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Reinvention, Resilience and Resurrection

This is the spirit of The Demo Diva Demolition Company. It is the energy and enthusiasm Simone Bruni brings to the world of demolition.

Simone, a Lakeview resident, was a corporate meeting planner selling the city of New Orleans to high end convention planners prior to Hurricane Katrina. She led her customers through the bayous and plantations, as well as the best restaurants in the Crescent City. She showcased the city with a passion and flair of southern hospitality.

Yet, life in New Orleans changed one fateful day.

The convention industry suffered massive cancellations. Simone was laid off. Her home in Lakeview was flooded. Her family members also were flooded. And as a single woman with no construciton experience, rebuilding was a daunting consideration.

Simone was offered to relocate to other cities but chose to stay. “Sometimes a disaster can open some of the greatest opportunities in one’s life. The Katrina disaster opened that door for me and I walked straight through it,” says Simone. “I couldn’t see it at first. I knew that I had to put one foot in front of the other day by day and rebuild my little house. I was so overwhelmed with grief. As I began to see that my neighbors’ needs were greater than mine…that’s when I caught the vision. The Demo Diva was born. This was my new niche. And I thank God every day for such rewarding, wonderful work.”

“The first question people ask me is 'What do event planning and demolition have in common?' The answer is people."

Simone was quick to recognize that although the equipment is different, you are only as good as your team whether organizing parties or construction work. Simone scrambled to find qualified subcontractors in demolition. She brought a pink flamboyance to her marketing and then hit the streets of Lakeview door to door. Her first big breakthrough came the night she heard that Little League baseball would be holding their first game back in the neighborhood. With business cards printed at Office Depot, Simone went throughout the parking lot putting cards on windshields. “It was humbling and I must admit that I did cry. I remember seeing friends with their husbands and children playing ball and I’m putting cards on windshields to survive! Oh God! I think I felt so alone and vulnerable at that moment. This is not how life was supposed to turn out.”

Simone recalls clinging to the words spoken to her by the Brazilian immigrants helping her rebuild her house. “You are an American! You have every opportunity to own your own business and make a life for yourself. Go for it!."


The Demo Diva Demolition Company has been in business for four years.  While Demo Diva had started in residential demolition in Louisiana, the business has now expanded to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Demo Diva has now grown into commercial demolition and selective interior demolition.

"Don't under estimate the potential opportunities in a disaster.  If you harness that energy, it just could be like a kite to launch you into a new stratosphere," says Simone.
Having trademarked the Demo Diva Demolition name, Simone has dreams of taking her business to the world. 

Testimonials


Just wanted to let you all know that we really think Demo Diva did a great job. Adam was wonderful as were the other guys working on our property.

When I came down they were loading the dump trucks with the debris. As I watched the machine pick up one of the large cement columns my grandfather had built and place it in the dump truck, I had to turn away with tears in my eyes. That large machine gently picked up the column and gently laid it in the dump truck. I know he was trying to be careful not to hurt the truck but I think it was more than that. With each load he lifted, care was evident in the way it was handled. Like a mother laying her child gently in its cradle. It all seemed to be done with such reverence and respect that it touched all our hearts. That says a lot to all of us.

Now when we go down to the property, the pain we felt has turned to awe at the beauty of the large trees and peaceful space. My mom walked out onto the property and really seemed to be OK with the change. Most of the sand had been spread by then so she didn't have to experience the removal of the structure. We were relieved to see that her reaction was very positive.

The guys working were impressed with the pictures I had brought of the house and tower the way it was before the storm. I also think they were impressed with the 12 foot alligator that lives in the back portion of the property. I tried to give him away but had no takers. I personally don't like alligators and think everyone should have a set of luggage if you know what I mean. Adam also got to see the Bald Eagle that keeps watch over the back road leading to my mom's property. All in all a very good week.

Just wanted to drop you all a note to let you know how it all went and to say thank you. You just don't know how much you are appreciated.
Sincerely,
Eileen Dorn, Owner of 6006 3rd Street, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520

I met Simone Bruni (Manager/Owner of the Demo Diva) at a building expo held last year in the New Orleans Convention Center.  I subsequently contracted with Ms. Bruni’s company to handle the demolition of my house.  The decision to demolish my ruined home of 21 years was extremely traumatic for me.  But the whole process from start to finish was smooth and quick due to the expertise and sensitivity on the part of Ms. Bruni and her crew, and I feel much better now and look forward to rebuilding.
The Demo Diva handled everything including obtaining permits, getting utilities disconnected, hauling away the debris, having the lot “tidied up” with a layer of fill, and getting my completion paperwork from the city.  They even took care of having all the “white goods” pulled out of my house and hauled away before the house came down.  Throughout the process, Ms. Bruni made herself available for answering questions either via telephone or e-mail.  I found the company and crew to be professional and efficient at a very competitive price, and would recommend them highly to anyone considering demolition work.

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