Mother Juana Williams and daughter Blair Paysinger opened Post 21, the first Black-owned business at Downtown Disney District, to pay homage to the countless Black entrepreneurs who laid their businesses down brick by brick on Black Wall Street.
The shop first opened at Downtown Disney District on Black Friday last year. After a brief pause, the shop is reopening just in time to start Black History Month with highly recommended products from the owners.
The mother-and-daughter duo began their entrepreneurial journey with the launch of their online shop on June 1, 2020, which marked 99 years after the decimation of Black Wall Street during the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921. With hopes of continuing the legacy of the original Black Wall Street entrepreneurs from the post-1921 era, the women named the shop Post 21.
“Our whole purpose is to advance Black businesses,” Williams, 59, told the Orange County Register. “We’re bringing all the Black businesses that we work with along with us, so they have the Disney opportunity as well.”
According to its website, Post 21 was created to serve as a “comprehensive marketplace that focused on modern and design-forward products from Black-owned businesses.”
“We thought we’d just do a website, start slow, learn the business and then eventually grow,” Williams said. “But instead, it kind of exploded, and here we are today.”
While building their family legacy, Williams and Paysinger tap into the legacy of Black entrepreneurs and professionals who made an impact in their own lives, including Williams’ father. He owned three businesses on one Los Angeles block and assisted his brothers in starting their own businesses. Post 21 is an exemplary effort to invest in Black creators, businesses, and communities.
Another goal for Post 21 is to transform the concept of Black Friday from shopping for discounts to “shopping intentionally with Black businesses,” according to Paysinger.
As the first Black business owners in Downtown Disney District, Williams expressed that she’s proud to be where she is today.
She said, “It’s hard to say it’s an honor. I’m so grateful that it’s happened. Every time I hear the first Black to do something, I think, ‘That’s so crazy.’ How can we still be talking about that today?”