The scene is repeated frequently. The board members are waiting to meet the company representative with the best proposal to paint their condominium, when they see Aideline Amarán arriving, the young owner and manager of Amaran Group, LLC. They greet her carelessly without imagining that she is the one they are waiting for. Then someone asks out loud: “And when is this contractor guy coming?”
Founded in January 2016 and dedicated to painting, paving and freshening up condo apartment buildings in Miami communities such as Hialeah, Doral, Fontainebleau, Kendall and North Miami Beach, Amaran Group has a payroll of 10 workers, several trucks painted with the colors and advertising of the company and a variety of painting and paving equipment. Though the firm has been noted for its rapid and continuous growth, few know that a woman is in charge.
“When I get to present a proposal for the city or a condominium, I find everyone desperate because they don’t know what time the guy contractor arrives,” Amarán says. “Then I have to introduce myself and say ‘charmed, I’m the contractor.’ That’s how it is.”
How did you start in the painting industry?
My dad, Evaristo Amarán, had a small painting company and I started with him at age 17 or 18. Together we grew the company, and by 2005 it was one of the largest in Miami. My father always gave me his vote of confidence to make business decisions.
When did you start your own company?
After more than 10 years with my father, I decided to start on my own. I only had two employees and my first project took 15 days. We had a profit of only $350 because all the equipment we used was rented. Over time, other painters I met over the years left other jobs to come with me, even earning less. One of them is my manager, Yoel Valdez, who is my right hand, and who initially used his own car to move our equipment.
How did Sherwin-Williams help you get started?
At the beginning it was very difficult because I was a woman alone in a male-dominated business and I no longer had my father by my side. But I did receive the support of Sherwin- Williams that opened an account for me. They knew me because for years I was in charge of my father’s accounts. Today I recommend Sherwin-Williams to all my clients, not only because they believed in me, but because the paint and the service they offer are excellent.
What is your business strategy?
We do 10 to 15 multi-family condominium projects per year. I cannot compete with small projects because my insurance bills are very high for liability, workers compensation, inland marine, equipment, etc. Many clients go for the cheapest options not knowing if the contractors have the necessary licenses or insurance. I try to offer a package to the clients, paint the buildings, redo the pavement, paint the parking lots, and we offer them credit … although sometimes I only charge materials because I want to make sure that, in the end, my work looks beautiful and everything is complete.
Aideline Amarán was one of four contractors interviewed for the debut episode of the Pro-to-Pro Contractor Forum podcast. Watch more videos in the series
What is the most difficult thing about being a female painting contractor?
Dealing with employees. For some it is difficult to receive orders from a woman. That is why I have created an environment where they do not see me as their boss but as the person who helps them to earn a paycheck every week for their families. Since everyone knows everyone in Miami, they say “I want to go to work with Amarán,” because they know that their pay here will be safe.
What are your go-to coatings?
I am in love with Resilience® Exterior Acrylic Latex. It is a little more expensive, but I love the finish, the coverage and, above all, how fast it dries.
The primer I use is Loxon® Exterior Hot Stucco Coating, which has a lot of texture and covers a lot. And when the walls have many problems, I use Loxon® Conditioner. It is very important for me to use good products. I prefer not to do the job if I have to use low quality products. Good is good and, for me, Sherwin-Williams is the best.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Years ago, I gave an estimate to a Colombian gentleman in Brickell who told me: “You will hate me for what I am going to say but you will remember it all your life. This four-page estimate does not give me the confidence to do the job with you.” Since that day I focus a lot on the estimates, and on learning more about new equipment and the industry in general. In addition to this, I work hard to make sure that I have all the necessary certifications and insurance coverage, so the client can see that they are protected and that we are ready for any problem.
Do you think painting can be a good professional option for a woman?
It’s a difficult question because of everything I’ve had to go through. But if there is a woman interested in construction, in painting, I would tell her not to be afraid. You can achieve anything you set out to do, and I am an example of that. I never really thought that I would fall in love so much with what I do. If I die tomorrow, I will die happy for all that I have done, proud of all that I have achieved in life, of all the people I have helped. Despite being only 37 years old, I feel like a fulfilled woman.
This article was originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of Pintor Pro magazine. Story by Jorge Arboleda, Pintor Pro editor. Read about other successful pro painters in the Pintor Pro digital edition archive.