Get To Know Donut Season Creator Miranda Reagan! 

Published on: 09/06/2022
Donut season

Today I kick off season 3 with Miranda Reagan. She is the visionary and artist behind the successful store Donut Season, and she wants to tell you how you can get started too.

Season 3 Episode 36: Get To Know Donut Season Creator Miranda Reagan. 

More Information About Miranda: 

  • She paints, quilts, and now creates digital art
  • She loves working with her hands and has always been a creative person 
  • She is a devoted mom 
  • She is based in Texas 

How Did You Start Doing Digital Art? 

Miranda started to do digital art during the pandemic. She was spending a lot of time at home with her kids, which was fabulous, but she needed an outlet just for herself. Working with a digital medium was new to Miranda and she was interested in trying it out. 

Miranda is self-taught and learned how to create digital pieces by watching Youtube tutorials and connecting with others. Practicing her art and taking time to create something on her iPad every day helped her to improve her skills over the last two years. Eventually, she reached a point where she wanted to sell her designs and decided that print-on-demand was the best option for her. 

What Tools Do You Need To Get Started?

Miranda started with an iPad. Although that piece of technology can be expensive up front, it offers a variety of apps and tools that help you easily create pieces. She recommends: 

  • Buying an iPad refurbished or second-hand (she did this and it saved her a lot of money).
  • Investing in an apple pencil. It is pressure sensitive and gives you more control when you are creating your art  
  • Procreate is an affordable app where you can draw and export your digital pieces 
  • An account with a print-on-demand website. Popular options include PrintifyPrintful, and Redbubble

What Is Print-On-Demand? 

Print-on-demand (POD) stores handle the creation and distribution of your designs. You need to upload your print or design to their website and then choose the type of merchandise you want to sell with your design. You need to market your product and every time someone makes a purchase, the POD store will complete the order. 

Using this service allows you to create a wide range of products without being obligated to keep an inventory in your home office. Having less money locked into material objects is a wise business strategy, especially when you are first testing the market. 

How Do You Get Inspiration? 

Listening to your customers is the best place to get inspired and create new pieces. You may need to experiment with a few different designs when you first open your store. To keep ideas flowing, Miranda suggests: 

  • Keeping a running list of ideas on your phone 
  • Talking with your IG followers or customers about what they want to see
  • Spend time researching trending designs on popular digital storefronts, like Etsy
  • Review your metrics often and see what is working in your store 

Even one sale is a major win! If things start slow at the beginning, remind yourself why you started this endeavor and keep going.  

Did you miss an episode? Click here to tune in to the previous post: Unique Dietitian Jobs 

Full Transcript:

Julia: 1:32

Welcome to the show Miranda. You were one of the most requested dietitians to have featured on the freelance dietitian podcast, and it’s truly an honor to be sitting here with you today. Did you wanna say hi to listeners?

Miranda: 1:43

Yes for sure. Thank you so much for having me. That is wonderful to hear. I’m excited to be here. I know I probably have a little different approach to, you know, entrepreneurialism than a lot of the dietitians you’ve had before. So I’m, I’m just excited. You’ve kind of included me in the conversation.

Julia: 2:00

Yeah. We’re so happy to have you sounds like you’re gonna fit right in. I can’t wait.

Miranda: 2:04

Thanks.

Julia: 2:05

Did you wanna briefly share your trajectory in your dietitian career? Cause listeners like to hear where you’ve started, where you’re at.

Miranda: 2:13

Sure. So it’s been a little unconventional. I have been a dietitian since 2015. And very shortly after I finished my internship, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first son. I actually didn’t have my first job as a dietitian until he turned one. I was at home with him there in the beginning and finishing my master’s degree and all of that.

So I worked clinically. That was my first job kind of like everybody, like, that’s the assumption. Like you need to kind of do that first, whether you want to long term or not. And then kind of within that position, I rolled also into the outpatient bariatric clinic. I think pretty much nobody else wanted to do that. After we had our youngest, I’ve been primarily at home with, with both of them.

