Motawi: My goal was to make a living making the kind of tile I wanted to make. I was just a young person who didnt want to answer to the man. My parents bought a house in Ann Arbor as an investment, and they rented it to me on very reasonable terms. The garage was the studio. I didnt have capital. I worked my way down to part-time at Pewabic, and just managed it that way. Feldman: How did you get the business going? Motawi: A woman hired me to do a fireplace. It was a big leap of faith on her part. In the beginning, I was just trying to survive.