The Washington extravagance parade continues. The latest development that makes you wonder where all the money’s coming from: the arrival, heralded in Urban Daddy, of the Oyster Girls. They’re lady oyster shuckers who make shellfish fun.
“I always call them my Charlie’s Angels,” says Oysters XO founder Rifko Meier, a Dutch art dealer. Inspired by oyster shuckers at parties in the Netherlands, Meier started the Oyster Girls in New York last year. Next month, they’ll work their first event in Washington.
Meier’s Oyster Girls strap three buckets around their waists: for oysters, condiments, and shells. They shuck the oysters while circulating around event guests, their shucking hand protected by a bedazzled glove reminiscent of the late Michael Jackson. While Meier started hiring male oyster shuckers after getting inquiries from female event planners, female shuckers are still central to Meier’s business. “You can understand that if you say ‘Oyster Girls,’ more heads turn around than if you say ‘Oyster Girls and Oyster Guys,'” he says.
Meier himself shucks for parties, although he admits he’s “not as cute as the girls.” But it’s not all about looks for Meier. He likes to hire women who have good heads on their shoulders—-and a way with an oyster knife. “They don’t need to be Ms. Wikipedia, but at the same time they don’t need to be Ms. Universe either,” he says.
But getting such a well-rounded shucker doesn’t come cheap. When asked what it costs to employ the Oyster Girls for a night, Meier is brief: “A lot.”