NEW ORLEANS — It’s been several weeks since the Unity-1 hair salon went up in flames.

Since then, the owners have been working tirelessly to gut the building and raise money to rebuild it.

The salon served the Broadmoor neighborhood for more than 30 years until March 20, when a car crashed through the building and caused a deadly fire that killed two teenagers in the vehicle and a customer in the salon.

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Unity-1, which had been a symbol in the community for decades, was destroyed in the fire as well.

Beverly Smith, the owner of the salon, said the business brought her family together behind the clippers.

“It was a family business all along. It always has been. They either were hair stylists, nail technicians, or sales people who went out and sold hair products,” Smith said.

Smith and her husband have eight children — six of them worked in the salon.

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The shop was a part of their childhood. Most of them moved away after Hurricane Katrina, but this tragedy is bringing them back home.

“With them being in their later years, for them to have such a tragedy. losing everything that they’ve ever loved, it’s hard to see them have to deal with that. But we’ve all got back together to help them out,” son Derrick Williams, president of Unity-1 said.  

As they begin to rebuild, with a new shop comes a new vision.

“We want to take it to the next level. We’re trying to do a school and do some innovations over all with the salon,” Williams said. “We would love to teach and train stylists and barbers and nail technicians; the whole works of the beauty industry.”

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For the new and improved Unity-1 salon to happen, however, Smith said her family needs to raise serious cash.

Smith said the cost to demolish the building and totally rebuild is $500,000. So far, they’ve raised $15,000.

That’s why the store’s neighbors on Washington Avenue have announced they want to help.

Propeller is right next door to the Unity One Hair Salon. When they heard about the fire they wanted to help. On Monday, their building will turn into the fundraiser spot for the salon. The Smith family said they hope everyone will come out and enjoy themselves with music and drinks.

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The fundraiser is being held on Monday at the Propeller building at 4035 Washington Avenue. Tickets are $250 for the patron reception and $100 for general admission.

For more information on the event, click: Unity One Restoration Fundraiser

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