I just moved to a new city and state and I have been making cakes and taking them to work for everybody. I get a lot of rave reviews on my cakes but these cakes are more for my creative outlet than anything but besides not having made any friends here I have turned to making cakes and getting way too involved with them, Cakes has become my friends in sort of a way. Now that I have sent a few to work and to my husband's work, I am now getting a few cake order (which I am pleased to have the opportunity) But I find that making them for other people and having a time line is stressful to me. Do any of you feel this way? I am just starting out and if they are not perfect, that is ok for me. But when I get an order, holly cow I am under the gun to try and get them right. In one way it is good because I try harder to get them right but one the other I hate that I am on such a timeline. I just wanted to get this off my chest a little, Thanks for listening.
Just think of it the same as you would a cake for a family member. You have a deadline for their cake don't you? It doesn't matter if it's a birthday or a wedding, you usually have to have the cake finished by a certain day or time, right? At least that's how I would think of it. I don't have a business or even one in the planning stages. I just do cakes for my immediate family and friends but they all have to be done by such and such a date. I hope that helps some.
lol. I know exactly how you feel.
I have used cake decorating as my creative outlet and much like you started getting rave reviews and soon, "Can you make the cake for so and so's party" Being someone who can hardly say no, of course I do it.
On the one hand I like doing these because I tend to challenge myself and push myself further because it is not just for me... but for other people; my cake will have an audience. On the other hand, I get all nervous and friek out a little over it because like you said the "time line." I find that I take a long time to make a cake, especially if it is for someone other than myself or my family!
Word of Advice: plan! Well, take a deep breathe, get organized and PLAN. I find that when I set a time line to the t, I don't stress out. I even leave time for me to "embellish" or "perfect" the cake. Write everything you need to do for the cake, include shopping, mixing, baking, cooling, and of course decorating. Next, prioritize everything, what can you get away doing before the cake is made or what can you make while something is cooling/custing. This has helped me tons and have even had so much as 3 orders in one day! Making a time line and sticking to it will also help you figure a price for your cakes, if that is you charge for them.
good luck! and know you are not alone!
I understand exactly how you feel. I love baking, have my whole life. I then fell in love with decorating and did the same thing, sending all of my practice cakes to my husbands work. I then started getting requests. People had been telling me for years that I should start a bakery, based off of my Christmas trays alone. So, I finally took the bull by the horns and started an in-home bakery, went through all of the licensing BS and all. I now, for the first time in my almost 30 years am not enjoying baking. I am trying to force myself to stick with this and just give it time, telling myself I will learn to like it, or at least deal with it.
So, after all of that, I just say be careful. If you do not want to make cakes requested by other people, simply tell them so. Tell them this is just a hobby you like to do when the mood strikes you. If they can't respect that then to heck with them. They will just have to learn to wait for your free-will offerings.
I understand! I used to sell cakes from home on a small scale basis. It was OK but I got burned out for several reasons. I'm starting to dabble a bit now after a long break. Already I have people trying to order but I'm not going to do it. I'm going to make for my friends, family neighbors for FREE for FUN whenever I want and whatever I want! Seriously I like to give them as gifts better. It is stressful to charge an appropriate amount and it is no fun charging an inappropriate amount either
I agree with everybody who has posted so far. I am just chiming in to say that you are not alone. I have found that I like to make cakes MUCH more when it is something I am excited about or that I want to make. If I come up with the design or it is a cake I have been wanting to make for awhile I am much more excited about doing it. If it is a boring design or one I have done OVER and OVER, then I dread it and stress out about it. Try to get people's trust enough to let you decide what design to do for them. That's what I do and it helps me not get so burnt out.
ditto..ditto...ditto!!! This is exactly how I am feeling! I love to decorate, but lately it seems like a chore rather than a joy! Don't let yourself get to that point, because it is no fun! If you don't want to do a cake on their timeline, just tell them you are not taking orders right now or already have plans. I know it's tough to say no and they are great cakes to push you. When I first started doing them, I couldn't wait because I wanted some great pictures to put in my portfolio and wanted to see just what I could do. You have to decide if it is worth giving your time or not.
The problem for me is I did do it as a business for a while, so people just keep calling and calling! I am a teacher and last year I really ran myself down trying to teach and do up to 7 cakes a week and/or weekend! I never rested. Then I did a ton this summer including two huge wedding cakes for my best friends as their wedding gifts. I am just burned out. I love the decorating, it's the timeline and cleanup that kills me! I think if I just baked and not tried to teach too it would be ok. Then I get these people who call me 100 times a day and need a cake that weekend and don't get why I am not knocking myself over trying to do their cake. Seriously, the lack of planning on their part, does not mean a cause for emergency on my part. I swear they think I have no life! Not only do I do this, but I also volunteer with community organizations and have custody of my brother-in-law, who I try to treat as a son and attend all of his functions, etc. I love doing cakes, and don't want to stop doing them or lose the business that I worked so hard to create, but I am so exhausted right now. How do I nicely tell people that I want to keep their future business, but am not taking too many orders right now? My health and family have to come first.
Agggghhh! Can you tell that I needed to vent, too? Ha! Sorry! You just have to take only the orders that you feel you can dedicate your time to do. Don't take to many or you will get burned out. I know it can be frustrating when you take an order and then really wish you hadn't because you don't have the time or energy to give to it or something else pops up at the last minute that you really want or need to do instead. Unfortunately, that 's how this business works. You have to agree ahead of time to commit to do something when and how someone else wants. But just remember, just because you are talented at it doesn't mean you have to make a business of it. Just because someone else wants you to do their cake doesn't mean you have to. You have to stay in control of your time and choose to do what is best for you and your family.
