Visitors who take a stroll through Downtown Disney will find a new kiosk called Post 21 in a prime location right across from the World of Disney store.

What You Need To Know

  • Post 21 is the first Black-owned business at Downtown Disney

  • Juana Williams and Blair Paysinger are the mother-daughter duo who started the store online in 2019 until Disney approached them to open a kiosk

  • Williams and Paysinger say their store sources all of its products from about 60 Black-owned businesses

  • Post 21 gets its name from the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921 that destroyed Black Wall Street, and this is a new era

"We're the first Black-owned Disney operating partner period, so the first Black-owned business to be on any Disney location anywhere," said Post 21 co-owner Blair Paysinger.

"It was very hard in the beginning to just find that out and say, 'Wow! It's 2022,'" Post 21 co-owner Juana Williams said.

Paysinger and Williams, her mom, are both native Angelenos. They started Post 21 online in 2019 — thinking it would be a side gig.

"Let's learn. Let's go slow and yeah, none of that happened," Williams laughed.

Instead, before they knew it, their fairy tale dreams were about to come true.

"We got an email one day saying, 'Hey, we are from Disney and we want to talk to you,' and we were shocked," Paysinger said.

The two opened their kiosk on Black Friday and found success almost instantly. They are among roughly 40 businesses that make up Downtown Disney.

"We were on par with the other businesses already here right out of the gate, so that was encouraging to us," Williams said.

They're even looking to hire another handful of workers to accommodate the growing demand.

Paysinger designs the T-shirts herself, but all the other products they sell come from roughly 60 Black-owned businesses.  

(Spectrum News/ Ariel Wesler)

"The name Post 21 is derived from Black Wall Street, which was a community in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They were fully supporting themselves. They had their own Black doctors, banks, grocery stores," Paysinger said.

But on May 31, 1921, an angry White mob burned that thriving business district to the ground in the Tulsa Race Massacre. Post 21 refers to a new era.

"They were trying to build up these Black businesses and support them and support themselves and so we're trying to do that as well. We're supporting all the Black businesses we carry," Paysinger said.

"I've had people come and they're like emotional and in tears that they're so happy to see all the representation and that we're only providing products from Black businesses. That is so heartwarming and fulfilling," Williams said. 

But the products don't just appeal to Black customers either.

"I love the way everything is set up and I love the style, so that's what kind of drew me in," said Maureen O'Donnell, who was visiting from Florida.

"You have to start somewhere, and so we recognized the need. We saw the need, and you have to lean into it and do the work because if you get frozen up by 'We haven't done it before' and you're worried about how people will take that, you may end up not doing it at all," said Robert Clunie, former senior business manager at the Downtown Disney District.

Paysinger and Williams are proud to say they're the first but hope they'll soon be in good company with more minority businesses getting similar opportunities. The mother-daughter duo said they're not just celebrating Black History. They're making it.

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