Work Full Tiem /bake Part To Swing It All?

Business By jessieb578 Updated 21 Jun 2008 , 11:41am by tyty

jessieb578 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:20pm
post #1 of 16

Ok, so I work full time at my local probation dept - not so fun, but it pays the bills and benefits are great, but I just opened my cake shop and do that part time as well. I'm busy to say the least - on top of it all I have a 6 year old daughter and custody of my 2 teenage sisters as well. Did I mention that I'm a single mom with a very kind boyfriend who helps a lot??

How do you all swing it?? Those who work full time and bake part time, what are your time saving secrets??

I'd love to do it all, but I'm really having a hard time - and no sleep to boot!!!

15 replies
peg818 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 3:57pm
post #2 of 16

You have alot on your plate, enlist the help of your teenage sisters, i'm sure you could teach them to make icing and cut boards and even bake a cake, then you would get to come in a do the fun decorating part.

harlemcakelady Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 7:05pm
post #3 of 16

I am on the same boat. 18 hour days are difficult.

What I do to not go crazy is I make my icing ahead of time. I bake ahead of time and freeze whenever possible. I have a daily planner that I use to log in all things I need to do daily.

Monday - cake boards, Tuesday- icing, print edible image, etc. I find this not only keeps me organized but also on schedule.

I also have my 10 year old who fills and crumb coats cakes for me once I have leveled them. She has also learned to make fondant figures.

You can involve the teenagers which is also a good way to keep an eye on them while you're busy.

This leaves time for me focus on the decorating part.

Good luck.

MichelleM77 Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 9:11pm
post #4 of 16

I'm right there with you. I work full-time at home doing medical transcription and I do cookies/cakes when part-time, but I also just today applied for another part-time job in addition to all of this because we need the money. I don't know how I'm going to swing it either.....lots of coffee and prayers I guess! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 9:48pm
post #5 of 16

I spent about 2 years living on 4 hours sleep a day until I left my full time job. It's just part of it.

jammjenks Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 3:58am
post #6 of 16

This is me too. I work full time in the office at a furniture factory, teach Sunday School, head the church's serving committee, help coach t-ball, have 2 children ages 4&5, and take on about 4-5 cakes per week. I am very much a schedule type person. I try to make out to-do lists for myself or I would NEVER get it all done. With experience comes speed a lot of the time. The more cakes I do, the faster I am for the most part. I hope to one day be able to quit my full-time job and operate my own home-based cake business. Only two things holding me back...most of my orders come from my co-workers (If I don't work there, will they still order??), and I know NOTHING about running a business.

Best of luck to you. I probably didn't help you much, but I DO feel your pain!

dreamn900 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 4:12am
post #7 of 16
Originally Posted by indydebi

I spent about 2 years living on 4 hours sleep a day until I left my full time job. It's just part of it.

This is me icon_lol.gif. I spend about half of my day at my full-time planning for the cakes/cookies that I need to do. It's hectic, but I look forward to it thumbs_up.gif

Suzycakes Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 4:29am
post #8 of 16

Add me to the list! I work full time (but do find some time at work to surf CC and plan each day), then do cakes at night and on weekends. However, both of my children are in college. So other than my DS being home for the summer break right now and a few random weekends during the school year -- its just me and DH -- and DH also works a 2nd job too -- so just the 2 of us get along great . . . with DS here there is more for me to do (such as washing, cleaning and cooking) .... but when my DD comes home its Katie bar the door!! She is constantly complaining about the mess, the disorder, cakes everywhere, yadda yadda yadda --

But I digress!! I have always wanted to bake and decorate -- but I new I had to wait until my children were gone (almost) before I could start because I simply would not have had the patience to raise children and decorate too!

I also bake ahead, make icing and fondant ahead and keep a never ending todo list.

Oh - and in case you were wondering -- DD pretty well closed her mouth after my icing loaded spatula ended up about an inch from her nose and me reminding her what her bedroom and bathroom look like on a daily basis!!!!

