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Think Outside Your Hive

A podcast by Suzie Millar of The Scottish Bee Company, exploring how through chaos comes creation — inspiration for repollinating your own life. Always curious about how others live inspirational lives, manage work-life balance and find simple ways to 'think outside their hives'

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Episode 12: Nick Marsden - OOSC

Introduction This week on Think Outside Your Hive, we’re chatting with co founder and director of the UK’s brightest, retro ski wear company, OOSC. Like Suzie, Nick studied law but never went on to practise. Instead, he worked his way up the corporate ladder in the banking industry but later realised he didn’t like the idea of ‘working for the man’. He was drawn into a passion project with his friend from university. What started as a joke, creating retro, sustainable ski wear and accessories, has grown into a multinational business, successfully selling in 80 different countries around the world. Having expanded their reach and range from ski wear to gym and swim wear, OOSC still pride themselves in their flagship ski attire with one ski suit in particular, 'The Rain Road', being worn by Margot Robbie on a ski trip in France! A *pinch me* moment for the co founders back in the day. The company began in 2015, where he built the platform while still working within the corporate world. He left his job shortly with the world’s largest bank in 2019 and directed all his attention into building OOSC. All of OOSC products are made from sustainable and recyclable materials, working with an industry leading team in Taiwan for the materials. You can find Nick’s range across multiple outlets or online.

28mins

30 Jun 2022

Rank #1

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Episode 11: John Mellis - Beekeeper

IntroductionThis week on Think outside your hive, we’re staying a little close to home as we talk to John Mellis, one of the most prolific names in bee keeping in the UK. John has been a professional bee keeper for over 30 years and his passion for his job is as fresh as the day he began. John talks about the idea that ‘bee keeping is a science, an art and most importantly a vocation’. He found what he loves and he’s pursued it. Since we began our company John has been a guiding light for us - giving us advice and introducing us to the best within the industry to give our company the best possible start. This idea of ‘passing it on’ is evident in all of John’s work. He mentors younger beekeepers and is an advocate of training the next generation of bee keepers in what is and always has been a historically older profession. He has the most incredible knowledge and insight into making honey, bees and the bee keeping community. For those interested in the world of owning hives and agriculture and honey fraud, John talks with such passion, clarity and insight, you could listen to him for hours. So enjoy meeting our friend and colleague John - and who knows, he might just convince you to take up beekeeping too…

34mins

2 Mar 2022

Rank #2

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Episode 10: John MacPherson - Bright Red Publishing

IntroI started the Scottish Bee Company a few years before the pandemic began. It was still in its infancy - a startup that (like every other business) relied on a stable and consistent market and had to find its way through an ever changing market without it. John MacPherson, the owner of and founder of Bright Red Publishing, a company that provides educational material and study guides across Scotland, relies mainly on a stable and consistent education system as well as a strong financial market.John began Bright Red in 2008 - right as the financial crisis hit, and he was immediately hit with huge challenges overnight and immediately changing the trajectory of his new company. It was only a few years later that the Scottish Government had a huge upheaval of the school examining boards which meant a large percentage of his products (study guides etc) became useless, and once again he had to change the company’s direction. Since then, with the pandemic and a continued move to digital content and changes to how we consume data, it is fair to say John has not had an easy ride.Despite this, Bright Red is now a multi award winning independent publishing company that continues to thrive. In our podcast, John shares his journey, his attitude and a little about the importance of tenacity. Enjoy!

