Friends of BEGG & CO - Andrew Russell Sales & Marketing Director of ARRAN Sense of Scotland

Friends of BEGG & CO - Andrew Russell Sales & Marketing Director of ARRAN Sense of Scotland



Son of the founders and Sales & Marketing Director of ARRAN Sense of Scotland – a bath, body and home fragrance brand based on the Isle of Arran. Married to Tracy, a Dentist, with two children Olivia aged 17 (sitting her Advanced Highers at home) and Harris ages 11 (pleased that all his homework is now getting done in the day time!)


How is life on the Isle of Arran at the moment?

Our home is in Uddingston, but my mum, my brother and my aunt & uncle are all on the Island and in regular contact with each other. At the moment, it’s hardest for my mum who is separated from her grandchildren and vice versa for them, at 1 & 4 they don’t understand these incredible circumstances.

It is so generous of you to donate to local charities during this time, tell us how important community is to the island?

Crucial. Our family go back six generations and there has always been a strong sense of community with islanders and ex-pat islanders pulling together. The company has been based on the island for over 30 years so we want to support as best we can.

How are you staying connected with those around you?

Phone, email, FaceTime, Teams, Zoom. You name it…Broadband and mobile phone signal permitting! Social media can be very positive and it’s keeping everyone’s spirits up knowing we are helping in a small way to make a difference. The humour coming through social and WhatsApp is also helping break up the home office isolation.

What are you personally doing to stay positive in this current climate?

Creating a new routine for a family that is trying to function without leaving the house. We are making time for exercise, study, virtual coffees, work, school work and I’m starting to see the DIY pressure increasing too!

We also take time to connect with our local Church as a family over their internet feed which has been both a support and comfort to us. Overall, we are determined to make the best of the time together to emerge better versions of ourselves.

A wee bonus is that my daughter has just finished school to study Law at University. We get to see a bit more of her as a result of us all being home… and for the moment that it is still a positive!

Do you have any uplifting book/music/podcast recommendations that you can share with us?

Fiction I’m enjoying Chris Brookmyre’s work, as he always gets some great humour into his writing. Non-fiction I am reading Brand Famous by Linzi Boyd, I love her work on building better business through brand.

Music wise it’s Classic FM to relax, ACDC for exercise, and then Virgin Radio to keep my spirits up, I love Chris Evans.

Podcasts I’m listening to include Dean Graziosi and the Underdog Advantage, Tim Ferris who is the author of the four hour work week has some amazing interviews, and the weekly Scottish Rugby podcast which I augment with watching classic Scotland games which they are now broadcasting on a Friday night. Always easier to watch when you know your team wins!

Are you working from home, and if so, do you have any advice to stay focused?

Yes, I did this for years but had enjoyed being back in an office for the last 6 years. Now I’ve taken over my son’s old playroom and made a makeshift desk with a view of the garden. I’m trying to stick to a strict routine of start/stop breaks (water and coffee are also key!), but the lines are very blurry and I’m consciously trying to make more of an effort to close the work doors as day turns into evenings very quickly. I also try to plan each day with the outcomes I want to achieve or progress which I always feel good looking back on after a busy day!

How do you try to stay healthy and fit during these strange times of self-isolation?

I set my alarm for 5.15AM every week day and then 6AM at weekends. I get up and try to do 30-60 minutes of cardio on a stationary bike, plus some kettle bells. On average I manage this 5x per week, but now feel the need to get outside even more and throw a rugby ball about with my son who is missing his mates most I think.

Discover more amazing responses to our Friends of BEGG & CO section of the Comfort Blanket.