I Know They Need To Get People In The Classes, But Really...

Decorating By DoniB Updated 2 May 2008 , 5:54pm by TexasSugar

DoniB Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:15am
post #1 of 17

I just need to vent and see if I'm over-reacting here...

Last night, I was in my local Michael's. Met someone in the cake aisle and started talking. Very nice chat, very nice lady, all was good. I mentioned that while I've been decorating for awhile, I have yet to master gumpaste and fondant. She'd taken the class, so I asked her about it. About the time someone else entered the aisle, we were done anyhow. She told me the new person was the teacher and to ask her about it.

So I asked the teacher about the fondant/gumpaste class, and asked whether I needed to take the course 3 first. She asked if I'd taken course 1. Well, no. I'm self-taught, but I've been decorating off and on for 25 years. I did take course 1, but it was when I was 12. (I also tried to take it again several years ago, just for the certificate, but ended up teaching the teacher how to do a few things the very first class, so that was a waste of time and money...*sigh*)

So without bothering to ask what experience I DO have, she said I need to start at one and go through all three courses before taking 4. icon_eek.gif

The reason I haven't done that already is because I've looked through the course books, and 3 is the only one that has stuff I haven't already done. I told her I'd made my own wedding cake, and how elaborate it was, to which she responded, "Well, in course 3, you learn the correct way to level and stack cakes." icon_confused.gif Um... so the whole 'made my own huge wedding cake' thing didn't register? What part of 'I already know how to do that and have a decent amount of experience at it' didn't she get??? And she was rather snotty about the whole thing, as well, which turned me off. Her attitude was that if I didn't take the classes, I couldn't possibly know what I was doing. She even said that taking course 1 would teach me the PROPER way to level and smooth cakes and icing. (again, this was without even asking if I already knew how to do that)

It just really frustrated me that I asked about something specific, and was told to start over at the very beginning. I understand the desire to get butts in the seats, but really... shouldn't you ask someone if they have to start at 1 before assuming that they NEED to??? She completely disregarded everything I told her I already knew.


So while my hubby was all for me taking the gumpaste and fondant course, he's NOT all about me doing it at that particular Michael's, with that teacher.

Very frustrating!

now, if you look at my photos and decide that I NEED to start over at 1, please feel free to tell me! I could be way off base here. It just seemed like she should have tried to find out more about what I CAN do before assuming that I can't do any of it, ya know?

thanks for letting me vent.

16 replies
indydebi Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:29am
post #2 of 17

Take her your FIL's chess cake and offer to teach HER a thing or two!!

This must be a great example of why we hear that bakeries are reluctant to hire Wilton graduates .... evidently wilton believes "my way or the highway" and you work in the real world. You've been-there-done-that, got the food-coloring-stained-fingers to prove it. But to this wilton person, that doesnt' count. I wouldnt' take a class from her either and I'd be sure to tell the store why.

pjmw Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:31am
post #3 of 17

Yeah, I think you need to find a good youtube video or a teacher who will fit your needs you at your skill level. If the teacher is Wilton trained she may have to say the company policy--no matter how frustrating that is to hear as a customer. Not acknowledging your experience or asking about your decorating skill is rude. You definitely don't need course 1!
I hope you find what you are looking for.


vickymacd Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:34am
post #4 of 17

Okay, so let me tell you everything you are doing wrong in your cakes.....
um, NOTHING!!!! I think what you did wrong was to go into Michael's that day!!
Your cakes are beautiful!! I will only defend her once and that is to say, yes, she was trumping up business, and she hadn't seen your cakes.

You DO NOT need those classes! You've obviously GOT IT!!

I, on the otherhand, had been doing cakes, self taught, but wanted to learn the RIGHT WAY to do things. But I hadn't really ever gone outside of the 'star tip' decorating!! So I learned a lot, but I also had a bad teacher at one time and changed.

Take the one class you want to take (and I'm sure you already have all the supplies, so just go buy the book) but from a different Michael's store, even if it is a further drive!!
Good Luck!!

Irish245 Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:37am
post #5 of 17

I'm sorry but if I were you, I'd take all those pictures, march into the store and ask her if your cakes are level. They sure look level to me!!! Your cakes are great!!!

