Need Opinions On Class Prices.

Decorating By Sugarflowers Updated 29 Jul 2008 , 12:37am by korkyo

Sugarflowers Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:03am
post #1 of 47

If you were taking or even teaching a gumpaste class, what would you expect the price to be? Does $250 seem fair for a two day class? The gumpaste will be provided and supplies and tools will be available to buy.

Thanks for your help.

Michele

46 replies
JoAnnB Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 6:06am
post #2 of 47

I would probably pay it. I presume there would be several flowers to learn?

For me, I would also want coffee available (not necessarily free) and access nearby for other refreshments. Without my coffee and snacks, I can get grumpy. Nothing worse than a grumpy student icon_biggrin.gif

Ruby2uesday Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 6:24am
post #3 of 47

if there were a lot of flowers to learn, i would!!! Now where is it in TX you are and what part of the state??? lol i'm in West Central Louisiana! i need a class! LOL

OCakes Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:16am
post #4 of 47

I think I would if I could get away for a 2-day class. I like that the gumpaste is included - and I like the coffee/snack idea.... or at least have coffee/beverages if it's a long class. I also imagine that it will be SO much fun... I recently took a cooking class at Sur La Table for I think $60. I worked with my group of 4 to make ravioli from scratch, however it was only a 2 hour class. Hopefully that is a good reference - yours is probably longer than 2hrs per day if you're making flowers - man time flies when I make mine!

Cakepro Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 2:21pm
post #5 of 47

I think that's what I paid for a 2-day class with Nick last fall. I just signed up for a 2-day class from Aine2 for about that much, and 3 days of Debbie Brown in September set me back $375. A couple of weekends ago, a one-day airbrushing class with Bronwen Weber cost $200....so I guess your fee is kind of in line with what the 'celebrity' decorators charge. Freakin-a expensive, for sure, but it was worth it to me. Looks good on my 'cake curriculum vitae' haha, and it's wonderful to take classes from pros.

CakesByLJ Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 2:34pm
post #6 of 47

You can check out some of Nickolas Lodge's classes for comparison.. His two day classes are around $250, but they also include all the gumpaste, tools you use (in class), and lunch and afternoon snack each day.. It's a great deal. Products are available to purchase, but not required..
http://www.nicholaslodge.com/classes/2008/jun2008.htm

BlakesCakes Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 5:59pm
post #7 of 47

I think other factors to consider are the # of people in the class and the # of techniques/flowers that are going to be taught.

If I'm in a class of over 20, I don't want to pay a premium price because I can't get the type of individual attention that I want/need--and there are always people who extract way more from the instructor when a class is that large, so I get even less for my $. I'm willing to pay more for a smaller class because I always learn more in those situtuations.

Jennifer Dontz charges $250 for a 2 day class with lunch included. I took one of her classes (Potpourri of Posies) in Jan.'07 and we had about a dozen students. It was a perfect price & size. Lunch was simple & quick, but it kept everyone in one place, so we didn't have to wait for stragglers to return--a great tactic for keeping things on track.

Just my .02
Rae

Cakepro Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 6:36pm
post #8 of 47

Good point, Rae! I took a Jen class too and think I paid $250 for 2 days. Jen's class was small and attention was very personalized. It was one of the best classes I've ever taken.

Sugarflowers Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:10pm
post #9 of 47

That was my intent on having a class, no more than 12 students, a nice lunch brought in, and to show several different flowers, leaves, and some pastillage. I hadn't thought about the coffee (which is a surprise considering my husband lives on coffee), but it is a very good idea.

I've been told very recently that I am not famous enough to charge $250. It was not meant in a mean way. I guess it was just the facts.

Thanks for the responses and ideas.

Michele

JoAnnB Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:40pm
post #10 of 47

In don't think you have to be famous at all, to charge a respectable fee for a good lesson.

I wouldn't really think twice. Once they get a look at your beautiful work, no one else would, either.

BlakesCakes Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 10:05pm
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoAnnB

In don't think you have to be famous at all, to charge a respectable fee for a good lesson.

I wouldn't really think twice. Once they get a look at your beautiful work, no one else would, either.




I Agree!

Not to step on any toes, but when I took Jennifer's class in Jan.'07, she wasn't "famous", either, or at least, not that I knew of.......I looked at her work, what she was offering, and decided that the price she was asking was fair for what I needed & wanted to learn.

And sorry, Michelle, but you ARE famous enough (I have your book) and your avatar speaks for itself. Come to Cleveland--I'll be happy to take a class icon_lol.gif

Rae

Sugarflowers Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 12:45am
post #12 of 47

Thank you JoAnnB and Rae! I really felt bummed about the comment. I know it wasn't mean to be taken hard, but I did. Everyone here is so gracious to me, I really appreciate it.

Maybe someday I will be able to have a place like Nick Lodge's and give classes. I don't want his schedule though. That poor man is run to death! He does the Food Network stuff, cake shows, judging, convention, and classes all over the country as well as in Georgia. I don't know how he does it. He's always so nice too.

