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Anslea started Forgotten Mermaids in 2018. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Forgotten Mermaids?
Before mermaid tattoos, I was working as a freelance graphic artist on everything from illustrations to website designs. I knew the fundamentals of how to design a brand and decided I wanted to apply those skills to create my own.
> At the time I had been traveling and living out of my van while working full time as a freelance graphic designer. I spent a lot of creative energy working on other people’s ideas when I realized I wanted something of my own. Better yet, I realized I should be working towards something for myself.
The next step was figuring out what that was. At the time I was living in a van in a touristy Florida town, so naturally there was an abundance of mermaid themed stuff in all of the shops.
I knew I wanted to use my digital illustration skills to create the product. I also knew it had to be suited to life in a van, which is why I settled on the mermaid scale idea. It was simple. I could take it wherever I went. And it would be something I could build a brand around.
The first couple of weeks creating the brand was pretty straight forward. The weeks following that… Well, there was a definite learning curve. I needed to learn how to turn it into a profitable business.