awall96 Posted 19 Aug 2007 , 11:59pm
post #1 of

This entire last month has been nothing but bad luck for me. My only wedding cake in July was a complete disaster and I knew it when I delivered it. It was a 3 tiered stacked cake (squares) and had tear drop leaves of fondant cascading down it. I put it together on Friday night and Saturday morning it looked like crap because it had settled or something and then I remembered it needed a center dowel in it. It totally looked like crap after that. I prayed that it would still be standing when I got to the reception but I should have prayed that it would fall (to avoid embarassment). I don't do well in stressful situations. I put on a hard shell when making communications about the cake, but as soon as the person is off the phone I am balled up in the corner crying for a week or more.

Anyway, the bride hated it. And I gave her half her money back.

Last week I had a customer call regarding there white cake that was not light and fluffy and I told them it was from scratch and that they are not light and fluffy like bakeries because they using mixes. She understood but I still crawled back in my coccon of shame.

This weekend I had 3 normal sheet cake orders, a wedding cake, and a very large 80th birthday with 3 full sheets and 1/2 sheet. The normal cakes went fine. The wedding cake went together beatifully, but I was leary of it be cause it was a cake from "Spectacular Cakes" by Mich Turner and it was just resting on dowel rods. The cake with a combination of bowing table that the provided and the cake with "magical support" fell.

Now, I left the set up and saw it had a lean I assumed it would be okay. I told the parents that the table was leaning and that is why the cake was leaning and I left. They didn't say anything about it. That was at 12:30.

I went to pick up my son that I never get to see because I work a full time job 3rd shift plus I own a bakery that I opened last November. We watched him play for a little while and then figured it would be best to leave him with grandma while my husband and I went to bake the 3 full sheet cakes.

We walked in the door at 1:50 to the phone ringing, it was the groom. He stated that the cake fell and the payed $200 dollars for a piece of crap and what was I gonna do about it. I again put on my thick skin and said that there was nothing I could do because they furnished me with a faulty table, and he said why didn't I ask for a new table, and I said that it was sturdy and the cake was fine. The groom hung up frustrated. The bride immediately calls wanting her money back and I agreed to give her half plus the amount for the topper that broke. We hang up the phone and I immediately start crying...

And I still have been crying except for when I think that I should close the business and spend time with my son and husband. The bakery is not going that well anyway. The lease and my 1 employees' are paid out of my personal pocket and the bakery is only supporting ingredients and utilities. We are in major personal debt from opening the bakery and I have no time to spend with my family.

It is just too much with a full time job and a family, I just can't take it anymore. The only thing that brings me peace right now is the thought of closing the shop and spending some much needed time with my son.

41 replies
dodibug Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 12:09am
post #2 of

I am so sorry that it has been so difficult for you to get your business running like you would like it to be. The first year of a business is always the most difficult but it sounds like you are just wrung out from burning the candle at both ends.

I hope you are able to make decisions that you can feel comfortable with and have time to spend with your family. Wishing you better days to come! (((hugs)))

icon_smile.gifd

havingfun Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 12:36am
post #3 of

I am so sorry that you are having to decide this. There is nothing I or anyone can say to you that will help you, except we care and will pray for you to make the best choice for YOU. Sometimes if we take all the emotion out of our decisions, they become clearer. Why did the cakes fall? Was it your fault, or the fault of outside forces you could not control. Why is the business not making money? Are you still in the "start up and get the word out" phase? Is the joy you feel when you are with your son the safe place to escape working too much? Is this the best time for you to be starting a new business? If you close the business how will that impact your finances? How will it impact your personal dynamics with your family? Are you missing your child growing up, or just seeing it from a different time frame? Sit down in a quiet place and have a really honest talk with yourself. Then have a talk with a pencil and a piece of paper. Most importantly, talk to your husband. Not wanting to get in trouble with anyone, but the FIRST talk should be an honest discussion with God. He can really help you find comfort and clarity. My quote at the bottom speaks to me each day. You have a dream - how and when will you make it come true?

