Native Tile was born in the month of October 1990 in a humble boat yard shed in Marina del Rey, California.
After a few years of attempting to work for other ceramic tile businesses in Southern California, Diana and her former husband Tom decided that having their own business would be the best way to go for their lifestyle. Tom was a striving touring musician, and Diana had recently graduated with a design degree from UCLA. Ceramics and textile design were her creative mediums of choice, and ornately patterned tiles were a perfect marriage of the two. The design focus of the new business was influenced both by Diana’s then-recent involvement with the Historic Adamson House and an interest in the ceramic challenges that went along with tile restoration.
When she was looking for a studio space to get Native Tile started, her UCLA colleague and friend Gary Steinborn (Venice Clay) suggested she look on Glencoe Avenue in Marina del Rey. Expensive rent left her discouraged, but as she was leaving she noticed a wooden shed with a caved-in roof fenced within a small boat-building yard. Seeing potential, Diana convinced the owners to let her rent the 500 square foot space with the condition that they fix the roof. The rent was $375 a month. She scraped up $1,200 to buy her first Cress kiln, had an electrician friend put in electricity, and Native Tile was officially open for business. It was a slow start, but with passion and perseverance Diana has kept the business growing and evolving for the past 25 years.