Hi and welcome to TOYH01 - Episode 1 of our brand new podcast Think Outside Your Hive. I’m Suzie Millar, co-founder of The Scottish Bee Company and the charity Repollinate and now, host of this new podcast.
Having started The Scottish Bee Co in 2016, I’ve loved the journey so far to building my own company, but I’ve also had some immense struggles; life as a working mum - with both a toddler and new born in tow, creating and building a startup in a pandemic, cashflow issues, branding and marketing confusions… you name it! We hit roadblock in so many areas, and I found myself looking for a place to turn to for help. And that’s where ‘Think Outside Your Hive’ came about- a podcast where entrepreneurs share experiences, stories and advice on how to navigate these uncharted waters of setting up and running your own business.
It covers leadership, innovation, failure, success, and the many and varied paths that have taken our guests to where they are now - more often that not through a non conventional route. Running a company can be a really lonely endeavour and so this was a way to expand our own hive (As the director of a honey company, we talk a lot in bee metaphors!) and build a community of like minded people, sharing our stories to help inspire others. I love hearing other peoples stories. My husband says that if I meet someone for the first time it only takes one conversation for me to know their life history. I used to think people just liked to tell me things but as I grow older I realise I actually ask a lot of questions as I really find people and their stories interesting.
To some, my own story seems quite interesting. I started out as a law student with the aim to fulfil a calling to make a difference with inequality I saw in the world, but through that, for many reasons, I felt I wasn’t quite the right fit. I found myself developing an interest in alternative medicine, leading me to study as and consequently work as a chiropractor for years after. There were so many elements of this job that I loved - working closely with people, knowing I was making a genuine difference, and it worked fully inline with my passion for living a healthy lifestyle and giving back. It also involved needing an entrepreneurial spirit - something I loved more than I realised I would.
Upon meeting Iain my husband (and co-founder of The Scottish Bee Company) we realised we weren’t fully fulfilled in our jobs and looked for something that combined all the areas we loved. Something that felt purpose driven and involved helping the environment. As with most great ideas, the idea came for the company (and its sister charity Repollinate) whilst eating dinner. Which brings us to where we are now: we’re well on our way to becoming what we set out to be - an example of a global brand with a strong social and environmental purpose. With numerous awards under our belt (including a great taste award), we became the first food product ever to gain the kitemark for British Standard Institution. From an environmental perspective we’ve increased pollinators and bee numbers across the uk, use only recyclable packaging, and (through money donated from every jar bought) are about to start some really exciting projects with Repollinate.
Although we are growing, I think it’s important to acknowledge how things don’t always go in a straight line. The guests on our podcast will be sharing their own journeys, failures and life lessons as well as their innovative and ‘out of the box’ thinking which have helped them problem solve and achieve the things they wanted to. They all have incredible stories to share which we hope will help you think outside your own hive and inspire you on your own path.
Welcome to our hive!