Leaving the City to Reclaim Happiness in Outport Newfoundland

Outport Newfoundland Appeals to a Growing Community of Artists and Former City Dwellers

When Jonathan and Liz White took a big risk two years ago and started a new business, it was not your typical moneymaking venture.

They make colourful folk art from wood that others throw away and driftwood that washes up on beaches near their home in Twillingate, on Newfoundland’s northeast coast.

“If you [had once] told me, you could make a living out of getting stuff on a beach and coming back to your garage and building it, I would probably laugh at you, for sure,” Jon White told CBC’s Land & Sea.

Turning wooden trash into treasure for their business, White’s Emporium, had seemed to be an unrealistic career while the Whites and their three young children were leading a very different lifestyle in St. John’s.

Jon was a nurse working in the offshore oil industry. He would work for two weeks and then spend two weeks at home.

As Liz recalls, life was more than hectic.

“My mom used to come in for a week and say and then his mom would come in for a week and stay, and then he’d be home for two more weeks and then we’d rinse and repeat. So it was a bit crazy … with three kids.”

A television crew of a videographer and an audio technician record the White family. A man and woman sit on a couch as three small children play along a coffee table.
Jon and Liz White moved with their three children to Twillingate to start their own business. Their story is chronicled in a Land & Sea episode.  (Jane Adey/CBC)

Jon says the couple worked toward getting a bigger home and a nicer vehicle and surrounding themselves with nicer things.

“But once we started having kids, we got older and we started prioritizing what was important in our lives,” he said.

Learn how the Whites have carved out a new career for themselves in Reclaiming Happiness, the season premiere of CBC’s Land & Sea. Click the video above to see the full episode.

A series of fishing buildings sit atop wooden wharves by a habour. The sky and water are bright blue.
Colourful fishing premises line the seashore in Twillingate, where the Whites relocated from St. John’s to launch a new business and to raise their family.  (Jane Adey/CBC)

Land & Sea airs Sundays on CBC Television in Newfoundland and Labrador at 11:30 a.m., 11 a.m. in most of Labrador. You can watch current episodes — as well as episodes from the past 13 seasons — on Gem, CBC’s free streaming service.

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/reclaiming-happiness-driftwood-art-1.6642855

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