The woman behind Pico Madama personifies style, grace and success
Written Debbie Hall
Photography by Tim Hancock
Tucked away in the corner of a shopping center in northwest Las Vegas is a little-known piece of paradise. It’s called Pico Madama, and this elegant, high-end salon embodies the grace, personality and energy of its owner, Beli Andaluz.
When you first meet Andaluz, it’s hard not to be taken by her charm and elegant style. With a contagious smile that makes anyone she meets feel instantly comfortable, it’s no wonder she’s made a career out of providing the highest level of service to demanding customers. In fact, she’s owned successful service businesses in three countries. As people can tell after meeting her, she has a big heart—so her dedication to her son and husband, and her commitment to charities like the Shade Tree Shelter, will come as no surprise.
What might surprise people who meet her is that sophisticated, successful businesswoman comes from the most modest of means. Andaluz is truly a self-made woman.
Growing up in Guatemala, Andaluz was the youngest of 10 children. Her family didn’t have much, but Andaluz was always a dreamer. She dreamed of doing great things, and looked inside herself for guidance to make her dreams come true.
Her first dream was to start a business of her own. Working in real estate as a teenager, she saved up the money she needed by age 19. She could start a business close to home, but she recognized an opportunity in the emerging tourist industry in Nicaragua. So she moved there and opened a hostel, restaurant and bar. The business was so successful that she sold it two years later for a hefty profit.
Returning home to Guatemala, Andaluz was looking for her next business opportunity. A bad hair experience at a local salon was all the inspiration she needed. Using her friend’s connections, she enrolled in the top beauty school in Central America. Not long after, Andaluz opened her first salon, in the historic resort town of Antigua, Guatemala. This is where she discovered her passion.
I wanted to create a haven, with a feeling of comfort and serenity, where clients could come to relax and forget about the outside world.
“I loved the creative aspect of doing hair, I loved the social aspect of doing hair, and I loved the business aspect of doing hair,” she explained. “People would come not just to get their hair done, but to spend time with me and enjoy themselves. It was all about happiness.”
“When Scott and I were dating, Kai and I flew to New York where he was living at the time. I decided to cook him a special dinner. We ate it on the roof deck of his apartment building and talked about our dreams for opening a salon together some day. It was such a special night. As we talked, we drank a bottle of wine we really liked called Pico Madama. I said if I ever open a salon in this country, I am going to name it Pico Madama.”
– Beli Andaluz
The salon was so successful—with locals and tourists alike—that Andaluz expanded into the spa business. Her salon and spa were known as the top luxury destinations in Antigua.
But Andaluz was still dreaming. She dreamed of living somewhere bigger. And she dreamed of bigger opportunities for Kai, her son from her first marriage. That’s when a stranger from the United States came into her salon.
“When I walked into Beli’s salon all I could say to myself was “Wow.” said Scott Seidewitz, who owns a marketing consulting firm. “My friend was getting her hair done for her wedding, but I pretty much ignored her and flirted with Beli.” Andaluz ended up being Seidewitz’s date to the wedding that night. Three years later they were living together in Las Vegas; two years after that they married.
Las Vegas provided the chance for Andaluz to take her dreams to another level. Visiting the luxury, super-expensive salons on the Strip and the big, impersonal salons in the suburbs, Andaluz thought something was missing. She envisioned an elegant, high-end salon to match the luxury of the Strip, but in a small, intimate setting to allow for the highest level of personal service. She also wanted to emphasize hair health along with beauty. The idea of Pico Madama was born.
After months of planning and searching for just the right space, the idea became a reality. Pico Madama opened in April 2011. The results are striking. Every detail, from the beautiful, sophisticated décor, to the service standards expected from each stylist, to the botanical Phyto Paris products, have been carefully chosen by Andaluz to give an exceptional experience to her clients. When clients walk in the door, they are greeted by name and offered to sip champagne. Sunlight spills through the large windows and mixes with fresh-cut flowers and the pink and yellow accents on the walls.
“I wanted to create a haven, with a feeling of comfort and serenity, where clients could come to relax and forget about the outside world.”
It’s no wonder Pico Madama has been a smashing success. In 2013 the Las Vegas Review-Journal named this small, upstart salon the best in Las Vegas. Pico Madama’s clients agree.
When Bella Duprie moved from New York to Las Vegas, she went from salon to salon trying to find a stylist that met her exacting standards. She was ready to travel back to her stylist in New York when she met Andaluz. “I just fell in love with her, her personality and the concept of her salon of hair health and great service. I decided to give her a chance and now I won’t go anywhere else. We also became the best of friends over the years.”
Celebrity chef Julio Serrano is also an exclusive client. “She understands my hair. Since I work with the public, I need to look my best. Also, if I want to talk, she will talk to me. But if I want to be quiet that day, I don’t have to say anything. She makes me feel so good and I always look my best afterwards.”
But Andaluz’s philosophy is that Pico Madama is not just about hair; and it’s not about just luxury, or even about a great experience. Ultimately, Andaluz’s dream is for Pico Madama to be about caring for others.
“I am very fortunate to have a successful business, a loving husband and wonderful son,” Andaluz said. “I know what it’s like to come from nothing, so I want to share my good fortune to help others have the same opportunities I’ve had.”
For Andaluz, caring starts with her clients, who she considers her good friends. “My clients are an inspiration to me. When we’re together in the salon, they’ll share their hopes and dreams, worries and fears. I am inspired by their grace and goodness, even when facing challenges. I am privileged to have such wonderful clients.”
Caring extends to her staff as well. Because stylists are employees and not renters (unlike many off-Strip salons), Pico Madama invests regularly in training in the latest techniques and trends. Top stylists are sent to the Wella Institute in Los Angeles to learn advanced skills.
Andaluz cares just as much about the community. She sits on the board of the Shade Tree Shelter for battered and homeless women, and Pico Madama’s stylists have visited the shelter several times to provide free hair cuts and advice on hair care. The salon also held a back-to-school event for the Nevada Children’s Center, providing free haircuts, balloon sculptures and treats to needy children.
Along with clients, staff and the community, Pico Madama is also about family for Andaluz. Her husband Seidewitz is also her business partner, who handles salon marketing and finances. And Andaluz speaks glowingly of her son Kai, who recently made the JV soccer team as a freshman at Bishop Gorman High School. Like his mom, he has a great sense of style.
So with a wonderful family and successful salon, has Andaluz stopped dreaming? Never. She is always looking for ways to improve and always looking for her next adventure. So don’t be surprised if this businesswoman, mother, wife and philanthropist starts something new—but rest assured that whatever she does, it will be about bringing joy to other people.
For more information about the luxurious hair services and products at Pico Madama
Beauty & Hair Health Salon,