Shari Aussant

Shari Aussant outside her new Mermaids on Cape Cod boutique in West Dennis. “We’re not just a store—we’re like a community,” she says. Photo by Teagan Anne

Mermaids on Cape Cod is fast becoming a local favorite, thanks to an owner who’s putting community first

“I wanna be where the people are,” pines Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” That’s exactly where Shari Aussant wants to be, too. Aussant might just be the modern-day Ariel—with her wild strawberry-blond locks and endearing spirit—but the world she seeks to be part of is here on the Cape, a world she sees for the sea of possibilities it offers.

“Someone once said to me, ‘Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet,’ and I’ve adopted that. I just want to play in the sandbox with everybody,” says Aussant, her enthusiasm—and ever-present smile—so sweet and sincere it’s contagious.

For Aussant, her community-centric mentality is at the heart of her burgeoning boutique business, Mermaids on Cape Cod. In addition to her signature line of Official Mermaid Gear (OMG), Aussant also partners with local artisans and vendors, including Cape Mermaid, Cape Shark and Washershore, to offer their coastal-inspired collections of apparel and accessories. But that’s not where her community ties end. Whether it’s leveraging Mermaids on Cape Cod’s thousands of dedicated social media followers to spread the word about other Cape businesses, like Cape Cod Beer, or donating a portion of her proceeds to local environmental organizations, like the National Marine Life Center, Aussant is paying her success forward.

“Why compete? We’re all having a great time here doing what we do best, so let’s all bring each other in and bring each other up,” Aussant says. “I am always looking to do new collaborations.”