New makers kits use local purveyors and eco packaging

Nicole Delma: Making A Mark




Nicole Delma. Independent/Charlotte DeFazio

It’s not as if Nicole Delma — founder of the “Air, Land, + Sea” environmental film series of HamptonsFilm; founder of FOND Group, a full-service email consulting firm, a “Survivor” survivor; a surfer, wife, mother — doesn’t have enough on her plate.

She just has a really big plate.

In addition to all of the above, she also added “two sides” of a petition which as of now has about 356,000 signatures, and a brand-new company, Mind Offline.

So first, there’s the petition which Delma started about six months ago, asking Amazon to offer a plastic-free packaging option.

“This isn’t to get them to ban plastic altogether,” she said. “It’s just about giving their customers a choice. A box to check when they order.” When the non-profit Oceana got on board with Delma, the numbers soared.

“I grew up in the Seattle area,” she said. “I was just raised feeling passionate about the environment. As a kid, we celebrated Earth Day. It’s just part of my DNA, I guess,” Delma offered.

Also, just before the novel coronavirus hit, Delma started a company with an almost eerie prescience — maker’s kits for people to create their own arts and crafts, all finely curated, featuring local artisans and, of course, eco-friendly packaging.

It all came, she said, from a sudden obsession with knitting.

“I started creating with my hands,” she said. “I think it’s part of our nature to want to do that. And as I knitted, it also freed my mind and slowed me down.”

“Mind Offline’s mission is to reconnect people with their innate drive to create, and to the undeniable joy that comes from developing one’s analog faculties,” reads the website.

“In a world where false stimuli surround us — influencing our priorities, our use of time, thoughts and even our moods — we are here to help you navigate back offline. In doing so, we trust you will find a meaningful, persistent connection to the physical world around you and will discover a purpose that goes beyond what you’ve become accustomed to in the digital world.”

“We want people to go on and visit the website,” Delma said with a laugh. “But then get offline again really quickly! That’s the point.”

And while going offline, in the traditional sense, may not seem challenging as one can head out for a walk or pick up a book, Mind Offline’s focus is specifically on the producer part of us as humans. “It is the active creator state of mind that is sustainable, lasting, and can fuel a lifelong passion or even livelihood for some,” Delma said.

The kits range in price from a collage kit from Amagansett’s Stick + Stone for $30 all the way up to a big loop Merino wool blanket kit, with yarn from Beacon, NY-based Loopy Mango for $440.

In between are kits provided by cartoonist Peter Spacek (Draw Funny), Grain Surfboards (a DIY skateboard), ceramist Mary Jaffee of Bridgehampton (Vase Glazing Kit), a Southampton Soap felting kit, and more.

Delma also points out that although the kits are family-friendly, they are “to help release our own creativity,” she said. “Creating and making allows us to access parts of us that sometimes we forget we all possess. It raises our joy level — and we end up with something to show for it too,” she said.

Those interested in signing the petition can visit www.change.org and search for “Get Amazon to Offer Plastic-Free Packaging Options.”

To visit the Mind Offline website, go to www.mindoffline.org.

bridget@indyeastend.com