Sorry I wrote so much. I sit here in tears for your pain. I have had to make some very hard decisions in my life, and I have found that being honest with myself is the best place to start. Good luck and have a piece of chocolate - that REALLY helps!! icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 12:48am
post #4 of

Gosh, theres not much that can be added to the above post, but I just wanted to jump in and send a big electronic hug to you. All of us have had a disaster happen to us so we understand the curling up in the corner feeling! You wouldn't have all those orders if you weren't talented enough to attract the order to start with. Thinking of you and praying for you as you go thru this decision process.

--------------------------------

" If it turns out that my best wasn't good enough, at least I won't look back and say that I was afraid to try; failure makes me work even harder."
--- Michael Jordan

" I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
--- Thomas Edison

" I have been through so much that I don't fear any more. Maybe it is the failures that have taught me to love to succeed or maybe it's the rejections that have toughened me."
--- Author Unknown -

" The definition of G.O.A.L.S:
Guts to use an Opportunity to Achieve the next Level of Success."
--- Copyright © 1993 Robert Proctor

" Heroes don't ask us to believe in them,
They teach us to believe in ourselves."
--- Author Unknown

LucyintheSky Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 1:15am
post #5 of

I'm so sorry for all your troubles and distress! I'm sure there are many people reading this and pulling for you! So many businesses are a struggle to start, and I've heard from many an experienced business person that bakeries are one of the most difficult. So whatever you decide, I give you a lot of credit for starting your bakery in the first place, and taking a chance that many people only dream of! Good luck with everything!!

awall96 Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 1:22am
post #6 of

As far as I can tell I followed the instructions for that cake to a tee. I just think the combination of a bowing table and no "pillar locking into plate support" that us American depend on was the culprit. The decsion to close will not impact my personal finances, it will actually better them. I do need to talk to my landlord to see what he wants, but my original lease agreement was only until July 2007. And I won't have to pay an employee anymore (unfortuantely it is my sister, but she was just helping me out when we started selling donuts at the end of June). My husband is in complete support of whatever decsion I make. I just think I decided to open the shop too quickly.

The only thing that brings me peace right now is not setting foot in that door again. I don't feel I am capable of facing future customers knowing that I am such a repeat failure.

I do have a wedding booked for this coming weekend that I will complete, and one for October that I will call the bride about and let her make a decision about whether she wants me to make it from home or go somewhere else. I feel soooo bad.

I just need to live a normal life.

havingfun Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 2:59am
post #7 of

When you find peace, that is the right decision. If you are not happy, what is life worth? Good luck and always believe in yourself. You are not a failure. Things just happen sometimes. This has been a great learning experience for you. Look how everyone pulled together for you! Do you see how much your husband loves you to support whatever you do?? There are a great many people on this earth who would love for their spouse to say that. No, you are not a failure, you are a blessed child of God.

the cake you make this weekend will be wonderful. Don't impose the "self fulfilling prophecy". Remember the Little Tank Engine: I think I can, I think I can, I KNOW I can. You will do great. I expect to see that picture posted next weekend!

When I assmbled the last wedding cake I did, The bride had told me how the grandma did not like the cake , blah, blah, and guess who was there during set up! She spoke to everyone else setting up but me, I was no nervous my hands were literally shaking so badly, I had to set the tier down and start over. I had my DH stand between me and the others, took a deep breath, said a prayer, and put that sucker on there! You are not a failure! Believe in yourself and always remember, the only people that can make you feel bad are the people that YOU let make you feel bad. I love you and God loves you! Cake people have to stick together! Some of us with alittle more "glue" than others!! icon_lol.gif

Be at peace, and rest tonight knowing that tomorrow you are in control of your life!

Janette Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:05am
post #8 of

I am so sorry. You lived my nightmare. What you went through is my biggest fear. It can only get better.

From watching Ace of Cakes I learned sometimes disaster strikes and you have to work with it. So I don't get as tensed up as I use to.

