Finding success in creative carpentry

Wani Roslan

Possessing a passion for woodworking since his school days, Md Hafizuddin bin Mudim Haji Amran started making wood products as a hobby before taking it on as a profession in 2017 and going on to produce a variety of wood pallet furniture.

Calling his business ‘Kapintar’, the 31-year-old full-time woodworker explained that the name derives from the English word ‘carpenter’ and giving it a twist with Malay slang, to create something easy to remember for customers. Growing from a hobby to a serious profession, Md Hafizuddin, also known as Hafeez, recalled how he started his pallet business where the ideas and creativity came from his observations while travelling and sightseeing.

“During my travels, I saw a restaurant with a creative design, a classy and vintage look, and it inspired me to create something by using pallet, but during that time, it was difficult to find pallet in Brunei,” he said.

Getting all the pallet wood from a construction site with the assistance from his friends, he started by creating a multi-purpose table for his mother, who at that time was actively making traditional local kueh.

“Upon completing the multi-purpose table, I posted it on my personal Instagram, and out of my expectation, I received an overwhelming response from my followers, and that is how my business started,” he shared.

Md Hafizuddin bin Mudim Haji Amran with one of his creations. PHOTOS: MD HAFIZUDDIN BIN MUDIM HAJI AMRAN
Md Hafizuddin’s ideas and creativity came from his observations while travelling and sightseeing

His wife, family and friends are the ones who put trust in him and supported his home-based business in woodworking, and some even guided him to be continually active in the field.

Starting his business from zero capital, he used basic and existing equipment such as a hammer, saw, drill and jigsaw owned by his father, while getting all the pallet for free from the construction site.

“It was challenging at that time as I only had basic equipment, and after receiving many orders, I was then able to buy my own equipment and power tools that helped me to create and produce quality work and save time as well,” he said.

Without having any experience or attending any courses on woodworking, Hafeez fully relied and learnt from YouTube, where he self-studied the guidelines and instructions of carpentry and creating furniture using pallet.

Previously, he applied to study in vocational and technical school but was rejected. However, it did not stop him from achieving his dream, and since then he has put more effort in his current career as a woodworker, meeting many experts to gain knowledge and exchange ideas on the techniques in making good quality wood pallet furniture.

However, it did not stop him from achieving his dream, and since then he has put more effort in his current career as a woodworker, meeting many experts to gain knowledge and exchange ideas on the techniques in making good quality wood pallet furniture.

Hafeez said to complete the wood products, it takes one to two weeks, and also depends on the quantity of the products. Weather also plays an important role because as a home-based business, most of it is produced in an open garage.

“Kapintar has produced varieties of custom-made furniture and wood-based materials using pallet, where it can be created into bed, table, dais, sofa and others. Apart from pallet, I also use other types of wood and materials such as plywood, block-board, MDF, OSB Plywood, Formica and others,” he added.

Speaking on his future plans, Hafeez said he is currently in the process of developing his business by providing various services such as a repair service for damaged furniture; creating furniture with a space-saver concept; multi-purpose furniture; as well as a rental service on wedding materials such as dais, photo-booth and others.

Insya Allah, with the good feedback received from the public, I want to open my own workshop in the future, and work together with my partners and together produce good quality local products,” he said.

Sharing a piece of advice to youth, Hafeez urged the young generation to rise and explore their abilities to succeed and be brave to venture into new things.

“Believe that every change we make can create a big impact in our life, even if it is just small change. This is better than doing nothing at all. Always instill in your heart to move forward and be the youth who can make our country proud,” he said.