People of South Walton Silvia Madriaga


People of South Walton: “Jill of all Trades”, Sylvia Madriaga

By Heather Bennett

Silvia Madriaga was born and raised in California. She developed a strong work ethic at a young age, working for her parents, who are business owners. After owning her own small trucking company where she travelled the country, Madriaga decided to trade in the West Coast for the Gulf Coast and settle down in South Walton. She is someone you might refer to as a “Jill-of-all-trades.” Madriaga is a successful real estate agent, owner of Klear Kanoo, and you can catch her out performing with her Ukulele, or the band Catalyst, at one of our local establishments.

Selling real estate is her main passion and full time job where fulfillment comes from helping others. “My favorite part is helping people find the right place for them,” said Madriaga. She has been in real estate for 20 years, and is currently working for ResortQuest. She is happy to be in the internationally known Wyndham family, with the locally respected ResortQuest team. Sylvia says she owes her success to diligence and really paying attention to the clients’ wants and needs and that most of her business comes as referrals from happy clients. citiing her favorite Walt Disney quote; “Do what you do so well, they want to come back and bring their friends.”

Sylvia started her Klear Kanoo business in 2013 after renting one while on vacation, and just knew they would be a fit for the area. She contacted the manufacturer, and became the sole distributor for The Emerald Coast. “We sell them to individuals, but beach services are quickly becoming our main business. People love renting them while on vacation and the Beach Services do very well with them!,” she said. They are completely see-through and allow you to paddle and experience sea-life as if you were on a glass bottom boat. It’s one of the best ways to experience our emerald waters. What makes her see-through Klear Kanoo different is that they are made of polycarbonate that doesn’t heat up or yellow in the sun. They provide a unique way to experience underwater life in the Gulf. Give one a try, and you’ll be sure to want to purchase your own.

Sylvia credits South Walton as a supportive community, much different from the competitive atmosphere of Los Angeles, where her family still lives. “Here, business owners help each other succeed. When real estate is booming, furniture is being sold, interior designers and artists are busy, house rentals are increasing, and restaurants are full. We are all interdependent,” she says. “No one is an island.” Businesses refer business, helping their neighbors.

She balances the business side of her life with performing. “I’ve always sang. In the car, in the shower, and at karaoke.” she said. Now she performs at weddings, parties and local venues like Pompano Joe’s, Hammerheads and Tops’l Resort. She plays Ukulele and her son Marcelo sometimes joins her on stage. Madriaga also plays with local musicians Dave Denison, Tyler Gray and Douglas Zimmerman, who perform as the band Catalyst. They perform hit songs and party favorites that are sure to keep the dancefloor busy. They perform at Weddings, Private Events and local restaurants and clubs.

It might seem like a busy life to some, but Madriaga truly enjoys it. “I wake up in the morning excited! What do I get to do to forward my goals today?” she said. “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”

If you are interested buying or selling, you can check out Madriaga’s real estate Website at, and for your Klear Kanoo needs, visit If you want to catch a show, or book Mardriaga and Catalyst, you can visit the Facebook Page for Catalyst Music or visit