Thanks again everyone. I would love to do the class in Michigan, but it could be somewhere else, too. icon_smile.gif

Hugs to all,
Michele

bobwonderbuns Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 12:57am
post #13 of 47

You know Michele, another option might be ICES. If you are a member, I know several of the chapters are always looking for qualified teachers for their Days of Sharing. It's something to think about... icon_biggrin.gif

JMarieSweets Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:14am
post #14 of 47

I would definitely pay for a class on those flowers. Your work is awesome and you are local too which is a bonus. thumbs_up.gif I hope you do one.

lorijom Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:32am
post #15 of 47

Michele I would happily pay for a class with you and travel to get there.

Sugarflowers Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:59am
post #16 of 47

If I could find a place in or near McKinney, TX, would anyone be interested in traveling here? The weather is pretty decent in the fall and late winter. I'll start looking for a class room if there is an interest. There is supposed to be a cake show in McKinney at the end of April, maybe I could do a class then.

I love all of the suggestions, the coffee, the snacks, lunch, etc. I will do what I can to accommodate. I really enjoy teaching and taking classes. They are so much fun. I have met some of the best people in classes.

Please keep adding suggestions. I may not be able to do all of them, but I would still like to hear all ideas.

Thanks so much!

Michele

p.s. bobwonderbuns, I love your signature line!

Cakepro Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 2:38am
post #17 of 47

Michele, why don't you contact Sheila at the Cake Craft Shoppe? She has a great shop and a great classroom!

Assuming, of course, that you don't mind coming to Houston! icon_smile.gif

Sherri

Ruby2uesday Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 3:17am
post #18 of 47

I see that McKinney is just north of Dallas which is about 4-5 hours north west of me. I'm in West Central Louisiana, so if someone wants to share a room w/ me i'd definatly be interested!!!

diane Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 6:12am
post #19 of 47

that is very fair and reasonable. i sure would take that class if i had the $ and time. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

bwonderful Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 6:46am
post #20 of 47

I would be interested but I agree that Houston would be your best bet icon_wink.gif We have two huge airports that people could fly into vs. DFW's one large airport. Plus you can really touch on the joy of working with sugar in extreme humidity!

You really should consider houston but I'll travel to dallas...

Ruby2uesday Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 12:29pm
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwonderful

I would be interested but I agree that Houston would be your best bet icon_wink.gif We have two huge airports that people could fly into vs. DFW's one large airport. Plus you can really touch on the joy of working with sugar in extreme humidity!

You really should consider houston but I'll travel to dallas...




OOOOOOH Houston!! Now we're talking! lol yes... you're thinking houston aren't you? Houston....... Hooooouuuuuuston!!! lol

TexasSugar Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 4:46pm
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarflowers

If you were taking or even teaching a gumpaste class, what would you expect the price to be? Does $250 seem fair for a two day class? The gumpaste will be provided and supplies and tools will be available to buy.




Would you be able to provide some of the tools for use during the class? If not, then I think I would include the price of them in the class. (If I'm misunderstanding the statement, then forgive me.)

My personal opinion is before I go out and spend alot of money on gumpaste tools to use in a class, and we all know they get costly, I want to know that I can atleast make a flower that semi resembles what we are working on. Say you show how to make 4 flowers and I really like making two of them, know I will use them again then I would want to purchase the items to make the flower. But if there were one of two I knew I would never make again, then I wouldn't really want to purchase them just to do a class.

I can understand from a realistic point of view that is a great expense for you to have those cutters/vieners and such just to teach a class. I get that Nic can do it cause I'm sure he can write it off as a business expence. Maybe you can talk to a company that you like using and see if they will make a deal with you to give you a discount on some you can use in class if you can sell some product for them. You wouldn't have to have a complete set each person to use, but enough pieces that two or three could pass around and share.

If that is just not possible, and I totally understand, then I would have a price list available ahead of time for people to see what expenses they are really looking at. It is one thing to pay $250 for a class (and yes I think you are worth that) but as a girl on a limited budget if I had to pay $250 for the class instruction, then another $100 to $200 on the supplies to do it, plus hotel stay, well that would make it alot harder for me to do the class. I'd rather pay $350-400 up front and know I will walk out of there with not only what I learned, the flowers I made, but also some tools to make them.

Have you looked into the craft stores in the Dallas area? What about Days of Sharings? There are a few cake clubs in Texas that get together and often have someone come in to teach for the cake clubs or right before/after. Another thing you may want to look at is maybe a one day class for those that are close enough to travel to you, but may not be able to pay for the class, shopping and hotel stay.

Personally, I wouldn't mind buying or paying a little extra for lunch (at a reasonable price) if it meant more for class use items. I do like the idea of having drinks available. You wouldn't have to offer a ton of them but just a small variety (coffee, water, coke/sprite and a diet something or other would be plenty for most people). If you are planning a long day class, then I would consider a morning/afternoon snack. Again doesn't have to be anything really big, just enough to give people a small mental break and boost.

I hope you can set something up. I have a feeling if you do, you will have to offer the classes several times to make room for all the CCers that want to take the classes. icon_smile.gif If it fit into my schedule and was at a time I could afford it I would most certainlly consider it myself.

