Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

New Austin vinyl shop opens for pride month, cultivates sense of community

Charlotte Keene
Owner Luca Kisielius poses for a portrait at their desk inside Sunshine Vinyl on Saturday.

After more than 10 years in the tech industry, Luca Kisielius felt the need for a career change. Six months later, Sunshine Vinyl opened its doors and Kisielius turned their passion for music into their livelihood.  

According to the Sunshine Vinyl Instagram, this “Queer-owned record store” focuses on contemporary music, live events and local art. Sunshine Vinyl, located on East Fifth Street, held its grand opening on June 15. Kisielius said the store proved meaningful to them in a myriad of ways.

“I want to do something meaningful to me, that has purpose behind it,” Sunshine Vinyl owner Kisielius said. “I’ve always loved music and want to be able to share music with people. I want people to come in and feel welcome in the space.” 

The grand opening started at 11 a.m., with music blasting from every corner. Kisielius said people trickled into the shop throughout the day.   

“It was the perfect amount of people,” Kisielius said. “I was like ‘This is my audience, this is the kind of people I’ve been trying to reach out to.’”

Kisielius received the shop keys on May 1 and opened for business in less than two months. Bronnie Tantau, a fellow record collector, said he became involved with the business through his friendship with Kisielius.

“We met playing card games in North Austin, and we hit it off,” Tantau said. “We talked about the record store and the vision for Sunshine Vinyl, and they asked me if I wanted to be involved in helping it come to life.”

Tantau said he and Kisielius spent three weeks brainstorming the target demographic and laying out the foundation of the store. 

“We got the keys and were like ‘All right we got to start painting.’” Tantau said. “The fact that we were able to do it in that quick of a time blows my mind; it was amazing to see how hard (Kisielius) worked on the space.” 

Kisielius said they secured a majority of the vinyl collection through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and other record stores. However, Kisielius received one donation of records from a man who died of HIV/AIDS complications. Sunshine Vinyl said they plan to dedicate a day to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness. 

“He had this incredibly beautiful collection of musicals and opera music, which isn’t typically what I would stock in stores … it was just such a lovingly curated collection,” Kisielius said.

Sunshine Vinyl employee Jacob Hernandez said along with fresh and diverse inventory, the accepting atmosphere differentiates it from other vinyl shops.   

Kisielius is always here talking to the customers — once you’re coming in you’re hanging out with us,” Hernandez said. “(Sunshine Vinyl) is like coming into our home — it’s very inviting.”

Tantau said that because vinyl records remain a distinctive medium of music, this shop proves a great way to find community. 

“The vision behind (Sunshine) Vinyl is (t0) get people in here to listen to music and find family and find community in the same way that Luca and I kind of found each other over card games,” Tantau said. “We want this space … focused on queer people, minorities and all capacities of people, so they don’t feel alone.”

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Keene, Senior Photographer
Charlotte Keene is a junior Journalism major from San Antonio, Texas. She enjoys making playlists and watching movies in her free time.