I also take a picture of every cake I deliver so if someone bumps the table (it has happened) I have proof that it was fine when I delivered it.

Many hugs sent your way.

Janette Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:07am
post #9 of

I forgot to add, I have never had a white cake that was light and fluffy, ever.

baergarivera Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:12am

AWALLY 96,

I STARTED TO icon_cry.gif WHEN I FINISH READING THIS FOR REAL I DID. MY HUSBAND SAID WHAT WAS WRONG AND I COULD NOT EVEN SAID NOTHING BUT TEARS RUNNING DOWN MY FACE. AND IT'S NOT EVEN ME icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

I AM TRULLY SO SORRY THAT YOUR GOING THRU THIS. IF ANYTHING HELPS PLEASE REMEMBER THIS FOR THE FUTURE. GOD DOES NOT SEND YOU TEST IF HE KNOW YOUR NOT GOING TO PASS THEM. THIS IS TO MAKE YOU STRONGER. HANG IN THERE IS BETTER SAID THAN DONE icon_cry.gificon_cry.gifthumbs_up.gif BUT JUST HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS ONES ACOMPLISH DON'T GIVE UP THIS YEAR WILL BE YOUR FIRST YR ANNIVERSARRY AND YOU WILL BE OK. I JUST KNOW THIS JUST HAND IN THERE.

I TRULLY PRAY FOR YOUR SANITY AND YOUR HEALTH TAKE A WEEK OFF YOU NEED IT, GOD BLESS YOU. YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE ON MY PRAYERS.

GIRL KEEP YOUR HEAD UP. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gificon_cry.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif
MICHELLE

lionladydi Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:14am

I think that Havingfun has pretty well summed up anything I could offer to say. I hope that whatever decision you make works out well for you. Even if you give up your shop, don't give up on decorating and for sure, don't quit us here at CC.

Diane

regymusic Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:19am

Somtimes, I'm not very good with verbally expressing sentiment. But I saw your post and felt the need to reach out. Sometimes, the way things happen can leave you wondering why events happen the way I do. I don't have any answers, but I think it's important to know that there are people who care. My heart goes out to you and I felt the need to say so. There is a whole cc community who are saying a silent prayer for you not just this evening but in the days to come. God bless.

sbcakes Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:20am

Don't give up! I know that you feel so low right now, but you WILL feel better. I have been where you are. The best decorators ever have had falls or some sort of mishap. It really is bound to happen when you are first starting out. You just need to learn from your mistakes and keep your head held high. Sounds like to me that if you can hang in there and learn a little time management between your business and your family, you will have much more peace with everything!
I will keep you in my prayers, but PLEASE, don't give up...hang in there. You do beautiful work! Hugs!!![/u]

baergarivera Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:21am

havingfun,

THANK YOU FOR SAYING THOSE THING FOR HER AND FOR ALL OF US.

I AM STILL CRYING THIS IS SUCH A GREAT COMMUNITY

icon_cry.gif

MICHELLE icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

I LOVE YOU ALL EVEN IF I DON'T KNOW YOU ALL I TRULLY HAVE BEEN BLESS WITH THIS WEBSITE. MY BIG CC FAMILY. icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

sisita Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:27am

AWALLY 96,
I am a full time mom, and sometimes I am thinking about "MY OWN BAKERY"... I know is alot of work, more time preparing, cleaning , publicity, and more, .... You need to learn about your own mistakes, you forgot to put a center dowel in the cake, but the next time you'll know how to do...

I'll send to you a lot of hugs...

regymusic Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:28am

BTW, after my post, I looked at your photos. I just wanted to note that your work is absolutely beautiful! It's evident you have many excellent ideas and a lot of creativity.

kansaslaura Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:36am

{{{{{{{{{{big understanding let it all out hug}}}}}}}}}}}

I have no words to add what others have said before. Pray and pray before you decide to walk away. Your work is beautiful.

newcakemommy Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:41am

I just wanted to let you know that your post really touched me and it certainly does sound like you are trying to do it all, all at the same time. I read the posts you received before mine and they really seemed like great advice. I don't know when you find time to sleep! It must be impossible to think clearly with your schedule. Hang in there and be true to yourself. Hugs and prayers to you.

lchristi27 Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:43am

Do what you think is right hon. I would hate for all your wonderful talent go to waste, hang in there.

