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
Tina Hennigar is the population growth coordinator for NOW Lunenburg County.