As we celebrate Black History Month, we’re sharing the story of mother-daughter duo Blair Paysinger and Juana Williams. Blair and Juana recently opened Post 21, a popular new marketplace for products from Black creators and entrepreneurs in Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort.
The name of the business pays homage to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s thriving Greenwood District –– known as Black Wall Street –– which was intentionally set ablaze in 1921 during the Tulsa Race Massacre. Blair and Juana found inspiration in the groundbreaking ideas of Black Wall Street and founded their business to help support and amplify the work of current Black entrepreneurs, “post ’21.”
Merchandise at the Post 21 cart, located across from World of Disney, includes home, style and wellness items under a brand the duo describes as modern, inclusive and focused on intentional shopping. Products are sourced from Black-owned businesses and selected for their aesthetics, functionality and originality. At Post 21, guests can shop for children’s apparel, home décor, stationery and more.
“Previously, you’d have to remember all the Black-owned brands that you would find or see –– a process that my mom compares to using the Yellow Pages –– so bringing a collection of them into one place that people want to go to is really important to me,” Blair said.
Blair and Juana originally launched their shop online in June 2020, and to their surprise and delight, they were contacted by Downtown Disney District management in 2021.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to feature businesses that better reflect the diversity of our guests and we were so excited when we found Post 21,” explained Disney California Adventure park Central General Manager Robert Clunie, who managed business relations at Downtown Disney District at the time. “It is significant because they are the first Black-owned operating participant at Downtown Disney District and they represent what we will continue to build on, which is to seek out and partner with vendors and suppliers that represent the communities we live in and serve.”
Although they initially had no plans to open a physical location, Blair and Juana agreed that the opportunity to join the Downtown Disney District was too remarkable to pass up. They opened in Nov. 2021 and, after temporarily closing to refresh products following the holiday season, reopened on Feb. 1. The location has earned positive reception from the brand’s followers as well as new guests, who have expressed excitement about seeing more Black representation and culture at Downtown Disney.
“There have been a number of times where people were actually overwhelmed that we’re here,” shared Juana. “They’ll share how happy they are to see us [Black owners] and our products, but they’ll also say, ‘you have no idea what this means.’ Those moments are so amazing and special.”
Stay tuned to the blog and @DisneyParks on social as we celebrate Black History Month all month long.