Hugs & Prayers to you!

andrea7 Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:44am

I feel your pain. I too have been tested but my faith in myself pushes me to go on. Last year I was tested in so many ways I can't even explain. I had people insult my cake. I was scamed by two brides and had to deal with the craziest nut bakery owner on the planet. Oh and I was working on a broken foot (did'nt know it was broken for a year). Between the constant pain in my foot, working 80 hours a week (on my feet) and never seing my toddler son or husband I had a breakdown. I had to go to bed rest for 6 months. I'm sitting in my bed and my son says "go to work mommy" and I keep explaining "no i'm home now". For a whole two months he rejected me being home because I was never there before. That hurt because I thought I was doing this for my son, but really it was for me. I had along time to think about this in bed. I realized my son is number 1 and always will be the most important thing to me. My passion for cake is second and always will be second. So I have changed things in my life. I still make my wedding cakes but not the quanity I used to. I work part time which actually works out (no childcare). I take things one at a time and i'm tougher than I ever was before. No bride will ever upset because i'm giving them my all always. Also i'm human and i'm going to make mistakes but i'm gonna get up after I made that mistake and next time i'm gonna do better because I know better. People who make cakes don't do it only for the money, it's for the love and challenge. We want our customers to be happy with our products, but sometimes that's not possible. Don't walk away from your bakery. Reinvent yourself and your bakery. Find a baker and rent out your bakery when your not there (for extra income). There is a light at the end of tunnel and you have to discover it. Good luck to you no matter what you decide.

Doughbelly Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:45am

Awall96

You ARE NOT a failure. You have tried something and it was tougher than you thought...it is not at all a reflection of your character. As a sociologist I explain a phenomenon to my students called the "Looking Glass Self" theory. It goes something like this:
Who we are (our self) arises from our interactions with others. We use society as a mirror (of sorts). In other words... First, we imagine how we appear to others...second..we wonder what they think about us, and finally...we determine how the first two make us feel...sad, embarrassed, happy, failure, etc.

Who we are... is determined by two things...Perception and Effect... how we perceive others think about us and the effect it has on our self esteem.

You see yourself as a failure because that is the perception you have from the most recent encounters you've had with the bakery customers...this in turn has effected your self-worth.

My point...this occurs even when we are wrong!!!! Others most likely see you as a success...you have your own business....a loving and supportive family...etc...however, you can only see things from the perception you have imagined...and it has effected your self-esteem.

You have had some extremely tough times recently and you have every right to feel bad about what has occurred. However, don't give up on the bakery until you are completely certain that is what you want.

My thoughts are with you through your struggle to find the right answer...but don't see yourself as a failure...you are the person who chased her dream....

LauraS Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:50am

Sending positive thoughts, prayers and love your way.

Carlachef Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:51am

I've had many a disaster. My biggest one was a wedding cake that the bride paid $900.00 for. My biggest commision ever. It was4 tier stacked construction,with a big fondant bow around it. I was used to delivering tiers separatly. But because of the bow it had to be pre stacked. Did the center dowel and every thing but didnt have a big enough car or truck for delivery. Well I tried to put it in the back seat securely but guess what , I tripped. 3 layers were smashed including of course the bow. We were on time before that. Had a friend bake two more layers and deliver to the venue where I quickley iced and tried to restack. It didnt look like it was supposed to but it looked O.K. We explanned that we had a car accident. The brides sister called once but didnt make a huge stink,thank god. Bottom line was they had a decent looking cake that was big enough for all thier guests and I didnt have to pay any thing back. After all that writing, I just need to say that I am always learning and I learn somthing new with every cake. I've said I aws going to quit a million times. I do'nt blame you at all. Do what you gotta do. Sometimes, it's all about you sanity.

