Had To Make A Difficult Decision...

Business By CakesByJen2 Updated 4 Jan 2009 , 9:52pm by tracycakes

CakesByJen2 Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 2:16pm
post #1 of 13

Well, I finally faced reality and made the difficult decision to quit doing cakes for other people. I had started as a self-supporting hobby about 12 years ago, that grew into a real business for a few years. I was unlicensed, but at the time we really, really needed the money, so I was willing to take the risk. I quit for awhile after I had my second, and very difficult, child, but people still called so after a couple of years I began taking the few wedding orders that happened to find me, mainly to stay in practice and because I missed it. But, recent events have made me realize it's time to quit. First, I heard on here of a venue refusing a cake delivery because the decorator was unlicensed, and I would feel sooo terrible if that happened to one of my brides (though I don't think any sites are that strict here, yet). Second, my sister's son was just diagnosed with leukemia and asked me to come out right away to help care for her other kids while they were in the hospital and I had to tell her I couldn't because I had a wedding that week (my mom was able to go instead), and I don't want to have that happen again, then lastly, while working on said wedding cake, my son was sent home from school with a stomach bug, and I was so paranoid and stressed out about getting it and contaminating the cake. That made me face the risk I was really taking by being unlicensed and uninsured, and that I can't continue unless I find a way to be legal, which is extremely unlikely. It is impossible to get licensed from a home kitchen here, and I have no money to put towards starting a shop.

So I had to admit that it was time to quit and no longer take orders for cakes from other people. So now I'll be limited to the occasional family birthday cake, which makes me sad. Doing cakes was the only job I've had that I felt I was really good at and found fulfilling, and I much preferred working for myself. I'm just so sad and frustrated that there is no way to be legal from home here and I can't do the one thing I really want to do. icon_cry.gif

12 replies
jillmakescakes Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 2:21pm
post #2 of 13

I am so sorry that you are faced with this difficult decision. While it sounds as though you have made a well thought out and informed decision, I'm sure that doesn't make it any easier. icon_cry.gif

I'm sure that you will be able to come back to it when the time is right in your life. And who knows, maybe at that point, the reality of your own licensed kitchen won't be so out of reach.

Here is sending you good karma, health vibes (for your nephew) and good, long lasting cake vibes ~~~~~~~~

KeltoKel Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 2:30pm
post #3 of 13

I am sorry to hear that Jen. I do understand your decision and feel for you. You are truly a talented decorator and it's a shame you can't get licensed in your state.

I truly believe all things happen for a reason so try to stay positive and who knows what will come your way. I wish your nephew health and strength as he fights his illness. Happy Holidays!

suz3 Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 2:37pm
post #4 of 13

I feel for you. I would like to be licensed also and am extremely limited due to the fact that I'm not. I'm sorry that you had to make this painful decision. I feel that cakes are the 1 thing that i'm good at also. I can understand how difficult this is for you. I'm so sorry for the health problems your family is faced with. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.

tonedna Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 2:44pm
post #5 of 13

Sorry Jen...You have a real tought situation there...God be with you..

DaCakeDiva Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 2:58pm
post #6 of 13

This is so sad. I understand wanting to do something so badly and circumstances keep you from it. Here are some prayers for you and your family's finances, health and happiness.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 3:03pm
post #7 of 13

Wow. First of all--hope your little nephew does very well with his diagnosis--hope he will be able to be brave and strong inside and the leukemia can be controlled. Heartbreaking though.

Tough decision. I'm in the same boat. Me too about doing it when family was young and we needed the money. Me too about being scared of the what if's like if my back went out, stuff like that.

Other reasons, one big one is the rest of the family does not share my obsession with cleanliness. That's a huge one. One of the hugest really. If your efforts to be so careful are inadvertently undermined constantly. icon_biggrin.gif Along the same line it is exceedingly difficult to flip the kitchen with meal times and etc.

But my area has the added 'benefit' of having some meanie cakers actually turn in 4 fellow cakers and shut them down. Big stink around here.

So you are not alone in the difficult decision. Maybe a decorator gig might come up for you. They (the owners) have all the headaches and you just do your thing. It's not without it's own unique challenges for sure but it is fun too. You can make some nice coin as well.

But when you do make a cake--you can go all out and do anything you want and that is way cool--you have a lot to look forward too!!

scrapperjade Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 3:14pm
post #8 of 13

I'm so sad for you! I'm very poor at cake decorating, but I'm good at other things, so I know how hard this must be for you to give up doing something you love. HUGS!

