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Sustainable moves with Koality Kontent

Image by Koality Content

Pollution has become a growing concern all around the world. As such, it is important that measures be implemented to help deal with the growing pollution. In this article, we will be looking at an interview with Deslyn who is working to build a more sustainable world.

Dean: Deslyn it's great to meet you again.

Deslyn: It’s great to see you again.

Dean: Yeah, tell me just a quick run through of what Deslyn does.

Deslyn: Deslyn makes videos and puzzles about. My business is about selling puzzles and trying to make products that are eco-friendly and that stimulate mine and connect us to nature. But Deslyn likes to tell people to stop using single-use plastics and help them with their health.

Dean: Okay, so what is it about health that got you started on your journey? What struck your heart with health that got you started on your journey?

Deslyn: Oh, with health, I love to help. I love helping people and I knew I was really smart, so I was trying to figure out a way to combine the two. When I first started going to school, I was taking general classes because I wanted to be a probation officer, so I do have an associates in criminal justice. But then I realized that the system wasn't necessarily built to help people, especially black and brown people. So, I said, well, what can I do that would transcend racial barriers and going into healthcare and me being a pharmacist is what really helped me with that. Helping people and being educated enough to like inform people and they take the information in because I have the degree to back it up.

Dean: Yeah, I will say degrees are definitely important to a lot of people. Especially, you know, our culture, they're like, if you're like from the islands they're like, oh, you gotta go get an education.

Deslyn: Like my mom was always telling me, you gotta get an education. People can take a lot of things from you, but they can't take away what you know.

Dean: Where are you from, by the way?

Deslyn: Guyana, and you’re from Jamaica.

Dean: Yes ma'am. What is the name of your company?

Deslyn: Yes. The name of my company is called Koality Content. So, it's spelled Koality with a K cuz our mascot is a Koala Bear. And then content with a K, it was like quality content, like its regularly spelt. So, like when people look me up, they'll see Koality content LLC, but it's called Koality Content with a k.

Dean: Okay. Um, what inspired the name?

Deslyn: I love koala bears and I'm really like into nature and animals. So, I was doing my research and I was like, well, what's like the cutest animal? Like, everybody loves koala bears. Like nobody can say they're not cute. And plus, they're on an endangered species list. And part of my whole thing is to bring awareness not only to the planet, but the, um, endangered animals as well.

Dean: So, koala bear was, All right. So back to awareness on the planet. What would you say, um, quality content, what is their impact on the environment?

Deslyn: Well, as far as our products are concerned, we just started merchandise and it's all printed on demand. I've had a couple of orders and the people say things like, the quality is really good. So, we're all about quality and premium I item as well. And as far as the puzzles, the puzzles, the images are directly related to our purpose. So, there's images of animals. And then, um, as far as ethical eco friendliness goes, there's no, there's, no toxic inks. we use water-based inks, and then there's no plastic in the container at all. The bag that the pieces come in is a fabric bag and. Yeah, so anything like, if there's a way for me not to include single use plastics in my items, then that's what we do. Okay.

Dean: That’s great, I guess it's a little bit off topic, but can you tell me a little bit more about koala bears? Yes.

Deslyn: So, koala bears, they're super cute. In fact, I went to the Tampa Zoo. They are an endangered species. They're only. Uh, they're originally from Australia and they only reside in Australia. But because of the amount of deforestation and urban urbanization that's happening in Australia, their numbers are declining. First it was like people were hunting them, but now it's because they're losing their habitats. Um, so I went to the Tampa Zoo, and I saw Koala bear and we, we were supposed to interact with them, but they sleep 22 hours a day. And it was sleeping, and they didn't wanna wake them up for us to just play with them. But they sleep forever. Um, they live for about 10 to 12 years. They have these little babies, they're called Joey's. They're so cute. And yeah, I just love clothes. I just love wild bears.

Dean: Okay. When would you say that your passion for Koalas Bear started?

Deslyn: Um, I would say I always liked animals. I always usually have like a dog or something with me. Like now I have a bearded dragon who's running around. You might hear 'em tapping, running around the house, but I just, it doesn't necessarily have to be a koala bear. I do love koala bears, but I just love animals in general. I feel like our whole purpose on this earth is to take care of them. Because they can't take care of themselves. They, we, we are very smart. We couldn't build a new house, you know, but they can't, they don't have anywhere else to go. It is our responsibility to take care of their house, which is still our house, which is the earth.

Dean: So, with your mission, off the top of your head, any sort of impact that you know of that you're actually having where Koality content puzzles were images concerned?

