Midwest Living Review
When Nawal Motawi started selling homemade ceramic tile at the local farmers market, she had no idea it would eventually lead to the Ann Arbor-based Motawi Tileworks. Nor did she imagine the company she launched in 1992 would become a thriving, internationally known operation. But it did, and today Motawi is manufacturing tile as artwork (you'll find it sold at gift stores all over the country) and for use in bathrooms and kitchens, as adornment for fireplaces and walls and as floor covering. Much of what is produced at Motawi is in the Arts and Crafts style; until 2008, they held the exclusive right to use Frank Lloyd Wright designs in their work. What they make is hand-painted, hand-glazed and baked in on-site kilns. A small gift shop at their factory sells tile to the public--as individual pieces and in frames, as well as items that incorporate tile designs, such as jewelry, calendars and tote bags. Every Thursday, they offer free tours, or for a fee you can arrange your own tour and/or tile-making class. Although they sell seconds (tile with small defects that are reduced in price) all year round, two big sales on June 1 and December 1 are hugely popular with the public, who start lining up hours before the doors open.