Riversands Alumni won't let the pandemic slow her down

Entrepreneur and Riversands Incubation Hub graduate Cindy Malaza is a consummate professional. Her business, Timeless Opulence, manufactures bespoke furniture but Malaza has learnt hard lessons from the lockdown – don’t rely on things always staying the same! In this light, she now plans to establish a ready-to-go range of furniture which can be bought off the showroom floor and in the near future, these pieces will also be available in an online store.

Timeless Opulence is now based at the Riversands Outlet Park, where the team of 11 skilled furniture makers produce eye-catching pieces for the home.

“Three of those 11 people are interns and I’ve extended their period of employment. It’s my intention to hire two of them permanently, since I can see they love their jobs and they have flourished in the factory,” commented Malaza.

It comes as no surprise that this dynamic woman is successful since her grandmother recently celebrated her 101st birthday. At this advanced age, she still knows everyone in her four-generation family and remembers what each of them does for a living.

“She’s an inspiration in our community because she’s as bright as a button and still fit,” said Malaza with a hint of pride in her voice. “I hope I can follow in her footsteps!”

The hard lockdown and the prolonged restrictions on gatherings proved to be too much for the second half of Timeless Opulence, which rented furniture for events. “Unfortunately I had to abandon my dreams for that side of the business, which was quite lucrative. Luckily my networks and my marketing have allowed the manufacturing side of the business to flourish.”

Malaza says that the main lesson she learnt in 2020 was to always be ahead of herself. “By that I mean, always have more than one income stream. I also learnt the value of saving for a rainy day because the pandemic represented a downpour,” she remarked.

Looking ahead, Malaza is optimistic about what the future holds. “I’ve overcome hardships in my life and always managed to recover. I trust in my ability to bounce back and create desirable furniture,” concluded Malaza.

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