I do have a PRN job that is like, I’m very PRN right now. Just something to kind of like, you know, keep keep in touch with like what’s going on and everything.

But it’s definite, it’s not even, part-time like at all. And so yeah, I’ve just been. At home, primarily with them. They’re both off to school now, like as of this week. And so I’m, I’m kind of in a weird place kind of figuring out like what my trajectory is going forward. Obviously I have more time to focus on my current you know, business with donut season. So that’s where I’m at right now.

Julia: 3:31

Nice. Can you tell us about Donut season? What do you do? What do you sell? How did you get started? I mean, as much info as you can share, we’d love to hear.

Miranda: 3:40

Yes for sure. So for anybody who’s unfamiliar, just off the bat donut season is my like passion project. It is in a nutshell, an eCommerce product based business. So I design gifts, apparel decor that’s generally nutrition themed. So it focuses on food, nutrition, dietetics and nutrition professionals. That’s kind of my main audience. And I officially opened donut season in October of 2020. But it had been an idea kind of in the back of my mind for several years before that. I think it was 2017.

My sister became a speech language pathologist, and so I was looking online for just like a cute little gift, like a congratulations for her. And there was so much cute stuff. There were all these t-shirts and I mean, ornaments and, and just so much exciting, fun, celebratory stuff, elevating SLPs. And there some out there for dietitians, like when you looked for it, but there wasn’t a ton. At least back at that point, you know, it’s been like probably five years at this point.

It dawned on me that maybe that’s an underserved market that, you know, a lot of times dietitian kind of have a, we have a chip on our shoulders sometimes. Like why don’t people appreciate us and people don’t know what we do. And so that’s kind of always been in my mind of like, well, we need, we need cute stuff and fun stuff and things that celebrate us and things that, that really voice, you know, our opinion on nutrition, our stand. Since we are the nutrition experts and that’s the voice that should be out there.

So I, like I said, I kind of had it in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit in 2020. And I was quarantined in my house with an 18 month old and a four year old all day. And by the end of the day, I was just, I was just totally exhausted. Like mentally I was tapped out and I needed. Something to do in the evenings to like decompress, take my mind off of like all the worries of the world and toddler parenthood and, and all of that.

And at the time I was not, I didn’t even have a PRN job. Like I, I was not employed as a dietitian. And so I kind of combined all of those things. And I used nutrition and my background as a dietitian as my subject matter, as I learned all about digital art So in the summer, like June, I bought an iPad.

I like scraped together, all my like little savings and cash that, you know, grandparents would sit in birthday cards and, and I spent it all on an iPad and an apple pencil. And I took advantage of any free resource I could find and learned to draw and hand letter. That was really what I focused on first was hand lettering. And after a few months of that, I had five designs that I thought were. Good good enough, at least. And I thought that they would be relatable to other dietitians or really anybody interested in nutrition.

So I opened an Etsy shop, October 1st, 2020 with five stickers. I had them printed like super small run, like 12 of each sticker printed which is not a cost effective way to do that. But just to like validate my idea I launched that shop and it was met with a lot more support and, and warmth than I thought it would be. I was just, you know, I, I thought that perhaps it was a good idea to me, but it wouldn’t really resonate with anybody else, but it, it did. At least enough to encourage me to keep going.

And so from there I worked on more ideas and I ordered more stickers. That was really my bread and butter for the majority of the first year. Was those stickers because it’s, I mean, it’s a really small sell. It’s easy for somebody to take a chance on, you know, a $3 sticker versus a $25 shirt or something like that.

So it was an easy entry point. And that’s kind of what I’ve used to like validate any ideas that I’ve had is, is those little stickers. And so I just kept putting out more of those and then slowly kind of grew and expanded into more product lines and kind of accumulated more tools and machines. So I do continue to like hand make the vast majority of my products.

There are some things that I have switched to a manufacturer or a printer for now, just because I couldn’t, I, I would live in my office if I didn’t. So just to help with efficiency, but I do really enjoy the process of like making something with my hands. And so I’ve continued to just kind of expand. And I grew into my own website on the one year anniversary. So last October in 2021. And then from there, I am just continuing to, you know, come up with as many new ideas as I can take suggestions and expand my offerings on donut season.com. I am still on Etsy, but I’m just really focused on my own standalone website now.

Julia: 8:21

That was so great. That’s so inspiring to hear. Congratulations also, it sounds like it’s going really well. And I can see you light up when you talk about it, which is so contagious. I love seeing that in entrepreneurs and I am so happy for you. It sounds amazing. Before I lose my thought, I wanted to ask you for the iPad specifically in digital art. I’m wondering if you were using Procreate or any kind of software there, just because some RDS who have an iPad already might wanna give it a shot.

Miranda: 9:07

Yes. I know we’ll talk later about kind of what’s recommended if someone’s getting into it. And so I have a whole, like, I can get a whole rundown. I’d be happy to answer that now, too. But yes, I do use procreate and it’s, I love procreate. It does everything, everything raster based. It’s amazing. I love it.

Julia: 9:23

That is so cool. I’m just curious, if these kind of creative pursuits and outlets, was it always with you, like prior to becoming a dietitian or was this just. A wait, cuz you obviously wanted to express yourself and have something fun in the pandemic. So what were you doing before? Was it always this or?

Miranda: 9:37

I, I have always been like a creator. Like I truly did not consider myself creative and I was not like an artist. I still can’t. I just, I don’t call myself an artist because I didn’t draw at all. Prior to 2020, I sewed, I love sewing and quilting. Obviously cooking and baking. I like painting as far as like, not like fine art, but like I painted, you know, a mural on my wall as a kid and I, I like that kind of thing. But I have absolutely no formal art training or anything like that. I do enjoy creating things. And so that’s always been with me in some capacity. But digital art and drawing and lettering is totally new as of the past two years.

Julia: 10:20

Nice. That’s really cool. And bringing us back now to the present. Do you remember feeling any nerves when you first decided to make a formal business out of it and you know, how did you manage that? How did you say, okay. I really wanna go after that thing and I’m just gonna go.

Miranda: 10:35

Yes, there were definitely nerves. I in general am a relatively like nervous, anxious person. So like I can get nervous about anything. And so for sure about this, there was when I opened my Etsy shop, I told my husband, cuz like obviously, like he knew what I had been working on. And I think I told my sister and I told no one else. Didn’t tell my family. I didn’t tell my friends. There were no social media. Because I was so nervous and afraid that it would flop and I would just have to pretend I had never done it.

And you know, with putting anything you create out there, whether it’s something you’ve written, something you’ve drawn an idea in general, that means something to you. There’s a lot of vulnerability that comes with that. Because you’re opening yourself up to criticism or just flat rejection. And so a lot of my nerves were really surround. You know, they surrounded me presenting myself as an artist, as an entrepreneur, as something that, you know, I had no experience in.

And especially we, as dietitians, we harp on the fact that there are a lot of qualifications. You need to be a dietitian, you know, and for good reason, like that should be known. But I think that was so ingrained in me that when it came time to do something different, I was like, who am I to try and sell something that I drew? Like, I have no formal art training. I I’m flying by the seat of my pants, especially when it comes to running a business.

And so that was, that was the other thing in my mind, that whole imposter syndrome thing that I think a lot of dietitian are familiar with. And then of course there was like the financial aspect, which at the time it was a, it was. A big investment for me now. It it’s not, it, it seems small, you know, compared to what I’ve had to invest in up to this point. But at the time, I mean, we were single income household. I’ve always been super frugal. And it was just, it was not a sure thing. I was just kind of hoping.

And so that made me super nervous. But the most helpful things I think were just consistently putting my work and myself out there. I have such a love, hate relationship with social media, but especially in the beginning, I think finding other artists on Instagram and other dietitians and just finding out what that feedback was, was helpful.

You know, at a certain point you can only, you can only worry about it so much before you need to find out the feedback, whether it’s good or bad. So just kind of consistently putting work out there, getting feedback, getting comfortable with kind of sharing ideas, it becomes less of a big deal. Anytime I like launch something new, I still get a little nervous, but like every time it’s a little less, just the more you get into the habit it kind of takes the, the scary factor away.

Julia: 13:07

Could you ever have pictured when you first started your business, that future Miranda that I’m talking to presently would be so confident.

Miranda: 13:16

No, I truly, I was just, I, I was so afraid that I would sell two stickers and I would just have to back out of it and then just never pursue anything like this again. So definitely not like, of course in my wildest like hopes and dreams. Of course, I hoped that I would, you know, succeed and, and be, you know, talking on podcasts one day. But definitely it was, it was not a foregone conclusion at the beginning.

Julia: 13:40

Yeah. We all know that we’re capable of greatness. I mean, most of the listeners are dietitians and we are literally licensed healthcare professionals. Like we can do amazing stuff. And then I just hear in your voice now, like your confidence and I see the maturity in your business journey, so it’s so nice when you get to the other side of the nerves.

Miranda: 13:58

Yes.

Julia: 13:58

It takes work to get there.

Miranda: 14:01

Absolutely. Yeah. Work consistency. And then like they creep back in and you just like have to kind of fight them back down every once in a while.

Julia: 14:08

yeah. And keep going. And how long does it take you to create a new piece?

Miranda: 14:12

So it, it really depends. If I’m just like doodling, something cute, you know, to, to put up on Instagram, just to have there and not necessarily make something out of it. I mean, I could do something in 15 or 20 minutes, maybe. Most things that turn into products though, if it is like an illustration and detailed generally. A couple hours. Especially if you include like kind of refining the idea and sketching it and deciding on like the arrangement or the composition.

There have been some that I’ve spent upwards of six or eight hours on over the course of multiple days. That’s not necessarily the norm though, just because I don’t do fine art. A lot of my stuff is a little more like, kind of doodly or yeah, a little more like cutey versus like serious art. And you know, just using the iPads that also kind of helps speed things along and, and makes you efficient when you’re creating things. So that does kind of streamline and help things go a little bit faster than maybe if you were doing it on pen and paper or something like that. Yeah.

And then as I’ve, you know, kind of gone, gone on, not everything is like a full on illustration. I have a lot of things that are kind of text based just depending on what the concept is. And those obviously are a lot faster and I’ll do those just on the computer, in Adobe illustrator. And so those are a lot faster once I actually have the idea, I mean, 15 minutes.

Julia: 15:33

You mentioned now that you are more interactive, you’re getting some feedback, which is so helpful for producing new concepts, but where do you find inspiration for just brand new ideas?

Miranda: 15:42

For a long time, you know, even before I started donut season, I had like an ongoing note in my phone where anytime I had any idea, I would jot it down. And a lot of times they ended up being nothing, but I’ve had a lot to pull from there just of like random thoughts.

A lot of things kind of started out as like a rant or like a common concern or a gripe that a lot of dietitian seemed to have. You know, we have a lot of the same ones you know Maybe people in our lives are tired of hearing about them. Like my husband, he is like, yes, I get it. Like, yes, you don’t need detox teas I know that like, go tell her that. And so instead of just continuing to, you know, voice those concerns I started drawing about them.

I just really like juxtaposing, like kind of, not necessarily something like sassy, but like, you know, an opinion about something with like cutey graphics or like something colorful or like cheerful imagery with like telling someone like you, you don’t need that detox tea, you know? And so a lot of things have started from just kind of those common concerns or feelings that a lot of D. Seem to have in common, at least in, in my experience we have. Yeah. then, oh, sorry, go ahead.

Julia: 17:00

Oh, no, I was gonna say it’s genius. It’s perfect. It’s so relatable. Everybody loves something they can relate on and it’s like, oh, it’s, there’s no C in dietitian.

Miranda: 17:07

right, right. And like, yeah, we’re not dietary. Like what, what even is come on. Yeah.

So a lot of things have sprouted out of those type of ideas. And then of course food puns, like, I feel like people have like a love, hate relationship with puns. I love them. I think a lot of dietitians, we like the, the nerdy little like food puns. But I, you know, there’s a lot out there. That are very common. And I’ve tried to find some that are unique that maybe I have never heard before, or are just not near as common. I love it when I like Google something and like, it doesn’t pull anything relevant up. It’s like, okay, this is my idea.

So, yeah, a lot of, a lot of puns. And then now, yeah, like you were saying, I do get some suggestions from, you know return customers or people that find me on social media. I, I usually feel really bad because a lot of times they’re like, Hey, I’ve got this awesome idea. Would you. Think about doing this? I’m like, yes, it is on my list and it has been for like six months. And if I ever work through my list and life, I will get to that. I promise. Yeah. Eventually.

Julia: 18:09

I see this thing on TikTok where small business owners showcase an item that they thought would be a knockout and ends up flopping, and then they do the vice versa. It’s meant to be positive and just kind of drop the veil of what it’s really like owning a business. Have you ever had that happen?

Miranda: 18:25

Yes, for sure. And I’m not on TikTok. I know exactly what you’re talking about. And I probably should post things like that. Maybe once I get a little more organized on my social media front but yes, it’s always really surprising to me.

Not always, a lot of times it’s really surprising to me. What does well, and what doesn’t. You would think that it would correlate with, you know, how much thought you put into it and how detailed it was and how much time. And a lot of times it does not. You know, sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that don’t seem that crazy to me, that unique. But that’s what catches on.

With, with a lot of those requests that I get from customers, you know, you do have to be kind of careful if you just run with an idea and don’t kind of, you know, do the research or kind of validate it widely first. I’ve done that a couple times and, and people will be very excited. Like, yes, tank tops will be great for the summer. Yes. Everyone will buy them. I will buy them. I will buy six of them and then they don’t buy them. But so recently that is kind of how tank tops went this summer. That’s my most recent thing. Like, it was fine, but it, it wasn’t near what I had forecasted. Yep. So that absolutely happens.

Julia: 19:36

And do you have a opposite scenario though? Like, cuz you mentioned some of them that you’re just like, oh I could pump it out in half an hour and then boom. It becomes like a best seller, but your eight hour piece is like collecting dust on a shelf. You know what I mean?

Miranda: 19:47

Yes. So I did so probably. The most popular, one of the most popular ones that I have, the all foods fit design that’s I have on a bunch of different items. Now it did take me a while and I thought it was cute and I liked it, but I didn’t realize how popular it would be. That one was a little bit of a surprise. And then the, the other ones, like the little smiley faces that I have where like their mouth is just kind of like a sassy little truth, like that detox is a scam. Those did not take long at all, but they’ve been really popular, so, yeah. Cool. That’s the nice kind of surprise when you, you get a little more return than your investment.

Julia: 20:26

Yeah, and do you have any tips? I know you mentioned before, so this is where I want to ask you now. Any tips and tools, maybe like some of the tech that R D should consider when they want to pursue something like this?

Miranda: 20:37

Yes, for sure. Tips, if I could speak in general, just to like starting a creative endeavor because I’ve grown a lot of skills, but that is where I’ve kind of learned the most because growing up and throughout my education, I just, I feel like I was presented with this dichotomy that either you are logical and academic and you Excel in school and you understand numbers.

Or you’re creative and artistic and can make appealing, you know, things in, into the world. And it’s not either, or I think we are all creative. We all have that to some extent, and creativity is something that you can practice and you can grow. And that the more that you use it, the better you get at using it. And the more creative you can become.

You know, I I’ve always, like I said, enjoyed creating things, but I, I didn’t really understand that a lot of things that we see as just naturally being creative, their skills, you know, drawing is a skill, hand, lettering is a skill painting. And so as. Someone who, you know, spent a lot of time in school and you know, I’m good at focusing and, and learning a new concept.

