A Latino Small Business On A Fast Break


Miami entrepreneur enjoys strong start with specialty running store


Hector Arana, left, helps an iRun customer. (Adam Jacobson)

Hector Arana was ready for “the chat.” After nearly two decades working at a Miami Beach-based jewelry business, he was ready to become a partner.

His boss didn’t think so.

“He built that business on his own, and maybe he didn’t want to share it with me,” he recalls. “But it gave me the drive to pursue something of my own.”

Arana  immediately approached his wife with an idea and a simple three-word request: “Let’s do this.”

Less than a year later, Arana is literally off and running as principal owner of iRun, a specialty running store on busy Biscayne Boulevard in Miami’s gentrifying Morningside Park district. When not in the store, Arana is often spotted clad in an iRun T-shirt, running through Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne.

Thanks in part to a catchy name and word-of-mouth referrals, iRun has been embraced by triathletes, marathoners and first-time runners seeking a positive customer service experience in a welcoming atmosphere. The swift success can also be linked to Arana’s devotion to the business, and the countless hours focused on iRun.


Energy, Luck And Credit

Arana’s passion hasn’t decreased since iRun opened its doors “Energy was the driving force behind this, and when I had my doubts my friends all supported me,” he says. “They all said, ‘In this economy, if anyone if going to start a business, it is you. You’ll make it work.’ ”

While energy and passion are key ingredients to new business growth, solid financial footing is paramount. The day after Arana’s wife gave her blessing, he opened a business account at a local bank.

“We were lucky,” he notes. “My wife and I had a $200,000 home equity line of credit, and we used it to help start the business. Of course we were very smart not to use all of that money. It’s hard, when you have a wife and two pre-teen kids, to put away any money.”


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