Cisco and the Sun By Franziska Tschurtschenthaler
Model, entrepreneur, artist, founder of table ware brand Cisco&the Sun , co founder of The Slow, Franziska changed her name to Cisco when her friends in Australia couldn’t pronounce her name.
After a time based in NY she now lives in Bali with her husband George Gorrow but calls the world her home. Always on the go, inspired, her creative flow is invigorating.
I wanted to know more about who she is. Honored to share with you a hear to heart with Cisco and learn more about what lies behind her passion for tableware.
You are from Germany? I somehow thought you were Australian. ; ) I’m Swiss…and English, and my name is Taugwalder which I also dropped for the same reasons as you dropped Tschurtschenthaler.
Would you be able to start by telling us a bit about yourself. Where you are from, what you do…
Sure! My nickname is Cisco and I was born and raised in Munich, Germany, the youngest of four girls.
Can you tell us how you came to live in Bali from NY?
We were living in Sydney when both my husband and I got work offers in NYC. We decided to give it a go, and immersed ourselves in the the hard and fast lifestyle there for a year and a half before yearning for a simpler, slower existence. Life got so big. We decided to pack our bags and make our dream come true of living in Bali, taking it slow. We had already built a villa here in 2009, and had a strong connection to the island; my husband had been enjoying the waves here since he was really young, and we also got married here in 2010.
With all the amazing craftsman ship on this island, what sparked the creation of your earthenware brand ‘Cisco & the Sun’? Can you tell us about your inspiration & the name?
I started getting into ceramics when we were creating The Slow island stay, our 12-room boutique hotel, restaurant and art gallery in the heart of Bali’s Canggu. We designed and curated every little piece of it, it’s a collection of all the things we love in our life – music, art, fashion, tableware & antiques. I got right into the tableware and found a local maker who learned the ancient art of ceramic making in Sapporo, Japan. Our guests really love the in-house tableware, and the number of requests to purchase some plates to take home just kept growing. I decided it was time to start something bigger. That’s when Cisco & the Sun Home was born.
My advice would be to prepare to be overwhelmed at some stage. When that feeling comes, take a deep breath, and tackle the big mountain of tasks one step at time.
What were / are the biggest struggles to create your brand and what lessons can you share to women who are on the edge of flying solo. Things you wish you’d been told or maybe things that amazed you.
I think the old sentence ‘learning by doing’ is pretty accurate here. After 15 years of modeling, I really didn’t have a clue what it’s like to start your own business, and there are still so many things I don’t know. But that’s also what makes it interesting, it’s keeping me on my toes and I love that. My advice would be to prepare to be overwhelmed at some stage. When that feeling comes, take a deep breath, and tackle the big mountain of tasks one step at time. I have been lucky to be surrounded by many friends here in Bali who have already established successful businesses. I’m not scared to ask questions and I always value their feedback and words of wisdom.
What do you like best about living in Bali? Can you share your top 10 (or 5) places to visit to Bali living (shopping, food, discover…)?
It would be certainly the smiles we receive unconditionally from the locals, how warmly they welcome us. The simple moments here that force you to slow down, cows crossing the streets, chickens blocking a doorway. I am grateful everyday that I chose this island to be home.
My tip for visitors would be to get off the beaten track, do some exploring, get lost in the jungle, and leave the touristy areas behind. We recently did a surf trip to Sumba by boat and on our way there we stopped at the Komodo islands. The national park was breathtaking and it’s beautiful to hike and take in the epic views. I love mellow places that are not packed with instagrammers.
My top Bali places to visit would be…
BREAKFAST: Peleton in Berawa, an amazing vegan cafe
LUNCH: we love to go to La Lucciola, one of the oldest restos in Bali, and hands down one of the best pizzas I have ever had. The seafood risotto is also incredible, and it’s a great spot for breakfast on the weekends as it has beautiful ocean views.
DINNER: If I want to have a healthy curry I go to Green Ginger, a local vegan noodle house in Berawa. For a romantic dinner with my man we go to Ji Terrace, it’s down the road from our house and part of the Tugu arts hotel. It has the most stunning ocean views of Canggu but shhhhh….it’s a secret.
SUNSET: Hidden Beach Bar in Berawa, a local beach bar run by our friend Arie. It’s a perfect place to watch the waves and beautiful sunset, and stands as a reminder of Bali in days gone by.
STAY: I love to escape for a day or two to the eco-resort Suarga in Padang Padang, it’s all solar powered and very tastefully designed.
SHOPPING: Cove Island Essentials in Berawa. My beautiful friend Lisa opened this amazing shop where you can find high quality island treasures crafted very tastefully. I also love Canaan – a boutique part of Potato Head. it has a beautiful selection of high-end hewlett, traditional ikats and many more things.
EXPERIENCE: Cuca – a gastronomic restaurant in Jimbaran. Their Canadian Head Chef, Kevin, comes up with incredibly tasty dishes. A must-try on the island no matter where you stay.
You are a lady of the world, traveling plays a big part of it. What are your recommendations to a stress free flight? What items do you always bring on board?
That would be noise-cancelling headphones, wax earplugs, a good read and my back pillow. I also love to bring some essential oils with me on board, such as a home made face-mist that is a mixture of peppermint and rose geranium that my friend Din-Dins recently gave. Obviously drinking lots of water and staying hydrated is important. I always take snacks from a health food shop so I don’t need to eat plane food, like some nuts or almost butter and some fruit.
I’ve heard that you are expecting your first baby. Congratulations! Will you stay in Bali for the birth? Where do you want your babe to grow up?
I am, thank you for asking! I have been feeling really well, obviously in the first 3 months I was a little tired, but now at 6-months I’ve got my energy back and I’m really enjoying pregnancy. We will have the baby in Byron Bay so we are surrounded by my husband’s family and all our friends up there. Byron is a special place to give birth. The Aborigines have been coming to give birth or to heal there for centuries. Nowadays they have great birthing centers there too, so that’s where it will all take place.
I don’t know about you but I oiled my belly every day to avoid stretch marks. Have you got anything that particularly works for you during this pregnancy you’d like to recommend to Mums to be? Maybe its not a product but a way of living?
I guess I am still in the midst of all this. Taking good care of myself goes without saying, and I try to get as many massages as I can, keep up some journaling, and remind myself to love the changes that are happening in my body because they are responsible for making a little Cisco soon. I think self-love and care is very big on my list, and asking for extra support if needed because other people can’t read your mind.
Thinking about lifestyle, you have created The Slow in Canggu together with your husband, it’s literally 5′ up the road from a great surf spot, the rooftop terrace overlooks a rice field, the cafe is spacious, airy with a laid back sophisticated vibes, photographic art and one of the best kitchen (so yum and healthy) in Bali (and of course your table ware that we wanted to bring home with us). It’s private and sociable at the same time and so lush. With creativity flowing everywhere, what do you do to regenerate, get inspired or simply relax?
To regenerate we love to go on trips and explore surrounding island or other cool places that we want to visit. Last summer we went to ibiza and stayed at La Ganja, a big farm house hidden in the hills that we really fell in love with. We then went to Morocco where we stayed amongst many cool places such as a hidden desert resort called Scarabeo Camp – that was such a fun experience.
Recently we just returned from Cambodia where we visited Siem Reap and stayed in an amazing resort called Phum Baitang. Such an incredible experience! The food all over Cambodia was insane. To cut a long story short we love to travel, explore other hotels and resorts and try all sorts of different food. We try to dive into other cultures and get inspired by their rituals and cuisine.