Deslyn: I would say that yes, like some people, they're like, well Deslyn I usually wouldn't puzzle this kind of kind of images. I'm like you should definitely check out my website. A lot of people have told me, wow, I never really thought about the impact I am having on the environment. Like I never really thought about it. Like they'll puzzle like puzzles, maybe have like a tiger or some kind of animals on it, but there's nothing else educational that goes with it. My puzzles also include an infographic. So, there's ocean and there's land. There are two different puzzles, and they'll have like, Facts on what our contribution to their habitat or in its Destruction. And it'll also have information on the animals which ones are in danger. There's like five different species on each puzzle that's in danger. It's also educational ed. Fun puzzles are supposed to be fun and educational. I think the images that we use are different from most, well really all puzzle companies in that it is educational as well, and it makes you think. Like you're doing this really relaxing activity, but then you're able to think about, well, what, what other impact am I really having? Because most puzzles have all this plastic inside the box and then there's, it is just the animals. But with my puzzles, people get to think about what they're doing and who's affecting them, and I really like that.

Dean: Okay. And what material are those puzzle pieces made of?

Deslyn: Yes, they're made out of a hundred percent recycled chip board and linen. And linen is also, um, a material that is found in nature is from flax seeds and it's also biodegradable, which is really important.

Dean: Yeah, that is true. Definitely anything to do with, um, sustainable missions or recycling in general, being able to use materials that are biodegradable is a necessity. It's, mm-hmm. It's hard to do in terms of technology and things like that, especially with the way things are today. We want the world to go fast and a lot of the things that we use, like metal cans, plastics, and things like that, it's hard to break those things down. But I can't, I can't lie to you and tell you that plastics don't help. There are a lot of things that plastics do that with the way how current manufacturing works, it's hard to replace them. They may have, um, they have processes that they can use with, um, with, um, with processing, um, cacti and trees and things like that to turn them into some type of, um, transparent material that can be used for certain processes.

Dean: So yeah, that's another thing. Incentives. How do we actually incentivize people to invest in our products? Like of course they're buying it, but it's also an investment for the earth. Um, for you personally. How have you gone about, um, making sure that people can invest in your company or buy your products instead of going into the alternative companies that they may look at?

Deslyn: to be honest, that's something I kind of really struggle with now. It is like people will, they know me, and they know what I'm about, so that's how I mostly get puzzle sales. But I don't think they actually really understand the impact of that. Single use plastics have on them and their health or the environment. It is a challenge for me to get people to change their minds, but, um, I'm up for the challenge. I'm up for the challenge. I just kind of tell them like, look at this video, or this is how it, it is going to affect you. But yeah, it is, it is a challenge to get people to stop their ways for right now because climate change, they hear about it, but it's so, it sounds so encompassing. But I've joined a lot of, um, these meetings. I'm in the Michigan Clinicians for Climate Change and also the climate, uh, citizens Climate Lobby where we make phone calls, um, to get our senators and our Congress men and women to make that change. I mean, they're elected officials, so if we call them and tell them like, this is going on, this is going on, maybe they can make the difference. And also, I've been reading about, uh, carbon-free dividends, which charges companies that pollute our air with the most carbon dioxide and we can get some of our money back. And I think that's a great idea to allow some of these companies to give us our money back for polluting our air and oceans.

Dean: Yeah. I definitely have to learn more about, um, what was it called? The climate What climate? The Citizens Climate Lobby. CCL. Yeah, I gotta learn a little bit more about that, cuz I think you'd be interested in that. Okay. All right. That's definitely something I'll take the time to look at.

Deslyn: We're planting trees tomorrow. I wish I would've told you before, but we're gonna plant trees in Detroit. Yeah, that's what time, um, it's, it starts at 10 and it ends at one. Yeah. Tight window.

Dean: Um, definitely Tell me about the address and I'll, and I'll see if I can make it. What would you say as a child led you here?

Deslyn: Hmm. That's a great question. I was like, I was like, I was thinking about that the other day, and I was like, would I tell people I used to play in the mud? Yeah. Why not? So, um, in my neighborhood that I grew up in Atlanta, actually on the east side of Atlanta. And we didn't really have that much money. So it was, it was kind of, I guess it was, it was, it was east side version of the hood. So, but anyway, we had a lot of resources. We grew like pear trees. There were honeysuckles, we had a creek. There was all type of like plants that we had there, and I used to just go out outside all the time and, and just walk around and I loved walking around and breathing in the fresh air and making mud pies and playing in the creek, like it was just being, it was fun being outside. So I was like, if, if, if we're not able to go outside, Like for real, like even Covid was really a test on our limits of what we can and cannot do. But I can't, Ima, I couldn't imagine not being able to go outside because of the air quality or because the pollution is so bad. Whatever I can do to try to do, you know, connect and protect our environment, I think that's, it's just what I want to do. You actually fell in love with Earth by getting to know her essentially? Yeah.

Dean: Yeah, that's a good way. Speaking along those lines, what would you tell people or this generation, what they can actually do to have that same relationship with Earth or even a better one than you did?

