Clovis business reopens doors after vandalism with racist messages

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- For Chanel Wapner, the reopening of her Old Town Clovis store, "Just My Essentials," means more than a return to business.

It's a new beginning, one the community has patiently waited to be a part of.

"It is amazing how out of the ashes this has happened," said Wapner.

Her store is filled with colorful bath bombs, the smell of flowers and most importantly, joy.

"I'm grateful and happy and surrounded by love," she said.

But back in September, Wapner felt like the world was closing in on her. The store she takes so much pride in was vandalized.

RELATED: Vandals left racist messages and destroyed parts of only Black-owned store in Old Town Clovis

Her handmade products destroyed.

Cash was stolen from her register, but worst of all were the hurtful racist messages spray-painted throughout the building.

Wapner said the community lifted her up in her time of need and helped her move forward fearlessly.
"If it wasn't for Clovis embracing me for the way that they have, then I would have been out of business," she said.

More than a month later, police continue to search for the vandals. Wapner didn't have security cameras, making it difficult for detectives to find those responsible.

RELATED: Students write messages of love outside Clovis store after vandalism

Rather than focus on the negative, Wapner is embracing the love. The public raised more than $30,000 to repair damages.

Donors also stepped in to repaint her store and install a security system.

"Every time a person from Clovis comes by and says they are happy that I stayed, it makes me even happier that I made the decision to stay, because I was going to go," she said.

Clovis is her home and her store now serves as a symbol of resilience.
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