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, Nawal 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. Her company utilizes Toyota-Style Production and practices an intentional workplace culture.
Recently, Motawi tiles have been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Dwell Magazine.