Ellie Way may be only 18, but she possesses so much determination, energy and enthusiasm that one can’t help but be inspired by the spirit of this charismatic young woman.
Daughter of Ron and Jill Way of Charlevoix, Way graduated last year from Charlevoix High School with all intentions of attending Calvin College and working toward a nursing degree. After one semester she changed her major and her mind and embarked on an alternate academic plan for her future in the area of health and nutrition. That would involve leaving Calvin, moving back home and applying for entry into a program offered at Michigan State University.
Concurrently, her mind embraced an idea that was born when she viewed a documentary titled “Tiny: a story about living small” while still attending Calvin College.
“I thought the whole idea of building a tiny house would be fun,” Way said…
Ellie came home at Christmas and began formulating a plan and getting materials. Her dad calculated the materials she would need and together with the advice, guidance and expertise in building offered by Ellie’s father and grandfather, Dick Way, she proceeded on a construction journey that began in the cold winter month of January, and has recently concluded to the point where she has moved into her tiny residence.
“My mom, my grandmother and also Brian Vollmer, who works for my dad, have also been big supporters,” she said.
It took a little over two weeks last January, to frame in the 8 foot by 20 foot structure and get the roof on so that they could all work on the inside projects.
“I wanted to be part of everything, to learn to do it all every step of the way,” she said. “I helped with everything from the metal roof to the bench cushions. I’m a very organized person. I made a spreadsheet to keep track of material cost with the goal of coming in under $10,000. As of April, we were at about $6,000, which was pretty much on track.” [Note: This tiny house is not on wheels – no trailer.]