Mamas Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 3:58am

I can't stop thinking about you. Mostly because I have been there and in many ways I am still there. My gut tells me that you are not ready to give up your shop but NO ONE can make that call for you.

I think we all have those days, weeks, months, years. I made a cake this weekend that was a last minute order. I took it because it was for a family gathering and promised to be an opportunity for future orders. there was nothing aobut this cake that went right. I baked this cake three times.

The first time I completely forgot to put salt in the cake (amazing what a big difference that could make) I decided to make it again and a good thing because I dropped a layer. The second time the center of the cake stuck because I forgot to use parchment rounds, and the third time I threw out one of the layers because I thought it was one of the layers from the first batch. I have baked under pressure before but for some reason I just couldn't get it together. My three year old was running around the house. His father refused to get up and keep him busy so that I could concentrate and finish and we had to hurry up because we had to help gradma move. I can't tell you how full my day was and yet I took on the last minute cake order anyway.

Unfortunately, I didn't let the cake settle. I applied a crumb and frosted coat and let it sit for less than thirty minutes in te frig before taking it to grandmas house and putting it in the frig. Five hours later when it was time for it to be delivered . . . you guesed it the damn cake had shifted and the top tier was slidding off. When you described sitting in a corner and crying I physically felt your pain because I have been there. I felt like such a complete failure. All I had to do was make on 8" carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and simple decorations. I kept thinking if I can't do that then how on earth do I ever expect to do anything else. I was mortified. In that moment I thought aobut giving up completely but I stopped feeling like a failure when I read your post.

Your post made me realize that I was being too hard on myself and perhaps expecting tooo much of myself because I could see me in you. I wanted to say to you "don't beat yourself up it happens" I wanted to offer you words of encouragement that I never have for myself.

After reading your post I decided to think about words of encouragement for myself. and I thought just because I can do something doesn't mean that I CAN do something and concluded that I should have declined the cake order but as women we try hard to do it all and no one is harder on themselves when it somehow doesn't work out. Maybe if you slow down a little . . . I don't know.

What I do know for sure is that you need to make the decision that brings you the most joy. Be brave and bold in you decision making and above all else be kind to yourself.

Best of Luck

cocorum21 Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 4:01am

I don't normally visit this section but I saw this post on the front page & was concerned. There is no advice I can offer that has been different from what others have said. But I do wish that you find the peace of mind you need to either close your business or continue on your journey of being a business owner. Hopefully the past few weeks were just a funk that will pass soon. Super Big Hugs to you!

bohemia Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 4:18am

Just remember in all of this that "God Loves You".

I have a favorite passage that says, "All things work together for the good of those who love God."
I firmly believe and you should too.

Keep your head up. God Bless.

majormichel Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 4:29am

After reading this thread, only us bakers knows what struggle we go thru to decorate and creative that perfect cake. I am inspired by this thread and want to encourage you by saying fear can torment you mind and cripple your thinking. Stay focus, reevaluate your life and press forward.

SCS Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 4:56am

Hugs to you!!!

It sounds like you have been juggling so many things!

I don't know exactly what you are going through as I am not a bakery owner, but it sounds like these final events was the 'straw that broke the camels back'. Maybe these things have actually pushed you into making a decision, that you knew you would have to face sometime??

Prioritise what's important to you (and high on that list should be you!), and then make decisions which is right for you at this time. Whatever your decision is about whether to continue with the bakery or not, just keep in mind that you have learnt from this, and have grown as a human being!

Let us know what you finally decide to do as we're all feeling for you!

cakekrayzie Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 5:00am

awall96 to me you are brave i have been toying with the idea of my own shop for two years but have been to chicken to do it, you went out and put everything on the line, don't give up just yet. we wake with the prospect of better days icon_smile.gif

lizzamaryann Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 5:18am

I just saw your photos and I must say, YOU HAVE TALENT!
There will always be customers that you just cannot please.

But I just wanted to let you know, you definitely have talent icon_smile.gif

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