33mins

15 Feb 2022

Rank #3

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Episode 9: Louise Davis - Renewable Developer

A bit about Louise DavisIn the wake of COP26, we thought it would be useful for everyone to hear from Louise Davis, a wind farm developer and expert in all things to do with renewable energy and environmentalism. Since we met at University she’s been unwavering in her passion to help the environment, citing David Attenborough as her biggest inspiration throughout her life. I always leave my time with Louise feeling really knowledgeable and aware of how much work there is to be done. In our podcast she discusses how we can all ‘do our bit’, and who really needs to take responsibility to make a real difference in the direction the world is heading. She talks about the misconceptions we all have when it comes to climate change. I hope she inspires you the way she does with me.So have a listen (subscribe!!) and leave a comment - we’d love to know what you think of our chat!Know someone who might be perfect for or podcast? Drop us an email on buzz@scottishbeecompany.co.ukSuz x

32mins

23 Nov 2021

Rank #4

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Episode 8: Suzie Millar - The Scottish Bee Company

A bit about The Scottish Bee CompanyAs you may have gathered from the bee and hive themed questions throughout my previous chats with guests, I run a honey company alongside my husband! What stared as a charity idea, our passion for doing something for the climate crisis grew arms, legs (and wings) to become The Scottish Bee Company. An award-winning honey company that aims to protect the pollinator with a planet focussed business model. Our journey, like everyones, hasn’t been linear and I wanted to share our story and what we’ve learnt from starting up in 2017. I chat about the reality of ‘save the bees’, fraudulent honey producers and the importance of provenance in the industry and our BSI Kitemark. Having taken a honey sommelier course myself, I am massively interested in everything the industry has to offer and I truly believe with more knowledge across the board, everyone will feel the same passion we do!The more we learn about the industry, through courses and our bee farmers, the more our business model and plans adapt and change to suit the demands of our pollinators and planet. - everyday really is a school day! I was over the moon to appear on a panel talk hosted at COP26, listen until the end to hear about the topics we covered.As always I’m grateful for every download of the podcast and all the support over at The Scottish Bee Company. Keep in the loop by signing up to our newsletter at the bottom of website, which includes weekly updates and exclusive discounts! https://www.scottishbeecompany.co.ukTake care,Suz

14mins

9 Nov 2021

Rank #5

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Episode 7: Andrew Goose - Gooses Quizzes

A Bit About Gooses QuizzesWhat started as a way for Andrew Wildgoose to earn extra cash during university (hosting pub quizzes) has become a thriving business that has kept on growing. Across Scotland, Goose’s quizzes are now synonymous with having a good time - free for any player, bringing revenue to the pubs with people ordering more food and drinks as the punters play.However as Covid hit and pubs were closed overnight, Andrew’s income and business stopped in its tracks. However, instead of sitting and worrying about the future, he realised that he could be useful in other ways - that his business could be the source of joy for many despite it not earning him a penny.  He moved his business online and offered free daily quizzes throughout the whole lockdown. What started with a handful of people joining in online, became hundreds and occasionally thousands of daily players. He built an online community that connected people in a time when they needed social interaction more than ever.This caught the attention of the palace which resulted in him getting a BME from the Queen.Andrew is an inspiration for taking something you love and turning it into a workable business model that gives back by its very nature. He is a great example of how moving with the times and reacting positively to change rather than clawing onto the past can help your business thrive.We hope you enjoy this week's episode and it provides you with as much joy as it gave me talking to him.Suz x 

32mins

2 Nov 2021

Rank #6

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Episode 6: Polly Baldwin - The Jolly Allotment

Polly and I have been friends for many years, yet since we first met our lives have changed drastically. We have both changed career (she was once a festival and high end sports photographer and now runs the Jolly Allotment, whilst I gave up my career as a chiropractor for the bees!), we’ve had families and moved around from country to country.  Polly is the perfect example of someone who has taken the lemons life threw at her (or bit her with!) and turned them into lemonade. After suffering a debilitating auto-immune illness for many years, she was forced to change her way of life completely; her diet, her work, her lifestyle – from mountain biking and cross country skiing, to yoga and walking. As someone who was so against the zen, spirituality, ‘find yourself’ approach, she’s now a fully-fledged convert, and she’s channelled all of her experiences into the Jolly Allotment. So what is the Jolly Allotment? Well don’t ask Polly because even she struggles to define it – it encompasses so much. She runs events for vegans, those who are celiac, and provides festival food that is suitable for most dietary issues, an online journal giving advice and information on good gut health, and a community of those looking to learn and grow as happier healthier people. The Jolly allotment is a real life wellness hub that I can’t wait to introduce you to. So take a listen to our chat on the podcast, and see if she can change your life too!Suz x--

