my friends house across the boarder, as it was cheaper shipping that way and opened them with her. To my dismay they where huge. And not the coloring I had specified at all in the order. I was heart broken and couldn't believe that this is what I was looking at. Not only where they too big, they where also ripped in one spot and the silicone didn't look smooth like I had seen everyone else.


    I messaged her
    "Hey hun. So I got my bracers last thursday/Friday finally! Yay! Anyways, I had a chance to look at them, try them on and such, and they are both 2" too big. Also the paint job isn't what I was hoping for/expecting.

    I'm wondering what we can do, given that I can't really wear them as is..."

    And got back
    "If you send them back we can give you a full refund <3"
    Which means I would have to ship from Canada instead of the states because my friend had just moved and I didn't want to spend any more money on gas over 50$ bracers. I swallowed down my disappointment, and sold them for half price to a friend who fit them much better then I did.

    Closing thoughts: It felt like, since it was such a small item to her, that the quality and care just wasn't there. I'm not sure I would buy anything but a tail from her, and even then, I'm still soured over this haha.

    (I can provide screen shots of the convos if needed. And the order. I tried to not make it too negative, sorry if it came off that way.)
    Last edited by Moongazer; 10-02-2015 at 01:22 PM.

  18. #19

    5 out of 5 rating for Merbella Studios

    Long overdue review! In 2012 I'd been saving for years to get a silicone tail, and even though Raven had only started making tails for the public for a few months, I knew I HAD to have one of her tails! I waited patiently (okay, maybe not so much!) for her Facebook to announce an open slot.
    When she announced an open spot, I sent in my email (in early November) and got a reply the next day! We sorted out the details (fins, fluke shape, scales, colors, ect). I am TERRIBLE with colors, so I didn't have a design for her. I just let her know what colors I wanted (sent her a few example pics) and what coloring techniques of hers I liked and let her run with it! And thus began the wait!

    Originally she said 60-90 days, but it was in the middle of them shifting production time to longer. Part of that had to do with the order being completed over the winter and spring, and we all know cold weather in the winter and crazy rain in the spring delays curing times and whatnot. I believe it was the first winter of her doing tails, so delays happen and I understood that. I did let her know that I needed the tail for a big event in July, and would like it a month ahead of time if possible to have time to practice in it. It was SO HARD to wait the extra time, but I knew the wait would be worth it!
    She kept in contact, emailing me every few months, and in May she sent me photos to approve colors. We had a bit of back and forth with the colors, and she did a few changes to get them where I wanted them. She let me know she was putting on the extra fins after the colors were tweaked, so a few weeks after that I paid the invoice for shipping and she shipped out my tail!

    It arrived on June 5th (day 193, from payment until delivery) undamaged, a month before my big gig, just as I'd asked! It was GORGEOUS!

    You can see my astonishment and awe in my unboxing video here:

    I went swimming right after I got the tail and it was AMAZING! I didn't have lube for the first time putting it on (back then people just advised water was fine) but even with just that it only took me about 4 minutes to get it on.
    You can see me putting it on for the first time and swimming in it for the first time here:

    I got a lovely scale heart and was gifted a bracer, which are both lovely and I love wearing the bracer with my tail or even just for every day wear to show my mermaid side :)

    The only flaw was that the tail was a bit too short- really just in the back. But honestly there was a bit of a miscommunication with the measuring chart and where was advisable to measure for the best fit. I measured just above my belly button instead of my natural waist, and I should have measured higher. For some people their natural waist is at/right above their belly button, and mine is a few inches above, so that's where that miscommunication came from. She revised her measuring chart after to clarify that though, so I don't think it would be an issue with other clients.
    Also, honestly my butt is rather round, and it tends to pull things down lower than it should be. If I lube my bathing suit bottoms up well it comes up high enough, but I do think I'll send it in to get one of her gorgeous blended waists added on!

    Also Finis doesn't make competitor monofins small enough for my tiny feet, but if I wear 2 pairs of neoprene booties it fits very well! That obviously wasn't Raven's fault, and I'd much rather wear the booties and have the competitor than have the tail without it and have it fit my feet better naturally. Other than that it fit perfectly, and swims like a DREAM!

    I love the competitor in this tail! There are no visible ridges and the outline of the fin is not visible. Even when it's strongly backlit, you can't see the outline of the fin through the silicone (which can be an issue with other tails). It makes it easier to get it up over my head for photos, easier to lift it out of the water, and gives strong propulsion through the water. The fluke is SOLID- after the foot pockets end, it's completely sealed down. Which is great for not getting water all in the fluke, and avoiding any moldy fluke issues. I don't know any other tailmaker that their fluke is completely solid like that. It's enough that I can actually do a handstand in my tail in pools! Also it's stiff but it still has a realistic flop/flow in the water and when I am flipping it on dry land as well. If you want to see it in action, check out the videos on my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MermaidIona

    I've now had this tail for over 2 years, and it's held up amazingly!! No paint has come off at all, no peeling, no major issues. The only things i've had to deal with is the odd hole here and there (twice via fingernail, I now chop mine off before I swim in it) and once via a thumbtack wedged in a pool wall (don't know who did that but it looked very deliberate- and it went right in my knee- OUCH!) Also during a move, someone mishandled my tail and one of my heel fins tore right off!! Luckily Raven advised me how to make repairs easily, and the fin has been solid since! The other fins haven't had rips, they're solidly on there!
    From what she said in her emails I believe my tail was the 2nd one to ever get the heel fins, and that being said they've held up better than I expected!

    Also due to illness, I gained weight over the past year- but the silicone still stretches just fine to accommodate that, which I am very happy about!

    This tail was 100% worth the 4+ years I spent saving for it, and the wait time! It's so gorgeous and realistic, it swims beautifully and amazingly, and has held up superbly- the craftsmanship is fantastic! I've swam in deep pools, shallow pools, a tank, an aquarium, public fountains, the ocean, lakes, had it on dry land inside and outside, put it through beach and rock photo shoots and it's never let me down.

    I dubbed my tail "Ruto" because she's my swimming water princess, and I'm so thankful to Raven for making my dream come true!


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts