Like A Boss: Miranda Young
We feel so humbled and honoured to have had the pleasure of getting to know entrepreneur, community builder, and all around prairie-powerhouse, Miranda Young. An impressive career as a young designer in a small Saskatchewan city, a local radio show host and huge advocate for the LGBTQ+ community - there isn't much we don't love about Miranda. Get ready to fall head over heels, Beaconites. Miranda's story is one of drive, passion and plain old spunk.
So, Miranda, what’s your career story?
I started in the design industry when I was very young. My mom was a decorator and owned a furniture store and I would spend hours growing up helping her in her store and being her little assistant. It always fascinated me. After high school, I studied at the University of Saskatchewan hoping to pursue a career in the arts, but soon realized I didn't really want to work at an art gallery or be a painter full-time. From there I followed in my mother’s footsteps and attended design school in Vermillion, Alberta and received my diploma in Interior Design. Once completed, I moved to Calgary and did my internship at the DADE art and design lab. I moved to Saskatoon, SK where I began my design career at an architecture firm, working mostly on schools, community centres and large commercial projects. There, I was very involved in finish selections and contract administration.
I really wanted to get more into the planning side of design, so I left architecture and got a job at an interior design firm. It was here where I worked on a variety of projects, including offices, retail, residential, clinics, all sorts of stuff. It was an amazing opportunity to work for a small firm where I could get my hands on everything.
Whilst working, I completed my Interior design registration. This required 2 years of school, 4 years of experience, and then 3 (intense) examinations. It’s a similar process to getting an architectural license. Once I became registered, I quickly realized that I was outgrowing my current position at the design firm. The opportunities I was looking for didn’t exist - so I decided to create my own.
In January 2019, I started my own company. After completing a course in entrepreneurship, Alt Haus was born. I’m not shy to admit there have been huge learning curves, but it has been such a positive change for me that it's been totally worth it.
What are your thoughts on the current socio-political climate we are now living in?
Without getting too into it, we have a long way to go to become the country and world I would love to see for future generations. Respecting each-other and respecting the earth should be number one priorities in my eyes. We all need to work towards the better good, give back to the community and do whatever we can to make our voices heard in order to make change. We can not leave it up to our leaders to do this, we need to be the change.
When and how did you get into radio hosting?
I have been involved in a million things since I graduated from college. I used to volunteer a lot for the local radio station, posting flyers, volunteer appreciation nights, etc. I was asked constantly why I wasn’t hosting, so, I decided to do it! I completed my training and begun filling in for other hosts. Shortly after, I was given my own slot - I host the Thursday Buzz from 5 to 6 pm, on CFCR 90.5FM - The Saskatoon Community Radio Station. I am lucky enough to pick all of the music, interview touring musicians and do all of my own sound-board.
Two of my favourite interviews so far have been The Pack AD and Dan Mangan. I’ve loved them since forever and it was truly amazing to meet and get to know them a little better.
Rapid Fire Q’s
What gets you up in the morning? The urge to design really cool spaces and see people getting really excited about these spaces.
What are you most grateful for in this moment? The fact that I get to do what I love every day and be surrounded by such amazing, wonderful and inspirational people.
What is the best way women can support one another? Help each others voices be heard and truly listen to each other. Have empathy for one another and bring each-other up, not down. Collaboration is always greater than competition. It's also so important to be there for the non-binary and gender-queer folks in your life too! And everyone else too, of course!
What 3 things do you always pack when you travel? Swimsuit, sketchbook, laptop.
What’s the last new thing you learned? Just to be more conscious of my time and how valuable it is.
Who or what has inspired you along the way?
My mother, Sandra Epp, has been such a huge inspiration to me. I’ve always tried to look at a space the way she would; as an opportunity to do something amazing. I also truly admire how she has created her own path in life and has been so authentic to who she is in the process. Nothing stops her, and she's always on the hunt for the next creative project.
What is one key leadership lesson you have learned over the years?
To be a true leader, you must treat the ones around you with kindness, empathy, and support. Growth doesn't happen overnight and to be truly successful, you need to build each-other up.
How do you achieve balance in your life?
I’m still trying to figure that out. I have been working really hard since I started my own business, but I also make sure I have a lot of fun. I let myself have weekends and I try to be done work by 6 pm to take the time I need to rejuvenate. I know the things that fill my cup and try to practice them regularly, such as painting, baths, and bike rides.
After all of the success so far in your life, what is the one thing you still find yourself struggling with?
It comes back to overextending myself and figuring out when I need to say no. That has always been my biggest struggle. I am one person and I can’t do everything. I'm getting better and better at knowing my capacity, and I'm really proud of that.
What’s up next for you?
I recently got back from a trip to Italy on behalf of the Interior Designer's Association of Canada. I'm excited to bring some of that inspiration home with me and be working on some fun and colourful projects in the near future.
Other than that, I'm hoping to open some sort of studio space soon. I want to bring together all the elements of design, art and music, I know and love. Just working on finding that perfect space.
Any final thoughts you would like to share with our readers?
I think we all need to take more time to appreciate where we are in our lives. Don’t be so hard on yourself - you’re killing it.