I took the beginner course at Michael's about 7 years ago and then tried to take the second course but every time I did, they didn't have enough students so it would be canceled. After a couple months, I got disgusted and taught myself everything from buttercream to color flow to royal to fondant to gumpaste!!!! Most of the stuff I learned, I learned from the internet.....especially CC!!!

Now I teach a 26-week certificate course in cake decorating at a local college and students can take the gumpaste class anytime they want.....or anyone can...it's an elective. They don't even have to know how to decorate!!!

Don't let her intimidate you. Take the gumpaste class and show her what you can do!!!

fmcmulle Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:46am
post #6 of 17

WHAT!! icon_surprised.gif . Your cakes are great and I think you have alot of talent. As far as the classes are concerned, I have taken all of them and I have changed so much of the way I do things.

I to would take my pictures up there and just simply ask her "so do you think I need to take all of youf classes now".

If you did decide to take the class I sure wouldn't take it from her.

You could probably teach a class of your own. Keep up the great work! thumbs_up.gif

disneynutbsv Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:57am
post #7 of 17

I would just sign up for the class. You do it right at the register, all they do is take your name and phone number, they don't ask you anything except for the $$. Also, May's classes are 40% officon_smile.gif

darandon Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:58am
post #8 of 17

I think you should take the class, start over at the very beginning - and then totally show up the teacher at everything she is trying to teach. But, then, that is my spiteful spirit coming out.
Have you looked in to a local community college or vocational school? Most of them have cake classes and offer them to the public. I'm sure you could find exactly what you want.

DoniB Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:01pm
post #9 of 17

You guys are great. Thank you so much! I wanted to be sure that I wasn't just being 'full of myself', ya know? I'll be the first to admit that there's never a time I'll ever know it all or be a master at everything I want to do.

I just don't want to waste precious time and money (and the driving time to get to a place that teaches these things is not a small matter, with gas the price it is right now, either!), on something I don't need.

I certainly won't be going to that store for lessons, though, on the stuff I do still need! Ack!

Thanks for letting me rant a bit. I needed that! LOL And I always welcome constructive feedback. icon_smile.gif

DoniB Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:03pm
post #10 of 17
Originally Posted by disneynutbsv

I would just sign up for the class. You do it right at the register, all they do is take your name and phone number, they don't ask you anything except for the $$. Also, May's classes are 40% officon_smile.gif

good to know! Is that all Wilton classes, or just at Michaels?

Valli_War Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:10pm
post #11 of 17

Do not waste your time and money. I know nothing about cake decorating. Started this feb to take the first course so that I can decorate my kids' birthday cakes. Got interested and took the second course. They were not offering course 3 right away and so I took fondant and gumpaste. This course is a waste as per me. Go to ACMoore, they sell the course books seperately. (5 - 6 bucks each) Look at the instructions and you can learn everything by yourself. If being a newbie, I feel that way, you have been doing this for years, you should have no problem.

I go to MIchaels too. In a way I feel sorry for the instructor because she gets paid depending on how many come to the class. These instructors get paid by the store not by wilton. My instructor wasn't pleased with me in fondant and gum paste course because I made MMF and use it instead of buying wilton's fondant. Funny ha!!

Take care,

disneynutbsv Posted 2 May 2008 , 12:53pm
post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by DoniB

Originally Posted by disneynutbsv

I would just sign up for the class. You do it right at the register, all they do is take your name and phone number, they don't ask you anything except for the $$. Also, May's classes are 40% officon_smile.gif

good to know! Is that all Wilton classes, or just at Michaels?

I think Michaels. I got the email at the end of April, so my Fondant & Gumpaste class (my last class, woohoo) starts on Monday. I paid $16 for it because I was doing the back to back class (gives you an additional $5 off).

But I'm not sure because the email came from Wilton directly???

MnSnow Posted 2 May 2008 , 1:25pm
post #13 of 17

OMG! This reminds me of exactly the same thing that happened to me!
I was told I could not take certain classes and had to do each in order. Class1 then 2, 3 and 4.

It is true the Wilton classes has the attitude that their way is the only correct way, however, I have learned FAR more on CC than Wilton Classes. The instructor we had was very PO'd when a couple of us brought up MMF and used that on our cakes instead of that dreadful Wilton Fondant. We even passed MMF recipes around LOL.

