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My People: Linzi Rooney on her special relationships

By Kerry McKittrick

The 30-year-old is director of Studio Souk, a retail space for a collection of local designers in Belfast. She lives in Belfast with her partner Mark and their three-year-old daughter Macie May.

My partner, Mark

Mark first contacted me to ask my advice on his work and how to stage an exhibition as I was previously a photographer and had held a few myself. I told him he needed to do a lot of work.

We were friends for two years before we got together. Mark now runs a cafe during the day, working as a DJ a few nights a week.

I sometimes think I should be with a sensible person, but I would be bored because Mark is so much fun. He's very laid-back which helps balance me when I get stressed.

My daughter, Macie May

I love being a mum and Macie May is just brilliant.

She's turning into a such a girly-girl and we love doing mother-daughter things together.

My best friends

My oldest friend is Louise Loade. We've known each other since our first year at Larne Grammar School and hung out all through our teenage years. She was my original partner in crime and now works as a teacher.

My other friend is Claire Patterson. We met about seven years ago when we worked on a cruise ship for Royal Caribbean cruise line.

We were the only two people from Northern Ireland on the whole ship so we made a beeline for each other.

My parents, Mandy and Alan

My dad works as a graphic designer. Sadly my mum passed away when I was 15 - she worked as a care assistant. Mum became ill with cancer when I was eight and then spent the next seven years battling her illness. I have a brother, David, who is just 18 months younger than me.

We're a very close family. I was the woman of the house so I always wanted to protect David. We're so close in age that we grew up as each other's playmates too.

My dad is very proud of me and where I've ended up, but he was always a very cautious person. I think as time goes on he's changing and beginning to wish he had taken a few more risks with his life.

My mentor, Fraser Brice

Fraser is one of my fellow directors at Studio Souk. He's the yin to my yang as I'm the creative person with wild plans and he's the one who thinks practically. He's in his fifties so he has a wealth of experience. He's a great person to run things by. He might not agree with me, but will always support me.

Person I go to for advice

My friend Sarah Matthews is always the person I ring if I have a problem - she's like an agony aunt.

Celebrity crush

I always say the same thing. I'm a bit of a Lord of the Rings geek and I love Orlando Bloom, but only with the lovely long blonde hair he has as Legolas in the film.

Fantasy dinner party

First, I would invite Princess Diana. I've always found her really inspirational and for some reason she always reminded me of my mum.

Then I would ask Anne Boleyn - I find the Royal family and the Tudors fascinating.

Next, I would ask Angelina Jolie, she's another inspiring woman for all the humanitarian work she does as well as her film career.

Finally, I'd invite Coco Chanel. She was the epitome of style - elegant and timeless.

  • For more information on Studio Souk, go to

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