Deslyn: Well just go outside on a sunny day, like even it, especially on the days when you're not feeling well, I promise you it's something about the sun that re-energizes us, that takes us out of our days. Like you, I don't know if you've ever been working, just going at it the whole day and you're like, oh my God, I'm so tired. And then maybe one day you're just not feeling well. But I promise you once you like step outside into that sunlight and breathe some fresh air, things just automatically get better. And once people realize that the sun was just created for us to feel that way because there's so many benefits other than vitamin D. It increases your immune system; it boosts your energy levels. Just being outside is really important. So, I would just tell people, if you can appreciate just the sun and being outside, then you'll open your eyes to the other things that you might appreciate. Oh, maybe you really do like animals. Maybe you like plants. Maybe getting your hands in that dirt, especially if your earth sign is really going to charge you and make you feel better.

Dean: Yeah, I understand that, actually. Understand that completely. Sure. So yeah. Yeah, that definitely brought me back into a thought right there. Um, the other day. It's so funny, I was getting ready to go to the gym, right? And I had to do a little cleanup and whatnot cuz it was trash day. Um, well the day before trash day, make sure you take the trash out the night before, you know how that goes. So, I'm cleaning everything up, um, getting all the trash bags ready and putting it outside and the sun happened to be shining down and I'm not gonna lie, the moment the sun hit me, I started walking slow. I started finding all the excuses to find all the trash around the house, to pick 'em up so that I could bask in the sun as long as I could. It feels good. Yeah, it felt amazing. Um, just be even able to be there and actually experience the moment. It wasn't like I know what the sun feels like. I hear people tell me how the sun feels all the time. It's something that's in my memory. But when you're there,

Deslyn: It's a different light hit different. Yeah. Yeah.

Dean: So, Deslyn, what's something that you will recommend someone do if they look to have a similar sustainable mission like yours? Well, not in terms of, you know, doing exactly what you do, but just doing something that's eco-friendly.

Deslyn: I would tell them to really like to do your research. Like if you say this is a space you want to be in, really look into it and then break down the part that's most important to you. Because like I said, if I mention climate change somewhere, there's so many levels to it, but I decided to pick single use plastics and, and health and then expand upon that. So if they feel like it's overwhelming to kind of get into, I would just say break it apart and figure out what's the one thing that really bothers you about the eco friendliness part of it. And then go with that. Okay.

Dean: That's fair. That's fair. And, um, shoot, I got like two more questions for you. Um, what's this one? What. Anything new and exciting that you're doing right now?

Deslyn: Um, well be between us. I, um, got into start studio. Um, it is a program with TechTown for me to try and develop an app. So I'm probably actually going to ask you some questions after you finish asking me questions. I want to develop an app, but I don't want to really waste my time on trying to push people in this, in this mission of climate change that I'm on. Cause I feel like sometimes. People are interested, but like I said, they get overwhelmed, and they just don't know what to do. But right now, I'm trying to develop an app that's is low cost. It's right there on your phone, and there has to be an educational component that's still fun, that's maybe still about puzzles, but more focused on an area that people are really, really interested in and, and figure out how I can still incorporate my, um, my, my mission. But yeah, that's what I'm working on. I'm just trying to figure out how I can get my idea or the idea of being closer to nature and connecting with nature to everyone. And if I can do it on the, on the item that they're on the most, then I don't have to, I don't have to sell physical products. It would be right there on their phone.

Dean: Okay. And last question. What are two things that go on in your journey, one being a mistake that you made and one being something that you didn't know would turn out, but it happened to be a blessing that shaped who you are now?

Deslyn: Yeah. Uh, I would say, the one thing that has changed my life completely was being diagnosed with cancer in 2019. If that didn't happen, I would've never started my business or trying to figure out, well, how did I get sick if it wasn't genetic? Because of the cancer I had, there were no genetic markers to it. It was my hormones, and I was going back and thinking, what, what can affect. My hormones. And then I was like, oh, I was on birth control, and I was drinking a lot of, um, water bottles, and I found out that some of the chemical pump compounds that's inside of the water bottles does have an effect on your hormones. I would say if, if that didn't happen to me, I would've never got on my eco-friendly path. And then what was the second question? Um, one was something like, well, I guess you answered the first part.

Dean: The second one was what? Did you, what happened? Either a blessing or so, something that you didn't really know was gonna turn out, but it happened to be a blessing?

Deslyn: making the puzzles. I met some really great people in the puzzle community. Um, they're just so welcoming and so inviting. And then onto that was getting into. Or meeting people like you that are into like the new space, the digital space, because the future is digital, but the future is now. So yeah, getting into the puzzle, like learning about my puzzlers and what they really want, and then now getting into this new digital space where I'm learning some really incredible information, which is really important to me. And I just love learning. So yeah, definitely. Okay. All right.

Dean: And that concludes the interview.


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