PITTSBURGH — It's funny how things work out. Don Cella always thought he would be a developer like his father, but his hobby ended up being his livelihood.
"He loved taking pottery classes in high school and thought it would be a retirement project," says his sister, Angela Arena.
Now brother and sister run Limelight Tile & Ceramics in the Strip District. He is the owner and operator, and she is marketing and sales coordinator. The family owned business began when their father, Don P. Cella Jr., bought tile-making equipment at an auction.
What really gave Limelight a colorful jolt was a partnership several years ago with Fiesta Tableware Co.
Originally made by Homer Laughlin China Co. in Newell, West Virginia, Fiesta has brightened kitchens since 1936. Cella began talking with its manufacturer shortly after Limelight opened in 2014.
"I had reached out to what was then Homer Laughlin to meet with one of their ceramic engineers to talk about the process and different production-related questions," he said.
At the end of the tour, Cella was told to contact Rich Brinkman, vice president of sales and marketing for Fiesta.
"He was looking for someone to make tiles, and we went back and forth about for a year and a half before we decided to do it," he recalled.
Limelight (limelighttile.com) produced its first Fiesta tiles in 2017. Last year, Fiesta Tableware Co. was created and is no longer affiliated with Homer Laughlin.
The dinnerware maker had to approve the process and glazes Limelight uses to make Fiesta tile.