43mins

19 Oct 2021

Rank #7

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Episode 5: Alison Wood - Flocowear

I first met Alison from Flocowear at a funding event organised by the Scottish Government several years ago, back when the company was actually called ‘Lilypads’. Lilypads came about when Alison was in Kenya teaching sexual health to a group of school girls, where she learnt that the reason there was such a high teenage pregnancy rate in the local community was all down, would you believe, to the lack of available and affordable sanitary products. How are these two things connected I hear you ask? Well the answer really shocked me (Alison explains all on our podcast), and even more unbelievable was that this particular problem isn’t local to this specific area of Kenya, or Kenya alone – women in countries all over the world come across the same terrible choice to afford sanitary products.Flocowear is a mission led business. They sell reusable and environmentally friendly sanitary products in the UK and for every pack bought, they donate a pack to a charity, individual, organisation that distribute to areas of the world where sanitary towels and period products are too expensive. Our conversation not only opened my eyes but she touched upon a way of viewing her mission, which is that striving for perfection isn’t always the best way to work, as often very little gets done. Sometimes we need to think about what ‘better’ looks like. Better is still problematic. Better could use more research or funding or help. But better is still more than what we currently have. Her words really inspired me – as a fellow ‘chaotic leader’ Alison shows there is not only one way to create change. Often the power of perseverance and passion can be more useful than experts in the field… Alison is offering 10% off her product range. Listen to the end to get the discount code! Take a listen to Alison and let us know your thoughts on our chat.Suzie x

35mins

12 Oct 2021

Rank #8

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Episode 4: Karen Knowles - Bon Accord Soft Drinks

Today's guest is Karen Knowles of Bon Accord Soft Drinks. We often have many of our customers tell us they are surprised that we are such a young brand - they tell us there is something incredibly traditional about our honey and our brand that makes it feel like we’ve been around for generations. Karen from Bon Accord often gets the same comment, but in her case it’s true. Bon Accord was a drinks company originally run by her grandfather and before that, her great grandfather. For years it lay dormant and it has only risen back into prominence since Karen’s take over in 2015. Along with her business partner Nathan she’s managed to rejuvenate the brand and bring the company back to life in a way that suits the consumers of today.Bon accord is based in Edinburgh like The Scottish Bee Company, but it’s name is known all across Scotland and beyond. The business has been thriving, growing into a household name since it’s appearance on the shelves of Aldi.I met Karen at a food festival years ago and I love talking to her - in fact she was right at the top of my list when we started to talk about making a podcast. She perfectly epitomises the community values of the Food and Drinks industry (which we will talk about further in the podcast) - sharing knowledge, authenticity and a genuine support for one another.Her experiences mirrors a lot of my own having encountered many of the issues I have working in our sector and navigating the pandemic. We discuss in detail the importance of marketing; how you can get everything right with a product, but if you don’t have the right branding and packaging that reflects the product, and - most importantly - people who specialise in marketing to take your idea and run with it, then you’ll go nowhere pretty fast.We bond over all things Scottish as well as the pros and cons of running a heritage brand. She’s an all round pretty together person with some great nuggets of wisdom to share. Take a listen - I know you’re going to get something from what’s he has to say.Karen has also offered 10% off, head to her website www.bonaccordsoftdrinks.com, code BEE10

34mins

5 Oct 2021

Rank #9

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Episode 2: Georgie Muir - Chasing Lobsters

Georgie Muir runs her own coaching company, Chasing Lobsters. She is passionate about helping people to fulfil their true potential and encourages them to be true to themselves. During this podcast we delve into how she runs the business while juggling two kids and being married to her husband who is in the army which means he is away a lot and they move a lot. She finds ways to....

37mins

20 Aug 2021

Rank #10