Ok...enough from me...I going to read my own message and take my own advice now...hopefully! As you can see, it's easier said than done!
Oh, I feel like I was reading my own thoughts! I LOVE making them, I enjoy the creative outlet and spending countless hours on CC dreaming I way better than I am ! I do get requests and I graciously decline.
I can not bring myself to bake for others! TOOO Stressful.
I have found I like the sculpting etc more than basic cakes. My girlfriend asked me to do her daughters first birthday cake. Her only request was that it be pink. I knew months in advanced. I searched daily looking at tons of cakes. Couldn't wait. Came time to do the cake and you would have thought it was my first ever. I had all these plans and started out bad by my coloring. I was mortified! I actually got sick to my stomach and cried. THe stress was to much. I don't know what happened.
The cakes I make for family, my kids school, weddings etc are fine. I am usually happy with them. I do them on my time and when I want. I told myself never again. I have people ask and I always say NO! The stress freaks me out. I think there is such an emphasis on the cake that I don't want to be responsible for ruining a party. I can never forgive myself for my friends party . I think of almost daily.
Now that I feel better for admitting that I ruined a cake and hijacked your thread, I will stop.
I do completely understand how you feel and I think there are many of us out there. Keep decorating!
Oh I completely agree. My cakes are getting bigger and more challenging, by my own doing of course but my husband dreads each and every weekend now because he knows I'm always on the verge of a meltdown. i'm bipolar for two days out of the week, I swear! One minute I'm happy with how it's going and the next minute I'm throwing spatulas at the sink and yelling at the cake. I enjoy the delivery, not the drive there, but actually putting the cake on the table for the recipient and that's about it, well the planning is fun too. The baking, the clean up, the stress is so not worth the few dollars i might make here and there. It was definitely more fun when I was first starting out and people would say "oh you make cakes, well do whatever you can" Now people have specific requests, the send me pictures of cakes to duplicate, expectations have risen.
Everyone else had wonderful ideas as to how to find that happy cake place in your mind. I hope you figure it out!
I have had times where I want to quit doing altogether. I still only do it for fun, but this is what happens, without fail, every time I start on a component of whatever stage I am in the cake making/prep/decorating what have you:
The baby cries.
I know, I know...baby first, no matter what! And my hubby ALWAYS says, "I'll get him, do your cake!" And then he has to remind me to ENJOY myself.
Is it a mother thing? I know the baby is fine, he gets plenty of attention from me, his daddy has him.....but when he cries, sometimes I take it personally, and automatically go to mommy mode and feel GUILTY that I am doing selfish by taking time away from him.
Great topic...I needed to vent to.
Wow, I never knew so many of you felt this way, as do I. It was just a fun hobby for me, then I started getting requests from friends, then friends of friends and their mothers, brothers and cousins...
I've done wedding present cakes for friends (talk about stress!), baby shower cakes for freinds, and of course the subsequent birthday cakes for these babies not to mention that now everyone I know that or have ever done a cake for expects a cake for their birthdays and families birthdays or special occasions and so on....
When it's not an offer of my own accord, I usually ask them to cover my costs and get to use ingredients and materials that I may not otherwise take the time or money to use (excuse to use a bunch of fondant and gumpaste). It's very flattering, but after working two jobs and trying to squeeze in cakes in my spare time I've gotten burned out and even though I've hurt some feelings I have started to turn people down.
It's been a while since I've enjoyed making cakes, and I attribute that alot to the loss of free time not to mention the clean up.
It would be nice to be a decorator for Charm City Cakes, having someone else to bake, ice and clean for you. But even they have succumbed to stress and pressure!
I have been looking for another creative outlet where I can just buy my supplies and medium. Painters don't have to bake their canvass or make their paints before they create, and nobody eats the finished painting!
But I find that making them for other people and having a time line is stressful to me.
Amen! I took my first decorating Course -pre-wilton days- from a woman who did wedding cakes. She was great and I learned a lot. I also learned that I could get pretty stressed decorating. I was teaching at the time so I took my final extravaganza to the teacher's dining room. Actually, I dumped it there. I didn't want to see that cake again! I had enjoyed making all of the roses and violets that went in to it. I enjoyed baking the cake and making all the parts, but working on a timeline to put it all together in class killed it for me. I had a number of people at school ask me if I "did" cakes. My answer then and now is, "You couldn't pay me enough."
Decorating is something I enjoy putzing with. No deadlines, no critics except me. If I screw up and the layers slide off because I was too generous with the filling I laugh at it and serve it anyway. Half the time my nephew is there impatiently waiting for the finished product. He doesn't care what it looks like- just the taste. He thought my slide apart cake was perfect-"Finally, enough filling!" I bake cakes for my family and friends to eat, and sometimes I get ambitious and fancy them up.
I totally understand and feel the same as you ALL THE TIME... I started decorating in June so I'm still a newbie and every time I have to make a cake with a time line I'm like argghhhhhhhhhh. It gives me jitters in my tummy cause I'm scared that it wont be perfect or what they expect. Even for family birthdays... I have only sold 2 cakes so far and both were for the same weekend, it was sooo stressful for me but I was pleased with the results so I know if I plan well I can get it done in time. I wouldn't do it again though, only one a week for sure if I decide to make any other cakes for clients.
Well you all have made me feel better and that I am not the only one out there that feels this way. I love reading your stories, keep them coming. I guess I just get a little overwhelmed when I am asked to do one for someone and I am terrified that I don't meet their expectations, I know that I am a newbie at this and I learn by doing more and more of them and I tell them that this is just a learning hobby for me and not to expect something spectacular that they see on TV. Thank you all for your comments.