2019 was the 20th anniversary of the inception of Blue Moon Kites. The beginning was longer and messier than I would have preferred, and there was that “vacation” a few years ago, but overall it’s been a good ride. It never would have happened without the friendship and support of a lot of fine folks along the way.
Mike Gillard and I first talked about it on the patio of the hotel we were staying at while attending the KTA show in Clearwater, FL in 1999. It became “Blue Moon” at least in part because there were two blue moons early that year. The name was also inspired by the backup band of one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters, Nanci Griffith.
In September of that year, I brought a handful of new kites to the festival at the Air Force Museum in Dayton. They were well received, and I was encouraged to move forward. After the festival, Holly (my wife) and I spent some time with Mike and his family at their home in Columbus OH, and started dreaming and scheming in earnest.
I was still at a loss for a kite name, so we got on the internet and looked for inspiration. The new kite became the Mojo, the name “borrowed” from a mountain bike. That session also was the birth of the “Moonie” logo, which was a visual play on ‘blue moon’, making him a “blues” moon.
By the time we got back to North Carolina, unbeknownst to me, Mike had registered the bluemoonkites domain name and set up the beginnings of a website! A few weeks later, Holly and I were sitting in a booth at the AKA convention in Muncie with a dozen fresh Mojos. We also had a computer set up to let people design their own custom kites. It was starting to look like this was going to happen!
All of this was going on while I was working a full-time job at Avia Sport Composites, here in NC. Between the job and a new house, BMK was part-time or inactive for the first couple of years. I left my job and took Blue Moon Kites live and full-time in June of 2001.