Marty and Monique, often called 'M & M' or 'The Lightners', created their successful enterprise in 1987 from a hobby! Marty says they met, storybook style 25 years ago in the South of France when Marty, then an engineer, was transferred by Motorola to Toulouse France to manage the Marketing Dept. and hired Monique to work for him. Both ended up stateside, where Monique who is multi-lingual continued to work for Motorola for a total of 20 years, eventually leading a marketing division on three continents. Marty, after extensive world travel for Motorola and writing a book, then owned three retail stores in the 1970's. Thereafter, for nine years he was a wholesale representative and advisor in the southwest, selling - you guessed it - gift items.
The process begins every morning when Marty and Monique, in their studio, start with natural terracotta clay that they form, by hand, into their various designs. The clay then dries, is sanded, and fired in a kiln to 1850 degrees hardening the pieces to an almost indestructible product.
Each piece is an original because no two are exactly the same. Such is the nature of handmade products. Not all are absolutely flawless. Some, to the layman's eye, might have a teeny imperfection such as an indentation, a slight variation in color or rarely, the odd fingerprint, but they have a quality and style no machine can duplicate.
All our items are handmade by the two of us in our studio. We are known for not using molds.
Marty and Monique Lightner