Twenty Questions with Margie Cooney


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 about themselves. 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 peak into someone else’s soul you will realise that, despite our fundamental differences, we still have very similar insecurities, make similar mistakes and have fought similar battles to become the people we are today.

Margie Cooney, 23

What is your full name?

   Margaret Alexandra Cooney, after my grandma. But no one really calls me Margaret.


How old are you?

   23 years old.


How old do you feel?

   I’ve always felt older than I am. But it’s good, every so often, to allow myself to actually just be my age sometimes. It gets me out of my head.


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

I was born in Wellington, lived in Sydney for half my life and now live in Auckland.


What do you do for work?

I work for the Denizen, and I’ve just launched a jewellery label, Hera Saabi with my dear friend and business partner, Maeve Woodhouse. I also do some styling on the side.


What do you do for fun?

Writing for myself. Spending time with close friends. Going to films. The styling I do because I love it. At the moment I’m just reveling in the quiet moments between being busy.


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

I never thought I would go to university, which was bizarre because I had done well at school. I think, for some reason, I was seeking a less conventional path. I actually did end up doing Law and Arts for a few years, both here (UOA) and in Sydney (for one year), but I haven’t finished my degree yet. What it came down to for me, was the fact that I felt like I knew how to do the work required to get the marks, but I wasn’t feeling creatively/intellectually stimulated. Not so much a reflection on my professors or the curriculum, as it was a systemic thing. I felt like I was just being churned through the system and it ceased to mean anything. So when I stopped caring, I knew it was time to pause and take a breather. Totally open to going back one day, so we’ll see.

What is your favourite movie of all time?

The Princess Bride. I remember mum took me to the ballet when I was little and I ended up running up and down the aisles yelling “you killed my father, prepare to die” (the infamous line). It’s one of those films where every scene reminds me of a different memory of growing up.


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

I’m not sure I could say definitively that my risks have paid off yet – Leaving uni was risky, as was moving to Sydney again (and back again).  But I think in my twenties, I’m laying foundations for things to pay off in a few years. Starting a business (Hera Saabi) has to be the most rewarding risk I’ve taken so far, but it’s all still a process. Seeing it through these early stages of growth and watching our brand slowly start to become its own entity is really satisfying. It requires patience- but hopefully, will pay off down the line.


Hardest moment of your twenties so far?

Navigating the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around career, family and identity. I went through a stage right at the start of my twenties where I fell in and out of some really low places, and couldn’t quite pull myself back. I couldn’t understand it at the time because I thought everyone around me was super together, really sorted and focused, while I felt like I was floundering. Looking back, I’m sure there would have been a number of my peers going through similar existential crises. I think it’s all part of entering a new phase of life and being pushed to learn more about yourself- and at times, confront the darker parts you didn’t quite know were there.


Best moment of your twenties so far?

Meeting and travelling with my man and the moments we have together at home. He makes me laugh so much.


Who do you miss?

My sister (she’s like a sister) Modeena. She’s been doing her thing over in New York for the past year, but she’ll be home super soon and I can’t wait to be in the same city as her for a little bit.


What do you like the most about yourself?

My creative mind and capacity to love.


What do you like the least about yourself?

It’s so funny how this question is a lot easier to answer than the one above. Definitely my insecurities and worrying more than I care to admit about how others perceive me. And the pressure I put on myself.


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 already have three tattoos. Two on my left arm and one on my right. I love them all for varying reasons but I think my most recent one is the favourite at the moment. Top, inside right arm- and it’s a fine needle portrait of my first dog by Spider Sinclair. It looks super beautiful because of the detailing but I love it more because it reminds me of moments from when I was younger with my family in Australia. He was always such an integral part of that.


 How would your friends describe you?

Asked a couple of friends to aid with this- their words were ‘old soul, powerful, intelligent, stylish and non-judgemental’.


How would your parents describe you?

Hardworking, loving, creative and determined. My mum always tells me I would have made a great lawyer. Maybe in another life.


When was the last time you cried?

Yesterday. I cry all the time- it’s cathartic, you know?


What are you afraid of?

Insignificance (in terms of the work I do in my life); Failure; Feeling like I am wasting time- that’s a big one. I put too much pressure on myself, so when things aren’t realised in line with how I envisaged them, I often haven’t allowed myself the room to accept that. I’m working on it though.


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

It’s so easy to say that I would change a lot. Little tweaks here and there that I think with hindsight, would have saved me some pain. But would I be the same person now if I did? I don’t know… I don’t think so.

Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club