I became a Wilton Method Instructor about a year ago. I decided to do it for some extra money to play with. I started out teaching 2 courses per month.
It has now become a neccessity for me to teach because of things that have happened in my life. I am now teaching 4 classes/month.
Lately, I have been getting all these people that are either trying to start their own business (part or only selling cakes), or people that already have their own business and want to better their cake skills.
I am also trying to run a home-based business. I got my kitchen licensed last year, did my first wedding shows this year and have 5 weddings booked so far (and did one this past weekend, my first one). So I am trying hard to get my name out there & such.
So - I don't know if I should stop teaching - it's KILLING me to teach these people that already have a business, or money to start up their own!! My mom has even told me to stop teaching! She said everyone in my small town will be selling cakes (that I taught them how to make/decorate) and then where will that leave me?
What would you do?
I mean I love the practice that you get with teaching (my bc roses are so much better now!), and I love the discounts & freebies I get.
But I've been coming home in such a bad mood lately after teaching, dh just said to me to just get a "regular" job at night instead.
I believe what your mother stated if it is a small town you are teaching what you know you might have a talent that is unique for you future business... You also don't want to get frustrated because sometimes frustations can get you down.. Be true to yourself because it shows in the work that you do.
You and I both know that beyond the cake class you have put in HOURS AND HOURS of studying and practicing and only a very tiny fraction will put in the dedication that you have. These people will most likely value what you do more when they want to come to you to have a cake made. It is a serious financial and time commitment to get into cake decorating. It's fun to meet new cake people and you get to practice your skills. I say keep doing it.
Oh and if you quit, does that mean your town won't have cake decorating lessons anymore, or more likely will they just hire someone else. So you have the SAME amount of competition... but you didn't get paid to teach them.
Follow your heart do what will make you happy. I use to live in a small town and everyone new where to get there cakes so if you want that someone to be you I would stop teaching and get your name out there.
Hi!! I am also a WMI and many of my students are also trying to start a business or are sharpening their skills to support their current business. I do not have my own business but have a business plan in the works. I enjoy helping my students perfect their skills. That is what I am there for. I am their teacher and I do not view them as potential competition, only students who need my expertise to help them become good at what they enjoy. I appreciate the fact that I also learn so much from them. I come home from class very happy and satisfied. I think you should not be a WMI if you are not enjoying it.
My DH said I was shooting myself in the foot by teaching. I don't see it that way. They're gonna learn one way or another...I might as well reap the benefits of teaching them, eh?
As far as getting a regular job...hmmm...I'd weigh that one out too....a regular job usually means doing someone else's shi& and it ain't always cake related. I love the idea that what I do is what I love to do....plain and simple. Aaaaand...who's to say ....you might be the next highly sought after highly priced course that so many seek out???? hmmmmm? Honing your skills while learning new ways to do it might just be the niche of a business you are carving for yourself....Ha! while everyone else is competing to decorate a cake, you got your job security teaching the masses.
Do you like what you do? Would you be happier not teaching just for teaching's sake? I agree with previous posters that teaching others to do what you love will not always produce better competitors - look at some of the big names in the industry: Collette Peters, Toba Garret, Nicolas Lodge - they are all in demand for their cakes AND they offer classes.
Do what you will be happy doing. In the end, your heart needs to smile.
Thanks for your replies. I do have a lot to think about.
I used to be in bookkeeping for years and then I became a stay-at-home-mom. I thought I could start selling cakes from my home just to make some extra money. Next thing you know I'm teaching for just a little more money. Now I HAVE to work somewhere - I don't know if I should keep teaching or go back to bookkeeping or what.
I too am a Wilton Method Instructor. I also have a business plan in the works. I have five kids all under 8, a full time job teaching for a big box home improvement retailer, I teach cake decorating two nights a week and work on my business in my spare time. I have also thought about why am I teaching people to take my business away....
I can look at a picture of a cake and can tell you if it is by one of my favorite decorators. We all have our own style of decorating. I love to teach/inspire people. I know that most of them will not have the same passion as I do for cake decorating. So, I just don't worry about it anymore.
You are the only one who can answer your question. You know what will be best for you and your family. Good luck and I send you hugs and prayers while you try to figure it out.
Competition is good. As far as teaching your competition. Keep doing it. It all goes back to the "Remember I taught you everything you know, BUT I didn't teach you everything I know" Hehehe. It doesn't matter what industry it is. EVERYONE wants to be at the top of the food chain. It's human nature. Your next class look into thier eyes, and see if they are willing to spend all night making a cake. You'll be able to tell. Making a cake, and selling it is very easy to do. There are few people that don't like cake. Running a profitable business doing it THAT'S a whole nuther story. Decorating is just an aspect of what running a business entails.
Lots and lots of cake shops give lessons right in their cake shop. You are not teaching your competition....certainly with a Wilton class. There is a lot more to opening your own business & selling cakes then taking a few decorating classes. It's like starting at Kindergarten....they are MANY steps away. Beyond that, teaching someone your craft isn't really handing over your customers to them....they are prolly gonna make cakes for Aunt Betty who wants to pay only $10 for ingredients anyway!
And just another thought - the first time I had a family emergency and had to bail out on a cake order, I called my Wilton instructor and asked if she could take over for me. I now regularly refer my customers to her when I can't do a cake (and since I'm pregnant and on bed rest - that's a lot of cakes ).
Lots of people take the Wilton courses with pie-in-the-sky dreams of having their own cake business. I'm willing to bet all the money in my pocket that the actual percentage of those who actually DO it is in the low single digits. I don't see it as teaching your "competition", I see it as just teaching. Some of these people may end up being your colleagues or friends. Networking is invaluable in this business. The more people that know of you and your cakes, the better.
Thanks everyone - I appreciate the feedback