Introducing Miles Dittmar, student entrepreneur and CEO of the Beaten Path Co.

Lauren Fox, General Assignment Reporter

“I didn’t even know what entrepreneur meant until, like, outside of high school,” 23-year-old UNF advertising senior and entrepreneur Miles Dittmar said.

Operating out of his living room in St. Augustine, Dittmar is the owner and CEO of the sustainable clothing brand Beaten Path Co. The brand now has over 2,000 orders, Dittmar claimed. 

With the help of his “artsy dad,” a creative director and graphic designer, Dittmar learned different design programs for creating art to print on his clothing. When the company started, he and his father would bounce design ideas off each other. 

Dittmar has been an entrepreneur since a young age when he frequently ran lemonade stands and later started selling duct tape wallets. He believes he’s made about 50 Instagram accounts, a new one for each business idea.

Miles Dittmar smiles with some of his products outside UNF’s Library.
Miles Dittmar smiles with some of his products outside UNF’s Library. (Lauren Fox)

With over 22,000 Instagram followers on his personal account and nearly 25,000 on the Beaten Path Co.’s account, Dittmar is no stranger to social media. He uses social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok as tools to promote his brand and network with wholesalers and other artists.

Dittmar used to create all the art for Beaten Path Co. but the responsibilities of being a business owner and college senior-led him to collaborate with other artists to design prints for his brand. Social media allows him to connect with artists and support their work by purchasing their designs.

“I wanted to support other artists,” Dittmar shared. “My dad was that person when he was my age, so it’s kind of like tying it to supporting my younger dad.” 

The Beaten Path Co. also supports nonprofits through its “Be The Change” collection. All of the profits from products in the collection go toward supporting a charity that changes every season. The current “Be The Change” collection supports the National Parks Foundation and Dittmar said he wants the spring’s collection to go to a charity that supports people in Ukraine. He believes the collection has raised about $4,000 in donations so far. 

“The entire company started with the thought of anything toward world peace,” Dittmar said.

However, he believes the company has begun to gear away from that because “world peace” is a very broad theme, and he has been busy with school, work and an internship. He hopes to continue that mission after graduation. 

Another mission of the Beaten Path Co. is sustainability. Dittmar explained he only purchases from wholesalers that make their clothes with eco-friendly materials. He uses wholesalers like Comfort Colors and Bella+Canvas because they are transparent about their materials and the working conditions of their employees.

Upcycling is another way the company reduces its environmental impact. Dittmar learned to sew a couple of years ago and started creating tote bags out of old clothes. 

“My girlfriend and I were donated tons of oversized pants from our friend’s dad that lost a ton of weight… we cleaned the pants, I cut them up, I made a ton of tote bags with them,” Dittmar mentioned.

To save on labor costs and manufacturing, Dittmar uses his sewing skills to stitch on all the patches on his products. 

The Beaten Path Co. is not a lonely operation. Dittmar partially credits his business’s success to the support of his father, his girlfriend and his friends. With his business logo of a mountain drawn in Sharpie on his arm, Dittmar explained his plans to get the image tattooed along with eight other people. 

The Beaten Path Co. logo in Sharpie ink on Dittmar’s arm (left).
The Beaten Path Co. logo in Sharpie ink on Dittmar’s arm (left). (Lauren Fox)

“We’ve always said we’re clique free,” Dittmar clarified. “A lot of companies are very niche specific… and I really wanted to fill that gap and include all outdoor lovers into one company.” 

The spirit of the company, emphasized by Dittmar, is to not live life by default and to, instead, encourage people to be unique and spread positivity. 

Positivity is not the only thing Dittmar hopes to spread, he aspires to extend the company across America. Currently, Beaten Path Co. sells products in three locations and online. Dittmar plans to buy a van, pack it with merchandise and drive across the country, promoting his brand to retailers. 

He also plans to shift his workspace to somewhere besides his living room. Dittmar and his girlfriend hope to move west in a year and start the first Beaten Path Co. warehouse. As he searches for more sustainable wholesalers, he hopes his products will include things like board shorts and overalls. 

Dittmar finds motivation to continue from the feedback he gets. He loves the positive feedback and also appreciates the negative feedback because it means that someone took the time to write to him. 

“That amount of people that this has, like, helped in their life… that part of it is definitely what keeps me going the most,” said Dittmar with a grin. 


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