You know, I think a lot of us are, that’s how we got to, to where we are in our career, in our education. That’s a really encouraging and hopeful concept for me that even in things that are a little more nebulous, like more creative versus concrete, you can still work and hone and grow those. So, yeah, my first kind of general tip is just that you are creative somewhere in there.

If you wanna pursue something creative, you can, it may take you a little longer or a little more work than someone who, you know, could sit down in third grade and draw a horse with no reference image. But you can do it and you can make it your own and you can have your own kind of style. And. So that’s the biggest thing that I think everybody should know at the beginning, if you’re like in the, in the contemplative stage then as far as like concrete things that if you wanna get into digital art specifically, I will tell you what I use and what most.

Like purely digital artists that I have talked with use. So I have an iPad pro I have the, the larger one, it’s like 12.9 inches, I think. And mine is a few years old at this point. I think it’s a 2018 and I bought it refurbished because those are a significant investment. But totally, totally worth it. And I mean, even being four years old, it’s still just fine. And then I also have an apple pencil. You could use just a general stylus if you want, but the apple pencil is pressure sensitive and it responds a lot better to a lot of the different kind of settings and things that you can micromanage.

The app that I run on my iPad in order to create anything is called Procreate. It’s amazing. It is so robust. It’s like a $10 upfront and it’s worth every single penny. 99% of my ideas and things start in Procreate most things finish there as well. I’ll bring things to my desktop and work on them in Adobe illustrator. You definitely don’t need that program if you’re just wanting to draw. If you want things to be vector based, depending on what you wanna do with that art.

Julia: 23:49

Can I quickly ask Miranda, so what’s a vector based piece? Is it like a repeating image or like a pattern?

Miranda: 23:54

Sure. So basically if you’re seeing an image there’s two different like file types kind of, it can be raster based. So that means it’s made of pixels.

Julia: 24:03

Okay.

Miranda: 24:03

So just like a photograph you zoom in, and it’s really just a ton of tiny little colored squares, and that makes the image when you zoom. The other option is something called a vector and you need a computer to create that graphic because you know, whatever program you created in, a lot of people use illustrator. It basically is a set of points and like curves and lines connecting them. And so the computer knows how to infinitely, expand or resize that image by using kind of like mathematical formulas. Basically. It’s not just a finite set of squares. So those are a lot easier to manipulate, to zoom in, zoom out, put on a billboard or, you know, things like that. And certain manufacturers printers will request that your art be in vector format, depending on what you’re trying to put it on.

Julia: 24:52

Gotcha. Okay. That was super helpful. Thank you for explaining that.

Miranda: 24:55

Yes, yes, for sure. I know I kind of, I knew none of this two years ago, but I deal with it every day. And so please stop me if I get like that again and, and we need a definition. And then yeah, if, if you are interested in starting, you know, a side hustle, an art business, something like that, where you want to make products.

There are some really like low entry cost ways to do that now. It’s gotten really easy for artists to put their work onto products, using print on demand sites. Some people have heard of this because a lot of brands will use this to make just like merch and as their logo or, you know, catch phrase from their show or whatever on there. And those are sites like. Printy, Printful, red bubble society, six, if you have heard of those. And, and basically as, as far as the person creating the art, you just upload your images in whatever format that site needs. They can print it for you onto a t-shirt or a bag or an art print or something like that, then they ship it out for you.

Depending on what you use, profit margins can vary. They’re, they’re typically a lot lower than if you make something, you know yourself but you don’t have any upfront investment. But if you’re crafty like me and maybe you just want to like, make things as a hobby, or maybe you wanna make things by hand and seldom.

If you want to do that in your own home, the hardware that I use would be a good quality inkjet printer, a color printer. I use a cricket, or you can use a silhouette. I use a heat press very often, and I have a, a little button maker that makes cute little you know, buttons or I can turn them into badge reels. And so that. A fun little tool as well.

