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Posted on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

Ann Arbor's Motawi Tileworks founder to give speech at TEDxDetroit creative conference

By Ben Freed

Ann Arbor's Nawal Motawi already has been featured on NBC’s “Today” show and Detroit Public Television’s “Arab-American Stories.” On Friday, she will present a talk at the fourth annual TEDxDetroit conference, according to a report from MLive Detroit.


Motawi went to school in Detroit but has made Ann Arbor home for the past 20 years.

Photo courtesy of Motawi Tileworks

The tile-maker got her start in Detroit at Pewabic Pottery before founding her own Scio Township-based studio 20 years ago. Starting as Motawi Tileworks' only employee, Motawi now employs 30 people and produces more 10,000 square feet of tile every year.

The conference where Motawi is presenting is a spinoff of the popular TED series. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, was founded in 1984 and started as a conference to bring together people from those three sectors to share innovative ideas. Today, “TED talks” are popular online videos that highlight major speeches (never longer than 18 minutes) given at the conferences.

TEDxDetroit is an opportunity for industry leaders and creative individuals like Motawi to share their experiences with a like-minded regional audience. According to MLive, Motawi’s speech will focus on her experiences as an artist and entrepreneur.

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Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2