Mermaids aren’t just mythical creatures at The Quirky Mermaid in Southold. They can be found on sea glass necklaces, vintage ornaments, cast iron hooks and signs.
“I love how people of all ages are fascinated by [mermaids],” said owner Elizabeth Clayton, who opened the shop in May in the spot that formerly housed Coast, where she worked as a part-time employee for five years. “Young children love Ariel from Disney’s Little Mermaid; grown men and women rock mermaid tattoos in bright colors on their bodies and people go to sold out shows of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids in Florida.”
Whatever it may be, The Quirky Mermaid has something for all fans. Stocked with under-the-sea treasures, Clayton wants her shoppers to feel they’ve stumbled upon a gem. Standout items include a purple-blue dresser with glass bubble pulls, framed little sea glass birds, jute mermaid rugs, nautical cross-body bags and hand-carved sailboats.
“Everything coastal, everything beachy. And of course most people can’t leave without a mermaid—even if it’s a little ornament to pack in their bag before getting on the jitney or to hang in a window.”
But finding plenty of “pearls” isn’t hard when the atmosphere is made for browsing. Bob Marley tunes softly play, incense burn (sometimes candles) and time seems to stand still.
“People tend to hang out and chat while they shop. I hear a lot of ‘oh look at this’ and ‘look at that.’ My hope is to be on everyone’s ‘let’s stop by list’ while being on the North Fork.”
The Quirky Mermaid is located at 53965 Main RD, Southold