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Patti's story: How Mermaid Minerals came to be

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Patti Oriot was managing vacation rentals in Maui in 2009 when she lost her job.  At the time she had already been dabbling in skincare and makeup, but wasn't even considering taking the plunge into full-time entrepreneurship. She needed to build the perfect website, have a comprehensive marketing plan, develop a complete line of products  ...

And that's when a friend told her: "You need to stop so you can start."

Patti explains: "We do that with everything. 'I'm not going to get a new pair of pants until I lose 20 lbs.' I'm not going to this or that ... You need to just stop and do it."

And that's what she did. She cashed in on her savings, moved to St. Petersburg to be near family and focused full-time on building her business, Mermaid Minerals, a thriving business that now offers a full line of natural skincare and cosmetics.

• • •

Here Patti shares with us an article she wrote for Maui Vision magazine a couple of months after she got laid off.


Pop goes the culture into change and challenges.

Life as we knew it seemed to change in a moment, for me anyway.

I did not feel a gradual downturn in the economy. I did not have time to make the transition from gainfully employed to unemployed. It all happened in one moment. My entire sense of security ripped out from underneath me in a second.

"You know why I am here?” seemed to be a question and a statement all in one, and, strangely, I did know and didn’t all at the same time why the HR person was standing in front of me. I was doing a great job, had no problems at work, no disciplinary actions against me, and yet I knew what that sentence meant.

Friends and family had already entered into their new status of unemployed and spent hours on the phone calling and telling their "laid off” story.

The calls were welcomed to those wanting to share and find a sense a comfort in the sameness of their situation. I fell into the same dynamics immediately, making the phone calls to share my story. Wanting to rally supporters for my cause of spreading the word about the horrible people that had let me go.

Then I spent a little time in the, "Wow! At least I am laid off in Maui! More beach time!" phase.

Unemployment suddenly seemed like winning the lotto! This lasted about two weeks then the reality of my personal finances were causing me sleepless nights, and instead of enjoying the beauty and fun of the beach I began to sit in a state of panic and feelings of anxiety.

Phase III I will call it, started in the still of the night. I was laying awake and the "what happened to me” story was playing its usual loop in my mind.

Until POP! I got it!

This was a good thing. My bubble had burst, but it got me out of the bubble I was in. I was locked in a situation that I did not know how to get out of. And worst yet, I didn’t even know that I wanted out before.

This POP motivated me to move forward with plans I had been hanging on to for a new business venture, to get creative in how to generate an income on my own, My own personal culture had been popped. This shift is allowing and entire universe to POP their culture. Burst out of old paradigms, stagnant situations and be open to the possibility of a new future. Not the one we held on to for so long.

Disappointment is nothing more than an unrealized expectation. So letting go of an outcome will enable you to be open for a new beginning!

Layoffs, terminations and early cancellation of employment contracts are occurring daily still all over the nation. The entire nation is having a huge cultural shift.

POP goes the culture. And it’s a good thing.

• • •

"Life is like a book," Patti says. "Some chapters are great, some are boring. But there's always another chapter. So when I'm in a yucky part, I just think, 'I hope this is just a short chapter. It's not going to last forever.' "

Are you starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs.

Ester Venouziou, founder of and co-founder of Gulfport! Magazine, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design or social media. She can be reached at or 727.637.5586.

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Tags:  entrepreneurship  layoffs  life after a layoff  mermaid mineral  starting a business  tampa bay 

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