Auryn Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:26pm
post #14 of 17

I agree with all the ladies here and I would suggest
you take 5 minutes and write a letter to the store manager and let them know exactly why you will not be taking any courses at their store and that you also will no longer be shopping there since they do not respect their customers.

But thats me, I like to let people know exactly why they will not be receiving my patronage.
But I also let people know when they have done an outstanding job

you don't need wilton

KASCARLETT Posted 2 May 2008 , 2:27pm
post #15 of 17

If I'm not mistaken, you can get the Wilton course books, take the "classes" yourself and send in for a certificate. I'd go to the Wilton site and see if you could find any info on that or maybe call them to see if that's right.

I wouldn't take any classes from that lady either!!

If you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, check with them because sometimes they have specials on the classes.

diane Posted 2 May 2008 , 3:18pm
post #16 of 17

i too am self-taught...never took any classes...except this one class...course 2. i thought to myself...hmmm i know how to do everything in all four classes, but i thought maybe i might learn something in course 2 about the flowers. there was no way i was going to take course 1. well, i ended up knowing more than the instructor. the ladies in the class kept saying i should be the teacher. well, i didn't want to collide with the instructor, so i just blew it off. her flowers were pitiful. icon_confused.gif i felt like i had wasted my time and money. i only learned one thing from that class. then i found out that the instructor had never taught that class before. icon_mad.gificon_mad.gif what a waste of my time and money!! the next time i take a class, it's going to be with a professional that i know has the skills and talent to teach! for some reason, some wilton instructors think if it isn't done their way, then it's the wrong way...WHATEVER!!!! thumbsdown.gif

TexasSugar Posted 2 May 2008 , 5:54pm
post #17 of 17

Okay I haven't read all the replies and I haven't looked at your pictures. Just want that to be know before I reply.

As a WMI I always ask if someone has taken Course 1 when they ask about the other classes. Even people with experince can benefit from taking them sometimes. Does that mean everyone has to have it? Nope, and if you choose to sign up for another course I won't tell you you can't do that. But if (and this if more for people that have very little experince) you struggle with something that we covered in course 1 I usually don't have time in other courses to go over it again.

Wilton tells us that students should take Course 1 before taking any of the other classes, and they do kinda leave it up to the WMI and the store to inforce these. If I have someone sign up for F/GP that hasn't taken C1 I let them take it, and don't make a big deal about it.

The Fondant and Gumpaste is not a Course 4. It is made to be taken any time after Course 1, which is why Wilton has not named it Course 4. In fact you can take any of the Courses out of order after Course 1 and there are many WMIs that teach F/GP after C2 before C3.

Now all that being said, DO NOT TAKE that class at that store with that WMI. I find the way she talked to you completely rude and would never talk to any potential student that way. There is NO right or wrong way. Yes there is the Wilton way and there are many other ways, but don't we all pretty much torte our cakes the same way?

WMIs can make the class an enjoyable experince and they can also make it a less enjoyable experince. Her attitude towards you leads me to think you wouldn't enjoy the class with her.

Look for another store in the area and see if you don't like that WMI better. You could also contact Wilton and let them know how their WMI was talking to customers and how instead of making you want to take the class it turned you off of it. I'd even go back to her store and let the manager know your experince with her and that they lost your money because of how she talked to you.

And please remember that WMIs are not cake gods or godesses, even though it seems that some of them think they are. We are average people that took the Wilton classes and were either asked to teach them or wanted to teach them. Some WMIs do not look outside of what they were taught in the classes, while others do. Even though I have been a part of cake message boards long before I started teaching, and have played around with non wilton things at home, I am required to teach the Wilton way in class. So while there may be another way to do something, I am suppose to only show the Wilton way.

When time allows me I do show them other ways to do something and I always tell my students that the Wilton Classes are a great way to get the basics, but there are many other ways of doing things out there. What works for me doesn't always work for others. And people need to go out and try different things and find what they want to do.

On a side note...
Someone had asked about the price of the classes. Each Store (Michaels, Hobby Lobby and AC Moore) have their own monthly promotions. Michaels Classes cost $35. May and June promotions are 40% off or $21. You can always ask the WMI at that store about the Bounce in $5 off coupon. July's Promotion is 50% off (or $17.50) with a $10 Bounce in/back coupon and a free gift. I've heard rumor of what the gift is and I think it's an awesome one.

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