D.E.L.S Ivory, Mfg. was founded in 1968 by Louis E. Brown. D.E.L.S. is an acronym for David, Eric, Linda and Steve; Louis' four children. D.E.L.S. began as a simple business operating from Louis' home in East Freetown, Massachusetts. Ivory and scrimshaw were the primary items made and sold at D.E.L.S. However, because of the success of this small business it was later expanded to include jewelry and nautical gift items.
David, the eldest child, began working for his dad at the age of 11. David quickly learned the tools of the trade and the concept of owning a family business. When David was 19 years old, his dad died in a tragic automobile accident. Having been employed at D.E.L.S. for several years already, David decided to continue his dad's business.
Through the years, ivory and scrimshaw, in it's traditional nautical and jewelry use, began to phase out. David, wanting to continue with his business, sought alternate uses for his product. In the early 1980's, David began to make pegs, knobs, and scrimed ovals for Nantucket Basket Purses. David Parr, a Nantucket Basket maker and instructor, as well as a customer of D.E.L.S. approached David and asked if he thought he could make Nantucket Basket molds since it would be a perfect unity in his business. Willing to try anything new, David made a 3" round Nantucket Basket mold.
Shortly thereafter, David's wife, Linda (not to be confused with his sister Linda) wanted to learn more about the art of making Nantucket Baskets. She sought after an instructor and took her first class with a famous Nantucket Basket maker named Gladys Ellis. After bringing her finished product home, David decided this was the direction he wanted his business to follow.
He began to study the art of Nantucket Baskets, speaking with famous Basket Makers such as Martha Lawrence, Gladys Ellis and Reggie Reed.
He learned how to make molds, rims, bases and most importantly, how to make a Nantucket Basket.
Today, D.E.L.S. Mfg. sells Nantucket Basket Supplies almost exclusively with ivory and scrimshaw being the perfect compliment to any basket. D.E.L.S. has its own wood shop where all molds, handles, rims and bases are made, and an ivory shop where ivory and bone pieces are cut and shaped. There is a classroom where Dave's wife, Linda, now teaches the art of Nantucket Basket making, and a retail counter where you can purchase Nantucket Basket gift items, jewelry, scrimshaw, and of course, Nantucket Basket Supplies.
D.E.L.S. has become large enough to provide you with all your basket making supplies yet remains small enough to give you the absolute best service you deserve. D.E.L.S. remains a family business where pride is taken in all of the products-whether it be a piece of custom scrimed ivory by our in-store scrimshander or a simple Nantucket Basket handle made in our wood shop-so you can rest assured that any product you purchase from D.E.L.S. has been carefully crafted to ensure that your own Nantucket Baskets are made of only the highest quality materials and workmanship.