Julia: 26:37

Very cool. Sky’s the limit, right? You just get your staples and then see what works, see what you love. And how are you pricing your pieces cause you did already allude to the fact there’s some kind of compromise you have to make if you’re using print on demand, which might be a great place to start. Now, if you’re doing some of it in house, like how are you pricing your pieces? I should just let you answer and stop talking.

Miranda: 26:59

No no, that’s fine. That’s that is definitely true. It. It probably, well, it might differ if you are putting something on a print on demand site versus making it yourself. I think a lot of times you just have to accept the profit margins are gonna be a lot lower on print on demand, unless you charge a whole lot more, which some premium brands like maybe you can do that. Maybe you have the brand recognition and people will pay for it. For me, especially starting out I did not set anything at like a premium price.

I use a wholesale method, which entails figuring out what each individual unit is going to cost. So all the materials that you need, how much ink I would use for my printer and how much paper this would use. I really get as detailed as I can at the beginning. Add in whatever packaging it’s going to come in and then add in your cost for later.

How many minutes is it gonna take you? For every four that you make does one get messed up? You have to factor all of that in, and then multiply it by a factor to make sure that I’ll have enough profit for it to be sustainable. That also allows me to run sales and you know, if somebody’s package gets lost I can replace it without being a huge hardship and that kind of things. I do a lot of that research up front because you know, then you have to go and compare it to what the market price is.

Julia: 28:12

Right.

Miranda: 28:12

I think a lot of, you know, service based businesses, you do that to a certain extent as well, but there’s a little more wiggle room there. It’s a little different in the product world. And especially if you’re on a marketplace like Etsy Or maybe even like RD to RD. I haven’t kind of looked into the pricing there, but you know, if people have close products right next to each other you know, chances are, they’re gonna go with one that’s slightly cheaper.

Julia: 28:36

Yeah. Great point. You have to keep an eye on what. Competitors are doing, but also, like you said, protect your own profit margins and just make, make good choices. Nice. That was so thorough. I always get stuck in the interview because I absorb it. And then I think about it as you’re talking, I’m digesting it in the moment, but yeah, that was really helpful. Thank you. Yeah. Could you share any ballpark figures of your own like donut seasons revenue and maybe some of your income income goals for the future?

Miranda: 29:03

Yes. I always find it really refreshing and helpful when other businesses are transparent with their finances. So I am happy to do the same. I will say my revenue changes a lot from month to month based on if I’m launching anything new based on what’s going on in the world. What’s going on in my personal life, how much I’ve put into social media that month. So I can give you like a yearly. Because it kind of averages out, you know, once you do it that way.

So I we’re like mid, not October, August right now. So I looked through July and revenue for this year was at about 25,000. It’s grown since the year before for all of 2021. And first starting out my first little three months, I kind of do things in a calendar year. Right. Just because that’s, I mean, that’s how you have to file taxes anyways. So that first year was just three months and I was ecstatic to have made $1,300.

Julia: 29:57

Heck. Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome.

Miranda: 29:59

Yeah. So grown every year. And so my goal for this year was just kind of based on last year’s. I wanted to make about time and a half what I did last year. So my goal for this year is 35. My family is ridiculously fortunate that we don’t super depend on this income to support us.

My husband has a very standard, secure job. So my goals are more what bills can I take care of what can I contribute you know, into savings, things like that. So I just wanted to make sure that I could pay for any kind of childcare expenses that we had our retirement accounts and then just a couple more random bills.

My next goal kind of going forward now that I’ve kind of hit that goal. Is I wanna replace a part-time income at my like current PRN rate. If my profits can match what I would make, if I were working 20 hours a week, then I’m ecstatic with that. Because you know, I, I like having the flexibility. It’s important to me to be able to be there for my kids. And so if I can stay tethered to dietetics while also doing something creative You know, that’s my ultimate goal.

Julia: 31:04

Scaling out a bit and asking a higher level question about the RD profession, I just would love to hear like guest opinion on this. How do you think the current landscape for RDS differs compared to what you learned the RD landscape would be when you were a student?

