Rock Paper Scissors Opens
A gift shop with a gridiron connection
by Sally Mitani
It almost goes without saying that gift shops are feminine territory. But Rock Paper Scissors is bright and lively feminine rather than hearts and flowers feminine, and it's male friendly: up toward the front, owner Lisa Roberts points out some handsome, severely simple whiskey glasses, a beer-tasting tool kit, and some refrigerator magnets with unprintable words on them. "What we wanted to do here, at this store more than our Tecumseh store, was have men's gifts," says Roberts, who opened June 1 on Main Street in the space vacated last year when Sixteen Hands moved to Kerrytown.
If anyone can turn shopping for knickknacks, thank-you cards, and wrapping paper into a popular male pastime, it might be Roberts, who may not even need the male-themed merchandise once word gets out that her father is Greg Mattison, U-M's defensive coordinator.
Do men hang around, hoping to waylay Mattison for some insider gossip on how he intends to replace his three seniors on the front line, or to get odds on beating MSU this year after four straight losses?
"If they do, there's a good chance that they will run into him," Roberts allows. "He's been here every day since we've been open, and his office is right down the street."
Thirty-one-year-old Roberts is close to her father. She grew up in Ann Arbor when he was coaching under Moeller and Carr, followed her parents to Notre Dame (where she got a softball scholarship around the time he got a coaching job there), and entered the University of Florida's MBA program when the Mattisons moved to Gainesville. Now the family is reassembled in Michigan. Lisa and her husband, Ken Roberts, live in Tecumseh, Ken's hometown, and Mattison has rejoined the Michigan coaching staff. When Lisa's daughter was born last year, they named her Mattison.
Roberts is equally close to her mother, Ann. In fact, her mom is her business partner in Tecumseh, where they opened the first Rock Paper Scissors last year, and
is also helping out at the Ann Arbor store (which Roberts owns with her husband).
Roberts says she loves the small gift and the handwritten note that accompanies it, which is why the picture frames, plates, candles, and cups up front are complemented by racks of greeting cards and stationery in back. In the far back of the store, though, is her truest love: sample albums and displays of ultra-high-end custom-printed invitations. She's a particular fan of old-fashioned letterpress printing (and of color: "I had about ten colors on my own wedding invitations"). She'll help brides, or anyone planning a special event, design their own invitations, and can steer them to small, unique printers they might otherwise never have found, like Michelle and Peter Baker at Ann Arbor's Elevated Press.
The store is named after the game, a family favorite. Roberts's wedding vows featured a quick round of it ("we're both really competitive") and she's happy to go a few rounds with her customers, but warns that she's a purist and won't play the new version made popular on the Big Bang Theory, "Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock."
Strategy hint: try scissors. "My dad told me the other day, 'Don't throw paper. You lose every time with paper.' I said, 'But Dad, we're a paper store ...'"
Rock Paper Scissors, 216 S. Main, 531-6264. Sun.-Wed. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. rockpaperscissorsshop.com
[Originally published in July, 2012.]