All kinds of Everything, located in Lusaka’s Lilayi area is a beautiful, artsy factory shop that champions a wide range of homemade beauty and health products, cleaning products, craft gin and cordials all made without the use of harsh chemicals. It is also a great place to visit for a coffee as well, at the Lavender and Lemonade Cafe – right in the beautiful gardens and take a leisurely browse around some truly Zambian made gifts.
It was founded by Sue and Alistair, a lovely couple, when they relocated to Zambia from South Africa. All Kinds of everything took shape as a small hobby business to empower people, especially women, with the knowledge of soap making to start their own health or beauty businesses.
We are living in an era where we are more conscious consumers of the products we use in order to care for our environment and our wellbeing. Health and beauty product consumers are no exception to this trend.
I caught up with the always cheerful Sue McGlashan to chat about All Kinds of Everything.
“I have always loved the garden and been good with my hands, and been passionate about making organic products like soaps and lotions and basically all the good stuff using herbs and essential oils. I have been doing this for 30 years. I do this because I love what I do. I love the creative element of formulating recipes to make natural beauty and health products,” Sue says.
Coming from an accounting background, Sue has studied and widely researched about the beauty and health business, equipping her with the vast knowledge she has today and continues to do so to provide and create more products that are beneficial to consumers. Her business was officially established in Zambia as a training business to teach people how to make soap, starting with a well-received beginners class, then transitioning to intermediate classes and finally advanced classes as students wanted to learn more. All Kinds of Everything also introduced candle making as people demanded for that.
Sue and Alistair realised that it was a challenge for people to access raw materials to enable them to make their own soaps to establish their own businesses. The need for raw materials birthed the idea of supplying raw products to make the soaps such as base oils and botanicals.
These training classes continue to be a success. As the business expanded, All kinds then ventured into offering its own bath and beauty product range under the brand – PURE. These include a herbal range, baby range, sleep range and crocodile oil range. Sue was uncertain about crocodile oil at first as it is from animals and All Kinds of Everything’s focus was herbs, botanicals and flowers which she grows herself. After doing some research, she discovered that crocodile oil is a waste product and obtaining it does not endanger the animal in any way. With the many benefits that crocodile oil has to offer such as healing, clearing hyper pigmentation and anti- ageing, it is now available in the factory shop.
All Kinds of Everything is also centred around promoting local markets and has made the deliberate decision to buy as much of its raw products as possible from the actual sources such as palm oil and honey, beeswax, baobab oil. They ensure a fair pay and exchange in the supply chain that will also benefit the local producers of the raw materials.
Sue explains that as much as she would love to use all locally produced materials, it is impossible and therefore imports some products such as sweet almond oil, essential oils – because of their therapeutic value and for their beautiful scents – from South Africa. However, she ensures that she incorporates products such as moringa, neem, baobab and lemongrass that are commonly grown in Zambia.
From providing classes, to providing raw materials, the factory shop saw a need to provide packaging. “I realised that in as much as I taught people how to make soaps, lotions and all these lovely products and provided the raw materials to begin their businesses, beautiful, presentable packaging was a challenge and an absolute need. So as All kinds of Everything we decided to venture into the packaging business so that people could also buy packaging too, all in one shop,” Sue shares.
All Kinds of Everything encourages the reuse and recycling to promote a greener environment. They do this by asking people to return the bottles that were purchased from the factory shop and give them a credit on their next purchase or encourage refills.
The love and passion for supporting local arts and craft and local entrepreneurs led to the Lilayi Green Market, a collaborative effort between friends Terry and Sue. (Terry offers yoga classes in the beautiful garden where All Kinds of Everything is located).
The aim of the Lilayi Green Market which is held on the first Saturday of every month, (except for January, February and July) is to promote the local market and ensure that all the vendors that showcase products are made in Zambia only. It also aims to encourage creativity amongst vendors. The market also completely discourages the use of any single use plastic.
The statement “ Inspiration is around you” holds true, because the Lilayi Green Market inspired Sue to start making craft gin as she realised that people may want something to sip on as they shop or showcase at the green market. Craft gin has become a popular drink in recent times, and she took advantage of the fact that no one was making it in Zambia and added it to the All kinds of Everything range – as the imaGINation brand. With nine different flavours of gin, the most popular ones are hibiscus, lemongrass and ginger.
Keeping in mind non consumers of alcohol, Sue started making cordials too, so that everyone could enjoy a lovely drink. All Kinds offers nine flavours including rosemary, rooibos and pink lemonade. All are sugar free and suitable for diabetics and the cordials can be added to the gin to make cocktails. All Kind’s signature cocktail is a mojito called imaGINito.
‘I never get tired of new ideas which then become new products,” Sue says. With a creative mind, Sue’s latest addition to the already existing products are eco-cleaning products that are sourced locally and handmade from a multitude of essential oils that are anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
When asked if she would consider selling her products in supermarkets Sue says she loves the exclusivity of her products and she’s happy to keep it niche and intimate at the All Kinds of Everything shop. She is always more than happy to educate other people interested in learning how to make their own beauty and health products.
‘I am not worried that I may lose customers, I know we are all unique in our own ways and can always create something different for the market. How someone makes the products, packages and sells will always be different. I am happy to see diversity in the beauty and health industry. I love what I do and I am passionate about empowering others to start their businesses that in turn can be a source of income and ultimately provide employment,” Sue concludes.
All Kinds of Everything prides itself in its look, feel and smell and all the works that are done in-house. This is what makes it different, all this within a beautiful garden setting.