Spartan Lawyer Summer 2018


Like the palate-pleasing combination of a cabernet with steak, Regina Gaines’ business background with her legal education from Michigan State University College of Law are the perfect pairing.

Gaines, ’13, opened House of Pure Vin, advertised as Detroit’s “Premier Wine Shop,” in 2015. House of Pure Vin is located in downtown Detroit on Woodward Avenue and features partners like Bedrock Detroit, Quicken Loans, and JP Morgan Chase & Co. Its contemporary, elegant, and open design welcomes all types of clientele whether they’re stopping in for a social hour with friends or a work event.

While the shop’s master sommelier (one of only three in Michigan) curates wines from all over the world, Gaines’ wine boutique is quickly becoming a destination for high-quality wines from Michigan.

With her bachelor’s degree in marketing and math from Clark Atlanta University, Gaines attended MSU Law in her early 40’s to pursue her Master of Laws. Gaines partly attributed her decision to start House of Pure Vin in Detroit as a result of seeing some of her younger peers from law school take their careers to the city. One of her classmates from MSU Law, Emerson Merkerson, even helped her to create her business plan.

Gaines highlighted the legal knowledge acquired from her Intellectual Property courses at MSU Law as influential to her decision to go back into business in the spirits and wine industry. She had been in the business before, but she’s seen her law school skills lead to new levels of success with House of Pure Vin.

“Law is like the left hand, business is the right hand,” said Gaines. “When you’re able to have the knowledge of both, you’re able to make great, wise decisions.”

Gaines plans to expand House of Pure Vin in the future. She wants to see it become the “Starbucks of wine” with locations all over the state, country, and the world.