Each month in 2013 I will feature a female entrepreneur from Northern Ireland. I find these smart and creative women inspiring and I hope you do to. Last month I featured PR guru Cathy Martin and this month it’s all about silversmith and Director at Studio Souk Linzi Rooney.
How did you get into jewellery making?
Up until 3 years ago I was working full time as a photographer, but, growing tired of sitting in front of a computer all day, I decided to change my career path and get back to a more “hands on” creative field – and so Elephant Juice was born.
What inspires your jewellery designs?
I think I always want each piece to look different and unique but not at the cost of it still looking pretty and feminine.
One of Linzi’s Elephant Juice jewellery pieces, made with antique silverware.
Last year you officially took over the reins at The Fashion Souk. Tell us about your new role.
Since taking over, a lot of changes have happened. I changed the name of the company to Studio Souk and opened Belfast city centres’ first open plan retail/studio space. I still run a fashion and craft market which now runs on the first Saturday of the month called Saturday Souk in Spires Mall. So my role now has many layers from managing director to event organiser to sales assistant – there is never a dull day!
What are the most challenging and the most satisfying aspects of your work at Studio Souk?
Working with a lot of different personalities, trying to get them to come together as a community is definitely challenging but its the most satisfying aspect of Studio Souk as well. It really makes you work on your patience!
Is it difficult to juggle your creative endeavours with the business side of what you do?
Oh definitely. I think if you are creative person, a business head doesn’t necessarily come easily. But its our passion for what we do thats drives us to make it work.
What has been your proudest professional moment?
It was definitely the launch party of Studio Souk. I had to take a minute to myself to just take it all in and to say, “wow I’ve done it , I’ve actually done it!”
The official opening of Studio Souk by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Januray 2014.
Does your young daughter show your creative flair?
I just think she’s a genius but I’m sure every mother probably feels that way about their children. She’s very curious and head strong like her mum so I can only hope she will follow in my footsteps.
Do you have a motto that you live by, and if so what is it?
Yes! Heal the past, live the present and dream the future!
Who or what inspires you in your life?
My mum. She died when I was 15 and it always reminds me that life is short and you never know what could be around the corner. Especially now that I have a daughter of my own, I want her to know that you should always follow your dreams, whether it works or not, at least you know you have tried.
What do you want to do more of this year, in either your professional or private life?
I’ve got a lot of things going on over the next few months. I am running all the workshops at Belfast City Hall for the Easter Festival as well as hosting a Bike Fashion Souk and exhibit at the Giro d’Italia Big Start Festival. In my private live I would like to have a bit more free time to spend as a family, but its still early days for the company so maybe that might come next year.
How do you like to unwind?
Will I be judged if I say with a glass of wine?
Linzi with her mini me daughter Macie May.