Tes de Luna and Jason Hughes’ introduction sounds straight out of an indie-rock rom-com.
The owners of south Minneapolis record store/art boutique Rock Paper Scissors Goods initially crossed paths in Seattle, where de Luna was a regular at Hughes’ Sonic Boom Records. After hitting it off at an Elliott Smith concert in 2000, they went on their first proper date. Eventually, they would run small businesses next door to each other, get married, and have kids.
De Luna, a Minneapolis native who graduated from MCAD in 1999, wanted to move the family back home. So they sold their Pacific Northwest shops and opened Rock Paper Scissors in 2018—a shop that combines their shared love of art and music under one roof.
“We just wanted to use the knowledge from our former shops to start something new,” de Luna says. “Starting small in a new city made sense, and we hoped that creative folks would appreciate both art and music.”
Rock Paper Scissors brings a much-needed record store to a bustling stretch of Chicago Avenue that’s seen a creative resurgence with the revival of live music and film screenings at the neighboring Parkway Theater.
“We really enjoy the neighborhood,” says de Luna. “The Parkway has been a really fun addition to the neighborhood, and we have good relationships with a few other small businesses on the block. We love seeing the happy faces come in after a Saturday matinee. We hope the area continues to grow.”
The shop also specializes in fine art, handcrafted jewelry, and unique paper goods and gifts, and plays host to monthly gallery shows and art workshops for adults and children.
“Our business supports artists and musicians that make great work,” says de Luna. “A lot of our artists are local, but many are from other parts of the U.S. that I’ve worked with over the years.” They also carry goods from several artists and makers that you can’t find anywhere else in the Twin Cities.
The shop is still exclusively a two-person operation, which presents the challenge of juggling hours, special events, and workshops with family life. But it also gives de Luna and Hughes the ability to curate and design the shop to their own distinctive tastes and specifications. It means regulars trust their music and gift suggestions, and the classes have been especially rewarding.
“It’s also nice to see folks that haven’t been creative for a long time due to work or kids or whatever come back to art and see how it sparks their imagination,” de Luna says. “Many people have reached out saying that taking a class has inspired them to get back to making art on a regular basis.”
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