Owner & designer M. Gaines - Southern gentleman, eccentric, tattooed rebel and legend in his own mind. A blue blood by birth & black sheep by choice.
Why the name Blue Blood Black Sheep? - It sums up the two collections & my wicked sense of humor. I am a Southern gentleman "of a certain age" with gracious manners & hospitality plus a wild side I have indulged with age. Blue blazers, alligator loafers & a signet ring have given way to black leather, tattoos and a nose ring. I will "bless your heart", call you on your shit then fix you some sweet tea & snack...yes, that snack will be served on china and with a cloth napkin! I am just old enough to have witnessed society evolve from calling card, hats, gloves & dressing for dinner to living in jeans & tossing back tequila shooters while texting to confirm a tattoo appointment. A unique time warp perspective on bygone elegance and modern edge.
How did you get started making jewelry? - At age eight, my mother, grandmothers and a great-aunt gave me masses of old costume jewelry - enormous faux pearls, beads, rhinestones, crystals, chains & even a tiara that I dismantled, resetting stones, & restringing beads for my early creations. In college, a summer position with a fine jeweler re-ignited my interest & precious gems replaced rhinestones as my palette. A Graduate Gemologist degree & business degrees led to a career that covered all aspects of the business & eventually a corner office with a national fine jewelry retailer.
When did you start your own jewelry line? - While on sabbatical, traveling the world creating tons of black sheep mischief, a friend asked me to teach him to create costume jewelry for drag queens. I was bitten by the bug again and in 2000, M Gaines Jewelry was born coming full circle back to the materials and big statement pieces that inspired me as a child.
How did you come up with the Morse code idea? - Texting while drinking!While partaking a bottle of Bordeaux & texting a friend, inspiration struck - texting is a type of code, so why not make Morse code jewelry! Though a black sheep, I am still a Southerner with manners so Morse code blended the ability to say "go to hell" in a subtle, elegant & socially acceptable way! Sales exploded in 2014 leading to re-branding as Blue Blood Black Sheep from M Gaines Jewelry.
Did those tattoos and piercings hurt? - Yes.
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