Twenty Questions with Elise Fraser


Welcome To Twenty Questions!

Every week I’ll be sharing a new twenty-something on the blog and their responses to twenty quick-fire, intimate questions. No one featured on Twenty Questions is a celebrity or public figure, and most of these people I don’t know very well, or at all. My hope is that by taking a peek into someone else’s soul you will realise that, despite our fundamental differences, we still have similar insecurities, make similar mistakes and have fought similar battles to become the people we are today.

Elise Fraser, 24

What is your full name?

Elise Mireille Hoggard Fraser.

How old are you?

24 years young.

How old do you feel?

14 at my silliest and 24 when I’m in “serious mode” at work.

Where were you born, and where do you live now?

I was born in Invermere, in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.

Now I live in Berlin.

What do you do for work?

I’m currently working for Zalando, Europe’s largest e-commerce, managing content creation and influencer relations. It’s an interesting change from fashion. I just got promoted! I have a lot creative freedom now which is a fantastic challenge.

What do you do for fun?

I cook, I paint, I write, I dance. I recently began teaching hip hop again, an open beginners class once a week, after an over five year break. It’s been a wonderful way to break up the week during winter and I love seeing all of my different friends coming together for something so close to my heart, it’s magic.

Did you go to university? If so, what did you study? If not, why?

I did. I have a Bachelor of Communications degree and I majored in Television and Screen Production. I loved learning and my time at AUT – minus the debt.

What is your favourite movie of all time?

This is hard! Off the top of my head Romeo and Juliet comes to mind, I love Baz Luhrmann. Anything by Quentin Tarantino. Ooh, The Breakfast Club! An 80’s dream.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken that has paid off?

Moving to Berlin. I booked a one way ticket from New York at the end of my visa and moved continents for the second time in two years. This time I was without savings having spent all of it in America. I didn’t have a visa, a home or any job prospect lined up. Now I’ve got all of the above and more. Europe isn’t my forever place but I’m loving it for now. I’ve made memories that will last forever.

Hardest moment of your twenties so far?

Moving to Berlin. I underestimated how much the language barrier would affect my acclimatization to Germany, especially breaking into the job market. Also, winter in Europe means the sun might not appear for days at a time, nor was I taking Vitamin D like I should have been (GAME CHANGER!). My parents were on the phone telling me to come home. Everyone else around me was going through it too. It was a bleak battle to get back on my feet and I couldn’t have done it without the friends I made here. I’m proud that I stuck it out and came out on top. Although I do feel like I’ve aged at least a decade now.

Best moment of your twenties so far?

Living, loving and thriving in New York. Working for Zimmermann in Soho, assisting Zara Mirkin in my spare time with her collection Merch Junkies and helping out on shoots. Living in Brooklyn, waking up with a bagel and iced coffee, and walking along the Williamsburg bridge on a summer’s morning. Moving overseas alone is empowering and I really found myself in doing so.

Who do you miss?

I miss my family. My baby sister who is 12, my brother who is 14 (and now taller than me!) My mum, my step-dad, my grandparents. My dad in Canada. My friends who live in New Zealand. My friends in New York! Growing up can sometimes feel like growing apart with everyone off on different adventures. I’m coming home at the end of this month for the first time in two years and I could not be more excited. Aotearoa is bliss and so are the people.

What do you like the most about yourself?

I like my constant ability to be myself, no matter what. I always know who I am and what I want. I like my ambition and my sense of adventure.

What do you like the least about yourself?

My perfectionism. It has pushed me to achieve above and beyond but to be so self-critical is also exhausting and it can blur my perspective. So I would like to become more patient, life isn’t a race and we are all enough as we are, right now.

If you had to get a tattoo, what would you get and where would you get it? If you already have tattoos, which is your favourite and why?

I have two, both of which I got spontaneously on my birthday in 2016, on the inside of each arm. One is the outline of a small house – a wee square with a triangle on top. The other is Saturn. I’d definitely get more.

How would your friends describe you?

I asked my friend Lana and she said “Those red lips, that contagious laugh, an embrace from those strong arms makes you feel electric! A giving soul. Creative and outgoing, she brings energy to a room that makes you want to dance, shake your ass and sing along! A cup of tea and painting with Elise on a Sunday will heal whatever adventures kept us up the night before.”

How would your parents describe you?

Hmm. “Wild” springs to mind. A dreamer. Fiercely independent and creative.

When was the last time you cried?

One week ago. I cry all the time, happy or sad. Empathetic to say the least.

What are you afraid of?

Failure. Being misunderstood. Being late!

If you could start your twenties again, what would you do differently?

Hmm, stop dating skaters! Hahaha. Drink less, stop worrying, more meditation.  I don’t know if I would change a thing though. Moving overseas and meeting the rest of the world has been life altering. I’ve spent a lot of money, definitely more than I’ve saved but life is for living, no? Everyone I’ve met along the way has shaped me into the person I am now and for that I am richer.

 Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club