Miranda: 31:20

Sure. Yes. It definitely I don’t think we were given a very like robust view of what all was out there when we were in school and maybe things have rapidly grown in the past, you know, decade or so since I well, okay. Not that I haven’t been out of. Graduate school that long, but all that to say, I think we were kind of given the picture, like you either work in clinical or in food service and like, those are kind of your main things. And if that doesn’t speak to you then, like, I don’t know, you just kind of make it work.

But that’s not the case. I think a lot of us do recognize that it’s great to have a clinical foundation, but with the way things have really been expanding online, especially during the pandemic, people are becoming so much more comfortable seeing service providers online, getting their information online. We’ve been doing that for a while. And so that opens up a huge world for dietitians. I think that we’re able to create our own path based on, you know, using our knowledge Combining it with whatever we’re passionate about.

I think it’s really cool when I’ll find someone who is doing web design for, you know, healthcare providers or, you know, working as like a liaison between brands and the public or things like that. And I look into them and find out that they’re a dietitian, but like they’re not, that’s not their title. They’re leveraging those skills and the knowledge they have there and combining it with a whole other field that they enjoy or that sets them apart. I think that’s really cool.

The more our lives move online, the more we expand the digital horizon, the more RDS need to move into that space. And the more creative we need to be with that in order to reach the widest audience possible.

Julia: 33:01

Sometimes I find that just how do I wanna phrase it? It’s hard to keep showing up for people all the time when you yourself feel a little bit stuck in your RD box. It is so nice now that I can bridge the gap between my creative Julia and dietitian Julia, and even for a provider, it just feels like a way healthier approach in the profession to have these opportunities before us and creative outlets that I think were were there, but more difficult to incorporate into the RD job.

Miranda: 33:30

Yes. That makes total sense and you’re right. It doesn’t serve the dietitian to have to put yourself into a box that, that doesn’t fit or that you can’t like fully realize your potential in. Yeah, I agree.

Julia: 33:43

Yeah. Nice. I did skip a question here, but I think we have some opportunity to answer it because I think it is worthwhile. So in terms of comparing yourself to other businesses, how do you navigate that? It’s so hard. It is like the ugly part of social media, because obviously we celebrate RDS who are successful, but as yourself, it kind of feels bad when you see someone else achieving while you feel stagnant, I guess it’s the comparison. So how do you navigate that?

Miranda: 34:10

Yes, for sure. I definitely think that that’s human nature. We all have something that we’re insecure about and that’s just, that’s the instinct is to compare it to someone else, see how we’re doing. A lot of times social media can make you feel really bad. I’ve heard, it said a lot of times and like, I know this is true, but it’s kind of hard to ingrain. And that is that you are seeing a highlight reel. And yes, you know, the person who is making six figures, they’ve maybe been doing this for 10 years or however, however long. Then you say, well there’s all these people on TikTok or reels or whatever. They went viral and all of a sudden they’re a seven figure business overnight. And I’m sure there are some of those. But that is definitely not the norm.

Julia: 34:54

Yeah, the exception.

Miranda: 34:55

Yes, for sure. The exception to the rule. So just like trying to like stay in reality in the fact that like the norm is that it’s gonna take a while it’s gonna take some investment. It’s gonna take a lot of work at the beginning that either may not be paid or may not be paid well. And that’s just part of it. And everyone does that. More you kind of focus on what your individual goals are and what your individual voice is. It’s easier to kind of keep your eyes on your own paper and just use those other folks as inspiration and support and encouragement.

Julia: 35:25

Did you have any other final thoughts that you wanted to share with listeners before we wrap.

Miranda: 35:30

Thank you for having me. It’s been a really fun conversation. To anyone listening, if you are at all interested in the digital art realm. I love getting messages from people and talking about tools and ideas. And I love getting feedback. My DMS in my email are always open. So feel free to reach out about anything art business, dietetics related. I love having those conversations with anybody

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Julia Zakrzewski is the host of the Freelance Dietitian Podcast. She is a clinical dietitian turned freelance writer and now she can’t stop talking about freelancing!

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