Two local cosmetologists had built their clientele to around 200.
Micah Joray had been with Second Street Styles at 110 W. Second St. in Seymour since it opened six years ago, while Zack Killey worked there and at This Old Guitar Music Store a couple of doors down along with playing in a band, These Fine Gentlemen.
Joray also was an instructor at Hair Force Beauty Academy in the same building as the salon, and Killey was in the process of earning his instructor’s license.
But Jan. 4, their workplace — and also Killey’s home — went up in flames.
About 11:15 a.m. that day, Killey discovered a dryer in his family’s home above the businesses had caught fire. He immediately evacuated his sister, and then went downstairs to tell Joray and others in the salon and academy to get out of the building.
That wound up being one of two buildings destroyed by the fire.
Next door, the upstairs portion of the building housing Isabel’s Estetica and Novedades Maria at 108 W. Second St. crumbled onto the sidewalk and a couple of cars parked nearby. The businesses were owned by Maria Isabel Ponce, and she lived upstairs with her husband, son and aunt.
Since that day, those affected by the fire have tried to pick up the pieces and move on.
The community has helped out in a big way, either by donating clothing, money, gift cards or cosmetology supplies.
About a week after the fire, Joray was able to resume her job thanks to Peggy Davis offering free booth rental for a month at her shop, N Stylz Hair Design at 321 E. Second St.
“It was great when she offered to give me a spot here,” Joray said. “I had a few other ones that offered, too, but it was amazing how so many people reached out and just wanted to help me, not even knowing me. Just a big ‘thank you’ to Seymour and everyone that has offered to help me keep my job.”
Davis also has collected donations of hair products, flatirons, blow dryers, shears and other items. She allowed Joray to have anything she needed, and she plans to give everything else to Killey’s parents, Alan and Dana, to use when they reopen the salon and academy.
“There was so much stuff,” Davis said of the items collected so far. “There’s going to be a lot more come in because I’ve had a lot more messages about stuff people, from stylists to salon owners, want to donate.”
Davis said she’s happy to have Joray on the staff.
“She’s just a sweetheart. We love her,” Davis said. “She’s doing eyelash extensions, and I’m even learning from her. We’re really glad to have her.”
Killey said he continues to give piano and voice lessons at This Old Guitar and perform with his band, and he hopes to take his cosmetology instructor’s test soon. Then he will help his family reopen the academy and salon.
“I’ve been offered positions on chairs at other businesses, but I’ve kind of got everything on hold at the moment,” Killey said of hairstyling.
Read the full story in Thursday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.