AP NEWS

U.S. Senate honors East Idaho business

May 2, 2017 GMT

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has named Fin Fun Mermaid in Idaho Falls, Idaho as the Small Business of the Month for May 2017. Fin Fun will be recognized in the Congressional Record of the U.S. Senate.

“With just a simple request for a mermaid tail costume from her granddaughter, Karen Browning, founder of Fin Fun Mermaid, took the first step forward as an entrepreneur,” said Chairman Risch. “That first costume was the catalyst of a much larger operation that has experienced three-thousand percent growth over a three year period, employing seventy-five full and part-time employees in Eastern Idaho. The Browning family contributes greatly to their community and makes all of us in Idaho proud with their continued success, having also been named by the SBA as Idaho’s Small Business of the Year for 2017.”

Fin Fun got its start in 2009 when Karen Browning’s granddaughter requested that Karen design and make a mermaid tail. The design proved popular at the local pool, leading Karen to begin selling the product on eBay and Etsy in 2010. With demand increasing, Karen’s sons, Eric and Steve Browning, returned to Idaho to run the Fin Fun business. Sales of Fin Fun products increased dramatically since its opening, from selling 200 mermaid tails per month in 2011, to more than 500,000 in 2016.

Fin Fun offers a number of products including their famous mermaid tails, patented Monofin, swimwear, animal blankets, pool toys, and other accessories. In 2015, Fin Fun purchased a 10,000 square foot building located on the Lewisville Highway where the company continues to grow. In that same year, Fin Fun was highlighted by various media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. In 2016, the company was named to Inc. 500’s fastest growing companies list, as the one hundred and nineteenth fastest growing company with 3000 percent growth over a three-year period. Through the leadership of Eric and Steve Browning and the success of Fin Fun, the company has created more than 75 full-time and part-time jobs within the Idaho Falls area. As a family run business, Fin Fun continues to set an example by donating a percentage of its profits to more than 18 charitable organizations annually in addition to providing employment and support to the local community.

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to entrepreneurship and provides oversight of the Small Business Administration. The committee also researches, investigates and reports all problems relating to America’s small businesses to the full Senate. As Chairman, Risch will honor America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Senate each month.