Celebrating a strong, creative, resilient Lunenburg County
NOW, MORE THAN EVER...
BY JENNIFER NAUGLER
Living in Toronto and having recently finished school, Hannah Cook and Elliot Wajchendler began working in their respective careers as interior designer and architect. After some time and circumstance, not feeling especially satisfied with their jobs, they eventually began talking about where their careers and lives were headed. More importantly, where they wanted to be.
Hannah grew up in Lunenburg County with her parents and three siblings on a chicken farm, and was feeling the pull to come back home. Elliot was open to coming to Nova Scotia and
loved the idea of living in an area with so much nature and space. After some deliberation, Hannah packed up all their things and moved to NS with Elliot joining her six months later
after finishing a temporary job out west. Their original plan was to build a tiny home to live in, but until that happened they were staying in the 100+ year old farmhouse on the Cook farm property. The interior designer in Hannah and the architect in Elliot, started peeking around the old home and immediately felt inspired to start doing some restoring and renovating.
They started in the living room and began recording some video, mostly for their own purposes to document the process. When they finished, Elliot spent some time editing and then decided to upload the video, entitled Farmhouse Restoration- $300 Living Room Reno, to YouTube and Reddit. Within 24 hours, they had received 800 subscribers. At the one-year mark, that first video now has over 400,000 views.
Receiving so much positive feedback, they decided to keep going and began dedicating more time to the video process. Renovating the farmhouse, and sharing that experience, they have built up a large following. They currently have close to 60,000 subscribers and 2.4 million total video views. With the money they make from ad revenue, Elliot is now a full-time
YouTuber, while Hannah has a full-time job and her own cake decorating business on the side.
Leaving Lunenburg County for a while and coming back has given Hannah a whole new respect for the area. When you are young, it’s easy to say there is nothing to do here, but Hannah says if you go looking, there is lots to do, mentioning the beautiful trails and recent addition of craft breweries. Blown away by the space, nature, and the convenience, the longer Elliot is in Pinegrove, the more he loves it. They both enjoy the slower paced lifestyle and the sense of community.
Elliot describes these times as “ground-breaking” in that there is so much potential online. There is still work to do, but you can really do that work from anywhere. Hannah and Elliot are both glad this new reality allows them to build their lives, living and working in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.
Hannah’s Cake Designs