Nawal Motawi joins us to talk about her journey from art school graduate to founder of an award-winning Ann Arbor-based nationally known art studio that creates unique handmade tile reflecting the classic styles and craftsmanship of 20th Century American design.
Nawal Motawi founded Motawi Tileworks more than 20 years ago. A University of Michigan art school graduate with a restless spirit and an interest in applied arts, she moved to Detroit to learn tilemaking at Detroit’s storied Pewabic Pottery. She returned to Ann Arbor after a few years and began making her own tiles in a garage studio and selling them from a stand she rented at the local farmers’ market. Today, Nawal is still designing and making tiles in Ann Arbor. Her companies, Motawi Tileworks and Rovin Ceramics, employ more than 30 people. The tiles are sold in over 400 stores across the United States.
The Motawi business philosophy:
We make distinctive ceramics in a healthy way. We share our story. And we have fun.
We believe that we can make the world a better place by making beautiful things for everyday places and modeling healthy company practices.
How do we do this?
We make things that are valued for their design and quality.
We cultivate an intentional workplace culture that fosters constant improvement, positivity and consistently high performance.
Listen to learn how she made the move from her first art classes to a successful business owner, plus her best tips for building a sustainable career in the arts.