CLOVIS, California (KSEE) — Old Town Clovis’ only black-owned business opened its doors again Saturday after it was vandalized back in September.
The city celebrated the owner and her store with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Dozens lined up outside of the Just My Essentials store, ready to shop.
“We felt it important to come and support,” said Fresno State student, Sophie Jimenez.
In September, Chanel Wapner’s store Just My Essentials was vandalized, the product she had was drenched in water and racist slurs were spray painted on the walls. But Wapner did not let it break her spirit.
“I won’t allow it to be personal for me, you know, it takes more energy to be negative and mad about it and kind of go on an emotional hunt for it then it does to just turn around and keep it moving,” Wapner said.
Wapner has since received an outpour of support from the community. Many stepped up to help her reopen.
“The whole store actually had to be redone, I had help from PPG donated the paint and painter Kenneth, and then I had Cal Custom Tiles re-did the floors, and I had a lot of different locals people help with the cleanup, and with redoing some of the fixtures, the decor in here,” Wapner said.
People in the community who never knew Wapner until now, continue to show lover and unity.
“We just came here to show her our support, gave her big hugs, said we loved her and we’re supporting her,” said Clovis resident, Rachell Souza.
“Me being a black woman in the community, it’s sad what happened, but we’re here to support her and be by her side,” said Fresno State student, Daveion Robinson.
Wapner says out of the ashes, she made a community of friends.
“If it wasn’t for Clovis embracing me the way that they have, then I would have been out of business,” Wapner said.
Police say they are still investigating the hate crime and ask if anyone has information to call (559) 324-2800.