Sugarflowers Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 5:13pm
post #23 of 47

I have found a supplier that will let me sell her stuff and/or give me a discount on things that will be used in the class. What I will probably do is let people use the tools, buy what they want, and if needed, I would buy the used stuff for subsequent classes. Although I didn't particularly like sharing tools when I took Nick's class, I understand the need for it. The reason I didn't like it was the person with whom I was sharing didn't know what to do and even though we had worked out an alternating use of tools, this person almost always decided to use what I needed at the time. I had to continually change what I was doing to compensate her. It was very difficult to get anything done.

I do plan to provide the gumpaste so that everyone will be working with the same stuff. Students can bring their own if they are comfortable with gumpaste already.

Part of the expenses include a light lunch, drinks, dessert, and snacks. For the most part, students would only have to bring themselves. I feel like I'm doing a tremendous amount of work and the price is quite fair. Even though it might seem like I'm making a lot of money at $250 a student, more than half will go to expenses.

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and ideas. I will definitely keep them in mind.

Michele

akgirl10 Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 5:58pm
post #24 of 47

Your description of the class you wish to offer sounds like a great bargain at $250. If only I lived further south...

loriemoms Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 6:07pm
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakesByLJ

You can check out some of Nickolas Lodge's classes for comparison.. His two day classes are around $250, but they also include all the gumpaste, tools you use (in class), and lunch and afternoon snack each day.. It's a great deal. Products are available to purchase, but not required..
http://www.nicholaslodge.com/classes/2008/jun2008.htm




I word of warning if you ever take a Nick class. Either save up the bucks, bring an extra suitcase with you or leave the checkbook at home. His gallery is AMAZING!! They give you a basket with your name on it and you can "go shopping" during breaks and such. OMG I spent more money at the gallery then I did on the class! hahahahaha! I told my DH that Hey, look what it saved me in shipping!

His classes are the best bargain around.

loriemoms Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 6:09pm
post #26 of 47

I agree, sounds like a deal to me!! Wish I could find someone locally in our area!!!

tiggy2 Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 6:19pm
post #27 of 47

If you ever schedule a class in the midwest count me in. The price sounds good for what it covers.

Sugarflowers Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 3:39am
post #28 of 47

In case anyone was wondering why anyone would charge $250 or more for a class, including me, I have crunched the numbers. With the help of a travel agent the classroom rental is quite reasonable. This room includes large tables for students and PADDED chairs. There is possibly a discount for any students who would stay in the hotel for the class. Each room has a refrigerator and microwave.

This is for me having to travel to teach 2 - two day classes.

Flight - $400
Hotel - $480
Car - $350
Classroom rental - $400 (a bargain)
Tools and supplies ready for use or purchase - $600
Shipping tools & supplies - $100
Lunch for students - $200
Variety of Beverages - $50

Grand total for the expenses I would have to have up front: $2310

For me to have a class I would have to have a minimum of 9 students to break even.

I have already spent quite a few hours just trying to get this information. I will have to spend at least 20 hours preparing for the class, such as writing up instruction sheets, making the gumpaste, having pre-made parts that would need time to dry ready for students, and completing all travel arrangements. Since I have a regular job, I will be losing the paycheck for that week.

I would love to teach a class, but there are reasons for the fee and the minimum number of students. It may seem like a lot of money for anyone taking the class because they might have to travel as well. But...students don't have to come up with large sums up front for room rental, food, supplies, etc.

Personally, it seems like I should be charging at least $300. Every student will get personalized attention, the opportunity to buy tools, ask questions, possibly learn more things than are listed for the class. The plan is for every student to go home with a display worthy of show and not just a bunch of gumpaste pieces.

Please don't get me wrong. I have had a lot of positive responses from people, but I have received messages telling me that I am too expensive and not famous enough to charge $250. I also don't want people to think that I am upset. I just wanted to let everyone know what it takes to put on a class. I knew it would be expensive to teach a class, but it's quite a bit more than I expected.

This is an information only post. Please don't lambaste me for it. I enjoy teaching and travelling, but I can't do it at a loss. I just don't have the funds for that.

Thanks for understanding.

Michele

Ruby2uesday Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 4:36am
post #29 of 47

well if you had it in your area (dallas) i'd still drive! icon_smile.gif i dno't think that's a bad price and for those who think it's to exp, or you're not famous enough then those people just dno't have to attend. it's kind of like people who think our cakes are to expensive... well they don't have to buy them right? I appreciate you putting out all the expenses you'd have to encure. i can't imagine you traveling other places to do it! talk about $$$ but if people are willing to come to you then right on! like i said in my pm, let me know! if i can make it i'll be there! icon_smile.gif

Cakepro Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 4:54am
post #30 of 47

I think what other traveling sugar artists do is rely on the generosity of a hostess for transportation to and from the airport, hotel, etc. That would cut out your car rental. I'm thinking you could also use Priceline to get a 4 star hotel at a 2 star price. LOL

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