Roberto Madera


photography TOM FOWLER

Roberto Madera — portrait by Tom Fowler

Roberto Madera stands inside his salon along El Paseo, Palm Desert, Ca

Roberto Madera, co-owner of Roberto Madera Salon, was born in Mexico and raised in the Coachella Valley. As a young college student, Madera majored in psychology and took a front desk job at a local salon, which led to his introduction into the world of cosmetology. “I fell in love with it right away,” Madera recalls. “I always had an interest in people and in hair.” His passion for hair eventually took priority, so he quit his job and enrolled in cosmetology school. A year and half later, Madera earned a degree at only twenty years old – but his ambition to learn didn’t stop there. “Every summer I would travel to Europe and Asia to get inspiration,” says Madera. “It took time for me to embrace it.” His first stylist job was a position at Jose Eber Atelier that lasted three years, followed by Loran Loran for another three years.

After just six years of working experience, Madera’s career reached a major turning point – a decision that would change his life forever: “It was either moving to Europe, or opening a salon,” Madera explains. “I was going to work as a stylist, I got a job offer.” Instead, Madera chose to take a giant leap forward into the world of entrepreneurship and opened his own salon with co-owner Isreal. When asked how he felt at the time he first opened for business at the El Paseo location, Madera replied with one word: “Confident.” Now Roberto Madera Salon has been operating for eight years and Madera hopes to expand to other locations across the globe. Madera’s checklist for success includes: maintain balance, fitness, meditation, learn to breathe, and spend time with family and friends. “Psychology has given me an open mind,” Madera credits. So, it’s not surprising to walk into the salon and be welcomed by his signature smile that puts anyone at ease. The decor is equally chic and inviting. Guests are greeted with a glass of water and tables replete with books and magazines from leading fashion publications. Look up at the walls and you will find a proverb that reads, “Il bello il vero — Beautiful is what is true.”

Still, Madera does not do everything alone; he has an extensively talented team of creatives who he earnestly compares to family. “We care for one another, we’re brothers and sisters — it’s a privilege.” Terra Lane, lead colorist/stylist, has been in the cosmetology business since she was 16 years old and at the salon for eight years.

Lisa Monique Moreno is artistic director, stylist, colorist, and make-up artist. Lisa moved to the Coachella Valley from Los Angeles because she found it “too fast paced and too hectic. I wanted to focus on my career. I told myself, if I could work anywhere in the Desert it would be this salon. And when I called, [Madera] said, ‘Yeah, come in, grab a chair,’ and I started working the next day.” She has been doing hair and make-up since she was 18 years old. “I’m an artist at heart. Since I was a little girl, I was always drawing and painting. I really have a passion to make things beautiful — I’m a perfectionist.” Lisa still travels to Los Angeles on weekends to visit friends, attend fashion shows, and help out on photoshoots, but the Desert makes her feel more grounded. “I wanted to be around a different type of energy the Desert brings.” Lisa enjoys working at Roberto Madera Salon because, “He’s so humble, he’s always happy.”

Fall in love and be passionate about what you do as a career.
Trust what you do, and give it 
— Roberto Madera

Lucy was recommended to Roberto Madera Salon by her cosmetology teacher upon finishing school. Lucy has worked as an assistant at Roberto Madera Salon for two years and is excited to become a stylist in January 2016.

Anna has been a nail care specialist for eighteen years and joined Roberto Madera Salon two years ago. “Most of my clients, we talk about everything, we are like family. They’ve been with me for eighteen years.”

In addition to their primary services that range from hair care, skin care, and nail care, Roberto Madera Salon offers monthly workshops and makes time to actively support local events such as Fashion Week El Paseo, non-profit organizations, and Country Club trunk shows for leading designer brands including Roberto Cavali, Oscar De La Renta and Dolce and Gabanna, raises money to help local students with college tuition.

Looking back on his career, Madera says, “I wouldn’t change anything — everything happens for a reason.” His advice for budding entrepreneurs? “Fall in love and be passionate about what you do as a career. Trust what you do, and give it one-hundred percent.”

73-300 El Paseo Suite C, Palm Desert, CA 92260


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