Great thread -- I will be anxious to see the responses. Now -- if I would just sign off of CC and get back to the CAKE!!


skaggs1 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 11:06am
post #9 of 16

I feel your pain as well. I have four kids and three step kids that live with us in the summericon_smile.gif Their ages range from 5-15 and they all play sports, And I do work full time for a cleaning restoration company. So what I do is keep my day planner very close to me to make list's on what I need to do for each day, and when ever I think of something I just write it down!
I make all my frosting on monday, then bake all the cake's that I need for the week on Tues. and freeze, then Wed wrap all the cake boards and any other little task's on Wed. Since most of my cake order's are for the weekend I start decorating on Fri night and finish up on Sat. afternoon.
I also make my girls help out with cleaning and washing dishes. So by all means make your sister's help out!! Hope this helps ya out!!


Maria_Campos Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 11:58am
post #10 of 16

I also work full time, and I am an hour away from my home I have 3 children, 6yrs old Son, 12 & 13 yrs old Daughters. I ususally plan everything out in my head. I bake one Tuesdays, and make my buttercream on Wed. But I buy my fondant (Satin Ice) because that is just too much extra work when I can have a good quality fondant already made, I make all my gumpaste figures on Wed. & tort, fill and buttercream my cakes on Thurs, and start decoration Friday night. I try to get everything pre-made as much as I can, and I get my DDs to clean up for $5, and my DH to carve the cakes that need carving. I try to do no more then 2 cakes a week.

I spend a lot of time at my day job getting orders and browsing around here on CC or the web planning my cakes.

I'm planning to go part time as the orders get more consistant, most of my customers are from word of mouth.

I hate writeing in planners or diaries but I think I really need to start making it a habit as my orders are getting more steady

loriemoms Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 2:58am
post #11 of 16

I also worked full time and baked part time for about two years..then went part time in my job, and full time baking, now bake full time.

What helped a lot during the working full time was keeping a very strict schedule, not overwhelming yourself, and knowing your limitations.

One thing I found was a great investment was a blackberry...especially if your office or place of work doesn't allow you to check email on your personal email. A lot of my customers emailed me with questions or orders and I would sometime not get to them when I got home. So I kept track during the day, and answered emailed from people, checked my voicemail during breaks and such. I wanted to make I looked as professional as possible and not doing this part time.

I bought myself a little sales book and kept it in my purse so I could take orders during my lunch hour. I also kept a calendar on my blackberry for open dates, and other important information..kind of like my office away from home.

aftera few times of coming home on a thursday night, working till 3 AM, then trying to work all day friday at work and then working till 3 am again to try to get orders out for the weekend: I would come home from work, have dinner, take a nap till around 9 or so, then get up and work. I found I was refreshed and felt better. (of course, you have to be a nap person) I did the same thing on Fridays.

Anyway, good luck! It is a good idea to try it part time to make sure you really do love doing this without giving up your day job!

sassycleo Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 3:41am
post #12 of 16

Well I'm glad the membership to the full time/part time almost full time job thing is free because I'm joining up *on a side note just looked down at my finger thought I cut the stupid thing off, here it was Red Velvet batter, whew!!!*

I work full time. Bake part time which is now turning into full time - two full time or one full time one part time job is rough. My wonderful boyfriend *don't know how I'd do it some days with out him!* helps me out boat loads. He's learned how to bake and does an EXCELLENT job so if you can teach anyone in your house how to then do so, saves you a world of time! He helps me clean up.

I've had a lot of late night and really early mornings and yet I get up and do it all over again day after day. It's to the point now that not even quite a year and I've got over 10 weddings booked of course mind you they are all coming up and have a tasting tomorrow and another on sunday both for Aug and Sept - oh joy!!!!

Don't get me wrong I love it I really do, but doing both full time and full time does take a toll on you. I love the idea of a nap - shoot when you really start going even if your not a nap person you will quickly learn just how much you are a nap

Try to make up big loads of icing and keep it in air tight containers. Someone suggested the blackberry - I actually just did this mine is a Samsung but same thing. I needed to have access to my email at all times etc.

I don't cover my boards to far in advance because I'm never sure exactly what I am going to need. I'm not a freeze person up until recently for my tastings I finally (only after like a bajillion tastings) figured out, well dummy instead of making two small cakes out of a batch, make a 9 x 13 - let it cool cut and saran wrap what you will need for the tasting then freeze the rest this way you have it and won't hopefully have to do as much for the next one.

