top of page

From fashion designer to surf camp owner in Morocco: Franky from "Wave Gypsy" - Femtastics article

Resetting life and starting all over again: Franziska Siegler (38) aka Franky did it four years ago. When the former fashion designer lost her job, which didn’t fulfill her anymore anyway, she decided to turn a three-week surf holiday in Morocco into a longer stay. Today, Franky, who is originally from Erfurt in Germany and her partner Taoufiq live in the village of Tamraght at the Moroccan Atlantic coast. Together they run the surf & yoga camp "Wave Gypsy". femtastics co-founder Katharina and photographer Magdalena Mitter spent a week at the camp and accompanied Franky through her everyday life, talking to her about her new start, living and working in Morocco and her love for the perfect (longboard) wave.

femtastics: Four years ago you were still working as a fashion designer in Düsseldorf, among others for Esprit. Today we are sitting in your surf camp in Morocco. How did this big change in your life come about?

Franky: I was single at that time, I wanted to learn surfing in a surf camp. So I booked a trip to Morocco. From day one I was in love with Morocco and surfing and I was happier than ever before. Two days before I was fired from my old job. That was the door opener, otherwise I probably wouldn't have even thought about emigrating. In my first week in Morocco, while lying in bed, I was imagining how I would sell my stuff in Germany, give up my old life and just go surfing. Nothing felt better than that.

Has it been a dream of yours for a long time to go somewhere else and start over?

I have never planned it, there has only been this idea of living by the sea. I had never consciously thought about doing that, there was no particular trigger. I was in Australia the year before and would have loved to stay there, sun and sea – that’s a completely different lifestyle than sitting in a puffy office.

So you never thought of being the owner of a surf camp at some point?

That was a mere coincidence! I didn't really want to open a surf camp. It's a common cliché around here: Having a Moroccan partner and then opening a surf camp. After living in Morocco for half a year, I met my current boyfriend Taoufiq. At that time we were offered to manage a surf house. After one year we found out that we could actually do it on our own and set up out own camp. In May 2019 we signed the rental contract for this house and renovated and modified it until August 2019. It took us one year to find the perfect house. All this is not as easy as it looks, many things are very complex here.

Did you liquidate your entire household in Düsseldorf back then?

First I sublet my apartment, then I sold my belongings piece by piece. After two years I set myself a dealine: Once my tenant moves out, I'll give up the apartment. That's what I did then. You should always follow your dreams. Life is really too short not to do that. That's my bottom line.

How did your environment react?

I was always the crazy noodle, but mom still wasn't thrilled. I had to listen to "Oh God, what are you doing? Your pension? Your health insurance?" Although I grew up in the system, I don't have the compelling feeling that I need it. I'm a free spirit.

In retrospect, would you call yourself brave?

I wouldn't, it just felt right. I'm an absolute heart-belly person and I don't think about it anymore.