Also, I wish your nephew good health! I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. My own nephew was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2.5, and the news was devastating for all of us (I was super close to him as I was there for his birth & he was my little ringbearer at my wedding). The doctors gave him a 90 - 95% chance of survival at the start, so that was great. He did AMAZING, and within a few chemo rounds, he was already fighting back against the cancer, and 2.5 years later (at age 5), he was pronounced CANCER-FREE!!! We threw a huge party for him (and I made him a race-car cake... its in my gallery). Anyways, that was already a year ago... he had his 1 year checkup last month (just after he turned 6), and he's still cancer-free.

So, please encourage your sister, let her know (and tell yourself) that childhood leukemia is very curable, very treatable and very beatable. Kids are truly amazing little beings! HuGS and HOPE being sent your way!!!

JulissaMyCakes Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 3:17pm
post #9 of 13

Hi Jen,

I perfectly understand what your are going thru. I had to quit doing cakes a few months back. My grandmother suffered a really bad fall and broke both of her shoulders. After spending many weeks in the hospital and rehabilitacion center... my mother and I took turns caring for her at home. So, it took away the time that I had set aside for me to do cakes. I realized that family is more important than baking. My grandmother is here once and I can go back to baking in the future. Plus been unlicensed myself it was a risk that I was taking in the name of a hubby that I love so much. I thank God for letting me be avaible to do something so awesome. Believe me... I cried... but I don't regret my decision.
I'll keep your nephew and family in my prayers. You made the right decision... and you can always go back in the future.

CakesByJen2 Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 5:58pm
post #10 of 13

Thanks for all the kind words and allowing me to indulge in a little self-pity. I knew you guys would understand in a way that no one else can...

K8, it sound like our situation are almost identical. I also have the problems of a messy, busy family. Even if the state didn't require a separate kitchen, it really is necessary if you have kids. And while I haven't heard of anyone turning people in around here, there are now at least 3 or 4 legal cake shops in the greater area that I fear would not like the competetion. WHen I first started, it was all cake ladies working from home, and I doubt many were legal, so I didn't really fear being turned in.

Scrapperjade, thanks for sharing about your nephew. My nephew has had 3 or 4 rounds of chemo already and his blood counts are responding well. It was caught earlier than usual, so he never even felt sick, although I'm sure that will change as the toxicity from the chemo builds up. We know he has a very good prognosis, but I still just hate that will always be hanging over his head. My sister is handling it well, she's been thru it herself. She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma about 7 years ago and has been in remission for several years, so she had the advatage of recognizing the symptoms much earlier than anyone else would, and she was already familiar with all the terminology, procedures, etc., so she didn't get overwhelmed with info and having to make decisions in the beginning like most people would.

I just wish my in-laws had as much money as my daughter seems to think they do, then I'd get them to bankroll me, LOL! They've always been generous with the kids, and when she was younger their house seemed like a mansion compared to our first, tiny house to her, so she's got the idea that they are rolling in dough icon_lol.gif If only....

Monkess Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 8:34pm
post #11 of 13

Im sorry you had to take that tough call. Having said that, have you thought of offering to teach at a local Michaels or club? Just to keep the cake decorating alive? I know I would get serious withdrawal symptoms...think it over..Good luck and God bless for your family.

Wesha Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 5:31am
post #12 of 13


I want you to know that I will be saying a special prayer for your nephew tonigt. I pray that GOD puts his healing hands on him and take away his illness.

I also wanted to say, that you have alot of love in your heart for your family to drop something that you love so passionately to be there for your sister and her son. That is wonderful. Just know that you made the right decision and that GOD is going to bless you.

I also pray that you will be able to come back to the art as you have boatloads of talent and hope that you will be able to get you license and a shop because you truly deserve it.


tracycakes Posted 4 Jan 2009 , 9:52pm
post #13 of 13

Jen, I'm sorry for all that you are going through and I'm so glad that your nephew is responding well to treatment.

It's never too late to get back into cake decorating when you are ready and it's time. I was pretty serious about it many years ago, then I quit doing them except for the rare, occasional cake. Now, I'm getting serious about it again and I've started research into opening a bakery in the future, possibly. Just because the time is not right now, won't mean it's not right in the future. Do the cakes you want to do now and have great loads of fun with them. thumbs_up.gif

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