We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandee Anthony and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brandee, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
The most important lesson that my business has taught me is fearlessness. I’m not saying that I have no fear towards anything that involves my business and career; but I had to have at least a part of me that was fearless even if my entire self wasn’t. I work in social media where people can hide behind devices all day long and the results can be pretty intimidating. Especially when you are personally putting yourself out there the way I do. We grow up so fearful that others will judge us or that we won’t live up to expectations that have been set for us. Add social media and it’s magnified exponentially. Lucky for me, I learned at a young age that I had to try a lot of different things and that I was going to fail a lot of different times. Each time I did not succeed I gained more perspective. The world didn’t stop, those who judged me did not matter and either way a new day was always going to start whether I decided to join it or not. So that’s what I did, I joined it. And I did it with a level of fearlessness that allowed me to grow and expand in ways I could not have dreamt of.
I now own a couple of different businesses that live in the spotlight of social media. These businesses have allowed me to dream bigger than I ever thought was possible. If I allow the fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough and the overall fear of others opinions get to me…I would have boxed myself into a world and a career I simply didn’t belong in. I would have allowed someone else to have power over me when they don’t really have any.
We are in control of our lives and who we want to be. We don’t have to live by the social constructs that have been created for us. We don’t have to appease everyone around us all of the time. We can make our dreams into reality if we truly set out to do so.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I was your average college student that had big dreams but had no idea what those dreams were. I knew from a young age I wanted to be self-employed but I never knew what my path was and it always created so much anxiety for me growing up. Where did I fit in?
I was never really good at any one thing..or so I thought.
Looking back now I realize I would’ve never been able to answer that question until after I got out of college. My career is built off of a series of events that happened after starting my photography business. I had just recently moved back to Florida after spending 20 years in Wisconsin. One day I heard about a live streaming app called periscope. The concept was foreign to me as I wasn’t into social media yet. So you just sit online and talk to yourself hoping others come in and engage with you? What if no one comes into your broadcast?
I figured there was nothing to lose and I created an account and started going live. At first I would just share the beautiful beach that I lived by or have a cup of coffee and talk to the five or six people that would lazily shuffle in and out. But I had a feeling something about this app was going to change my life so I went be every single day. Each time my numbers grew a little more. One week 50 people came to watch, the next week 1,000 and soon after 10,000. Fast forward four years and I became one of periscopes most recognized users and I found I had a passion for broadcasting! Well, what I really found was that my love for sharing and talking actually had a place in the world! During my time on periscope I grew a following on a couple of different social media platforms. I was offered some really exciting opportunities and my photography business slowly turned into a media agency as I grew more and more. During this time, I decided I want to livestream underwater because no one was doing that. Don’t ask me what gave me the idea, but one day I decided I was going to do it in a mermaid tail. So I looked up mermaid tails online, found one that was affordable, bought a go pro, rigged up some wiring and did a successful broadcast underwater to many thousands of people. But it was so much more than that.. it was the beginning to a very big part of my life I never knew I could have.
I was always a lover of the little mermaid and other mermaid icons that were present in my life growing up. But never, I mean NEVER did I think I would grow up to become a working professional mermaid. That one broadcast and a immense of hard work and dedication catapulted me into a very successful career as a professional mermaid now know as the Vero Beach Mermaid.
Couple the mermaid stuff with my photography and social media agency and I had something truly unique and special. But as you can imagine, being a mermaid in the social media spotlight comes with a lot of negative territory. The judgement and ridicule I was met with by others was astounding. Correction, IS astounding. I am met with negativity and criticism every day. Being fearless is something I had to learn quickly and I had to be very comfortable with. If I was going to do what I do, the opinions and words of others could not slight me. It took many years to get to the point where I could handle everything I was experiencing. Between the live streaming and then becoming a mermaid, there was a lot of negativity. But the thing is none of those negative thoughts actually mattered or had the power to affect my life unless I let them. And there was so much more positive experiences happening then there was negative. So, I made the choice to continue in my pursuit and stop worrying about the things around me. Once I did that my business and Mysekf grew to new levels I never thought possible. I started a second company called Mermaid Freedive and now I train and certify people to become professional and hobbyist mermaids. Who would have ever thought that was possible! Not me, that’s for certain.
I want the world to know that they don’t have to ask for permission and forgiveness all the time. I want the world to know that they can make their dreams a reality even if it doesn’t fit into the social constructs set for them. I want you all to know that you are so powerful and you have so much to give if you just allow that fearless part of yourself to emerge and take hold.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A week with my best friend in Miami now that sounds amazing! I’m a bit more on the low-key side of things so I know we’d be spending a lot of time at the beach and in the water. I am also a certified freediver and mermaid so I would definitely be taking my best friend diving and then we would probably find some awesome rooftop pool to be mermaids in! There is a beautiful island called Key Biscayne to explore and enjoy the gorgeous south Florida waters. There are also many charters that offer sailing, cruising and diving so that you can enjoy yourself with no fuss.
The list of places to stay is endless! Personally for me I love a cute little air bnb for the week that’s equipped with a pool and loungers. We’d pop over to south point park and get some acro yoga in while drinking up the endless sunshine with a waterfront view. Walk over to muscle beach and get active with the other locals and do some solid people watching:
As for the food, can I even name a few? The city scene has so many fun and colorful spots to check out for small bites and full meals. We’d also pop over to some small beach spots and hidden gems.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out goes out to my mom and dad. These two individuals are the reason that I felt comfortable to dream such big dreams. Without their love and support I may not have grown up to be as fearless as I am. I also want to say a big thank you to my step dad, he has been a wonderful role model on how to manage finances and business!
Instagram: @brandee_anthony @verobeachmermaid @brandeeanthonymedia @mermaidfreedive
Other: TikTok: @brandee_anthony @verobeachmermaid