So, just recently me and my husband decided that I should no longer make cakes as gifts for my family...there are many reasons and one being that I have less time being a full time student...and we have kinda gotten into a pickle with our finances. This is resulting in me possibly getting a job and what-not! SO I decided to send an email to the family saying I could no longer do the cakes! Now, I got some attitude from my step dad he says: So how much is your mom's cake gonna cost me now? And then my grandmother was pretty sweet in saying: Oh steph...just come over here and get the money for your mom's cake.....
I FEEL SO BAD I don't know what else to say or do and they are all acting strange towards me and I feel ashamed! I don't WANT to ask them for money....I guess I was kinda thinking I wouldn't have to make them anymore.
HAS ANYONE BEEN IN THIS POSITION???HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH IT? wHAT DID YOU CHARGE??
I feel so mixed up about this now!
Thanks for letting me vent...any advice is appreciated!
If it is a time issue make sure you tell them that....they are your family and should understand that you just don't have enough time while going to school full time to do them.
If it is a money issue and you still want to make them, then I would just have them pay for the cost to make the cake. I do this with all my friends cause I love to make the cakes but with four to five birthdays/events a month I can't afford to be spending $20-50 per cake. I always keep all my receipts, break down the cost per ingredient and show that to the family member or friend when I tell them how much the cake was. Not only are they appreciative that I made the cake but then are more aware of the actual cost, not to mention the time involved, if I do make one for them in the future as a present and they appreciate it more.
I'm sorry you're so torn....that is an uncomfortable situation! Could you get away with just asking them to pay you for the ingredients to cover your costs? Otherwise, if you don't want to do them at all, just explain to them that with being in school, etc. you simply do not have enough time to take on cake orders right now. hopefully they can be understanding of that!
I sometimes will make cakes for free for family and friends, but I don't buy them a gift then. The cake IS their gift. That way I don't have to charge them for the cake and no one is upset!
Did the email say you can't do them for free or at all? Maybe if it said 'for free' they thought that you were going to charge. If you said not at all, I would respond with the statement that you aren't doing them at all because you need to focus on school or whatever. Not that you need to offer an explanation but maybe it will soften the blow, lol......of them not gettting free cake anymore!
I understand about the whole free thing - it seems like once you do a cake for free, it is simply assumed that you will make a cake for every event....for free. It sucks and I'm sorry. You did nothing wrong. *hug*
Family can be the hardest obstacle in our lives, no matter what the issue!!
Not sure how you worded the email, but maybe it sounded more like a financial strain vs. a time strain? Being a full time student is a VERY busy schedule. Unlike a full time job where you work 9-5 and then you're done, being a student is going to classes AND the extra time you need to put in for homework and studying. And of course these people have NO IDEA how much time is involved in baking and creating a cake!
Maybe a 2nd email to clarify and explain the time restraints.
Bottom line is that you don't owe anybody a free cake! If you don't have time, then you don't have time. Period!!! If they dont' understand that and if they can't APPRECIATE that, then they deserve a walmart cake!
First of do not feel bad. If they really want a cake you charge for ingredients and a little extra for electric. Are your cakes gifts, if so next time make it really simple and no other gift.
My sister pays me for ingredients and a little extra, no complaints out of her mouth.
As for your step dad making that comment, well I had someone said that to me one time because they did not want the cake as gift they wanted to tell me what they designed.
My comment - "I do not know check with Safeway"
She got mad my husband said she gave you a choice gift cake her decision or you pay and say what you want.
Good luck, they will get over it. Like I said make it as a gift but a very simple cake.
Would you feel comfortable asking them to pay for the supplies for the cake? People probably don't realize how expensive cakes can be but I'm guessing they would be more than willing to pay for the ingredients, etc.
If you don't want to make the cakes because it's a time issue then you just have to explain that.
Who knows, maybe down the road a few years you'll be able to start making cakes for them again (more time/finances). But for now you just need to know your limitations and be ok with that (and they have to be ok with that too).
I agree with snowqueen...if it's a time issue because of school and probably getting a part-time job, then just explain that to them and they should (that's the key word) be supportive.
If you still want to do the cakes but can't afford it then charge for ingredients only. That way you're still doing something you enjoy but not drowning in debt because of it.
If you don't mind me asking, what are you going to school for? I just went back to school and am taking online classes for my associates in health sciences.
I read your other post about asking the cake decorator if she needed part-time help...how'd that go? Good luck!
You have to do what is best for you. If making cakes for your family is too time consuming, then don't make them. If it's costing you too much, don't make them. Making cakes should be something you enjoy, when it's become something that is causing you stress, it's not worth it anymore! I'm sorry people are giving you attitude, that doesn't seem fair...especially family!! I guess they have just gotten so used to getting them for nothing they have come to expect it, but if you can't do it you can't do it! Don't let their negative attitude get you down. Easier said then done, I know, but as I said, you have to do what is right for you.
By the way, you should in no way feel ashamed! You are NOT obligated to supply people with free cakes! You are taking care of you. You are in school full time...good for you. People should be supportive of that! Do not feel ashamed!
I agree, if you still want to do the cakes but the money situation is straining your budget then have them pay for the cost of the cake to make it. I am sure they will understand. BTW I looked at your pictures and you are an amazing decorator. Take care and keep your chin up, everything will turn out fine.
I don't do free cakes for anyone. I do donations for the church and where I work but it is my decison. I do not think you should be expected to do the cakes for free if you do not have the time or you do not choose to do so.
I'm in a mess myself! In the past two months I will have made 20 cakes all at no charge! I have 8 siblings and they all have several children themselves. All have Birthdays in Sept, Oct & Nov. This is getting REALLY expensive!!! I usually let them give me a general idea but get creative control myself. Let me tell you, this is become NO FUN! this is the last weekend I will spend slaving away over cakes that only about half of my family appreciate! I have told them that following this birthday season. They (Mom & Dad) can buy all the stuff they need and they can come over and we'll do it together otherwise they won't be getting a cake from Auntie Elle! My sister COMPLAINED that her FREE cake didn't have enough filling in it as she expected 4 layers not two and I should KNOW how she likes her cake by now! After I was up to my neck in her a$$ I informed her that she could get a Costco cake from now on. You don't whine about my free cakes and get another!! Oh, and wait!!! I have a twin neice/nephew whose party is this weekend but I can't just make 1 cake, they have to have 2 because of the boy/girl twin thing. Funny thing is they both chose the same thing!!! (Same sister can ya tell?) This is my last cake for any of her kids! They are teens and as ungrateful as she is!And I forgot why I stopped doing this before! It's much easier to bring a gift! Sorry!!!! I'm all done now! Can you tell this is on my list today??? BAD BAD WEEK for me!
Wow! Thanks for all the responses. I do know that I need to charge...something! That is...if I can do the cake! It depends on the time that the birthday falls into....I am just going to have to play it by ear. If I can make it, then I'll probably charge for supplies and if I can't, they can go buy a cake at one of the local bakeries...
I guess after talking with my gramma about what my step dad said, she says it didn't sound that bad! I think I am a liiitte sensitive right now!
Thanks for all the advice guys!