First black barber school in Upstate celebrates 20 years

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The B Unique Barber and Beauty Academy celebrated their 20 year anniversary with a week packed full of events.

They kicked off their week by giving back to the community.

On Tuesday, the academy offered $2 haircuts to anyone who requested the service and on Wednesday, they hosted a fundraiser to help give back to community centers in the upstate.

All proceeds from each service went to the community center of the client’s choice.

But there’s more history behind B Unique Barber Academy than meets the eye.

B Unique was the first black owned beauty and barber school in the Upstate.

The doors first opened in 2000 as a hair and nail salon, but then the owner Mrs. Peppers noticed a need for a barber school in this area.

In 2002, the family made the decision to transition from a salon to a school.

Daughter and co-owner Shanekia Byrd said she remembers helping out in the barber school as a young teen with her sister, which sparked her passion to carry on the family legacy.

“We decided we were going to come to school ourselves and get licensed, so I was coming to school in the evenings after high school to get my license at 15-years-old,” said Byrd.

Kenye Bowman, a student a at B Unique Barber Academy, said the instructors at B Unique are knowledgeable and he plans to pass down everything he’s been taught to the future generations of barbers.

“Everything I learn, I’m trying to pass it down to the new youth and trying to catch them early to let them know that a trade is just as good as a degree. It will follow you. Cosmetology, brick masonry, welding, anything,” said Bowman.

The B Unique Barber Academy will host a cookout this Saturday and they will feature demonstrations for those who are interested in joining the academy.

In honor of the 20 year anniversary, B Unique will reduce the tuition costs to the same amount it was when they first opened. They say now is the perfect time to join.

For more information about B Unique Barber and Beauty Academy, visit their website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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