I'm getting to the point that I literally hate the full time job - the company is having and has been having major issues so I"m about ready to say ya'll can have me part time or no time at all. The only thing that is keeping from doing it on Monday is the benefits. They aren't superb but they are there. My boyfriend has become disabled since we've been together and is now out of work permanently on workmans comp - so dilema *knock on wood big time* I'm never sick so do I risk it and give up the benefits to do what I absolutely love? Hmm..... Decisions

I'm probably of no real help to you, but know in this you aren't alone. I know that when I found that out it made me feel a little bit better. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong!

jessieb578 Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 4:10am
post #13 of 16

Wow!! It's really great to know I'm not the only nut! icon_lol.gif

I'm definitely in the same boat as a lot of you - planning cakes while at my f.t.'s so bad, but oh long as I get my regular work done right?

indydebi - 4 hours sleep?? ya know, if there weren't apartments around my cake shop, I'd probably do the same, but in a way it's good that I have to turn my mixers off at 10:30 - although, I've been here many nights until 2-3 a.m. decorating. It's kind of calming with nobody around. The big downfall for me is when the local police dept. drives by and sees me here late - my boyfriend is a cop and they all tell him how late I am here - then I get yelled at for getting no sleep. I just say that if he can work the midnight shift - so can I!

Well everyone, I guess this truly is a love otherwise I can't imagine doing all of this for something I didn't like!! Plus, the extra money isn't so bad either! icon_wink.gif

I'm definitely learning some time saving techniques - I try to lay down paper towels or parchment prior to making icing so my mess is minimal. Making icing ahead of time and baking ahead too. Although I haven't really gotten into freezing just yet, I'm nervous to make that jump. Like when I get up in the morning, I can't wait for a cake to thaw until I can decorate.

sassycleo Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 4:39am
post #14 of 16

The paper towel is great when I'm mixing up my batters. On my "cake" bench (ok so guys have a work bench so I've got a cake bench!) I went and got a huge brown roll of heavy duty paper from Home Depot. You'll find it in the painting section. When I'm ready to decorate (because lord knows I seem to get icing every which way but on the cake at times!!!) I roll out the paper across my cake bench and put all of my supplies I need on top and go to town. When I'm done all I have to do is fold up the paper and Whola, no mess to clean up - talk about time savers, this truly is a life saver for me (wonderful boyfriend came up with this idea, too bad it wasn't my

I also keep two trash cans one on each side of me so that no matter which direction I'm turning when I've got something to throw out in the trash it goes , keeps the clean up to a minimum as well as clutter. Even though I have icing every which way but right, I can't stand the clutter. It really sends me into a frantic tizzy and I start to panic. (I have small case of o.c.d.)

Another time saver for me and again this is just me but I listen to music or at least try to while I'm working. I get into a mood or zone and I just go from there. No stoping to get a drink or go outside to par-take in a bad habit.

I've got a million icing bags. I'm finding though that more and more I'm using disposables because when I'm done I'm done. I'm tired of clean out those stupid bags. Especially at 2am!!!

indydebi Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 10:55am
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by sassycleo

I've got a million icing bags. I'm finding though that more and more I'm using disposables because when I'm done I'm done. I'm tired of clean out those stupid bags. Especially at 2am!!!

Amen! And when I mix icing colors, I mix them in disposable cups (I have a coupla hundred on hand all the time) so no washing little bowls when I'm done. Plastic spoons for stirring the colors,of course!

tyty Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 11:41am
post #16 of 16

I also work full time and bake part time. While at work I take orders on my cell, order supplies on the internet or by phone and make my schedule.

I bake my cakes and make icing for the week, on weekends. I also get my fondant and gumpaste work out of the way too. I cut and cover boards when I don't have any caking to do or I do it before I go to bed.

Sassycleo, I like that brown paper idea and like indydebi says, I save my small containers to mix colors so I can just throw them away.

I also learned to say "NO" so I won't get behind after I have made my schedule.

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