Sauna Nova Sco­tia

Erica and Devin Brook are build­ing com­mu­ni­ties, relationships and a busi­ness out of the sauna they built to­gether.

The Coast - Homes Halifax - - Contents - BY AL­LI­SON SAUN­DERS

“We both come from en­tre­pre­neur­ial fam­i­lies, it was kind of only a mat­ter of time. We have it in our genes.”

The we is Erica and Devin Brook. She has a back­ground in com­mu­nity de­sign and he’s a car­pen­ter. To­gether, they wanted to build some­thing—not just a phys­i­cal struc­ture that Devin would de­sign and con­struct, but some­thing big­ger: “Some­thing that brings peo­ple to­gether,” says Erica.

That some­thing was a sauna, and it kind of hap­pened by ac­ci­dent.

“I started to no­tice this funny thing be­tween us where he loves win­ter, he’s al­ways been into it,” says Erica. “I have al­ways found win­ter to be quite dif­fi­cult—i felt I was rush­ing through three or four months of the year try­ing to get through it as fast as I could.”

In ef­forts to be more present in the bleak­ness that can be a Nova Sco­tian win­ter, the cou­ple had their aha mo­ment. They built a mo­bile sauna, a sort of tiny home that can host groups and spe­cial events but also be rented and trans­ported, and with it Sauna Nova Sco­tia made its de­but last fall. A mod­ern de­sign with a tra­di­tional wood-fired stove, the pri­mar­ily wood sauna (built us­ing mostly lo­cal ma­te­ri­als) can host eight peo­ple and av­er­ages some­where in the 60 to 80 de­gree range.

“It’s a re­ally ex­tra­or­di­nary sim­ple plea­sure. It’s a fan­tas­tic bond­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Erica, cred­it­ing saunas as safe spa­ces. “A sauna is a won­der­ful way to get to know peo­ple. It’s a great space to get phys­i­cally com­fort­able and have com­fort­able con­ver­sa­tion.”

Af­ter a win­ter of liv­ing in Tata­m­agouche and work­ing with mostly pri­vate ren­tals, Erica and Devin have re­lo­cated to Hal­i­fax and are cur­rently work­ing to find a tem­po­rary host­ing lo­ca­tion for their sauna to be a com­mu­nity gath­er­ing place where peo­ple can “waste time with dig­nity,” says Erica, quot­ing a mantra of the Min­nesotabased Sauna So­ci­ety that Sauna Nova Sco­tia takes much in­spi­ra­tion from.

“The most com­mon thing peo­ple are get­ting out of it is a real sense of hap­pi­ness,” she says. “It leaves you very con­tented.” saunanovas­co­tia.com

A sauna is a won­der­ful way to get to know peo­ple. It’s a great space to get phys­i­cally com­fort­able and have com­fort­able con­ver­sa­tion.”

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