Question For All Who Have Taken A Wilton Class

Decorating By CakesbyBecca Updated 4 Jan 2009 , 6:53pm by TheLadybugCook

CakesbyBecca Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 3:26am
post #1 of 38

I was just recently hired as a WMI at a Michaels that has not had a strong Wilton program in over 4 years. I've been hired not only as the only instructor, but also to build and promote the Wilton program for the store. Which brings me to my questions:
1. What were the things you liked about your Wilton Courses?
2. What were the things you didn't like?
3. What days/times should I schedule the classes to attract the most people?
4. What are some ways I could draw interest in a program that has been poorly run for over 4 years, in an area that isn't very wealthy?
5. I have yet to receive my info from Wilton and this question may very well be answered in that, but just in case, what does it mean to do a demo? What do they entail?
Thanks for your help.

37 replies
Carolynlovescake Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 4:00am
post #2 of 38

Becca,

I am also a WMI at a Michael's and am in the process of doing very heavy advertising, marketing, and such to grow our locations classes.

If you need any help, ideas or have any questions etc. don't hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

schnumvf Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 4:22am
post #3 of 38

Congrats on the new job! Sounds like you have your work cut out for you.

I have only taken Course 1 so far (although I signed up for Course 2 twice now and have yet to actually start. I'll spare you that story) I don't know that I can really give much of a response to your questions except for #3. For me the evening times worked the best. I wanted to sign up for Course 2 (a third time) but the class started at 3:00. Really? Who can make that time?

Anyway thats all I've got. I really just wanted to say congrats! Hope you enjoy your new job and turn that store around!

IcedTea4Me2 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 4:26am
post #4 of 38

I took two wilton courses and will take the third one starting this January. I can give you opinions from the student point of view. I liked the classes to be relatively small because there is more hands-on teaching, more one-on-one. My classes are at night from 6 to 8 on different weeknights. There is not one night that will please everyone. Mine have been on Thursdays and Fridays and that worked out well for me. Usually, I'm less busy at work towards the end of the week. I think the store needs to advertise inside. When you walk in our store you see a big sign up by the registers about the wilton classes, signup info, etc. Outside ads like newspapers, etc., would be great, but I don't know if the store would do that or not. Once you get going, so to speak, you'll get some advertisement from your students just by word of mouth. My teacher is very personable and the class atmosphere is very relaxed. I like that. Best of luck to you!

Lisa

liapsim Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 4:29am
post #5 of 38

Congrats Becca! I actually only took the first class because of the same reason as schnumvf. The course 2 was offered at 4pm here and that didn't correlate with my schedule. I actually have a hard time believing there were a reasonable amount of people attending this class at that time. 6pm or 7pm is more reasonable.
Also, my instructor kept saying things like, "oh, we won't worry about this part cause it's not important" or "you'll never use this" or "I wouldn't worry too much about this"...my thing is, if I am paying for this course and I ask something or we come across something, I expect to be taught this...even if the teacher thinks it's a waste of time. You never know, you might actually have that one crazy client that requests..."XXX".

HTH and Good Luck!

bizatchgirl Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 4:37am
post #6 of 38

1. What were the things you liked about your Wilton Courses? I liked the variety of things I was able to learn in a short amount of time and so cheap.
2. What were the things you didn't like? My fondant class was really large and not as hands on. Smaller classes are better.
3. What days/times should I schedule the classes to attract the most people? I liked my 7p class. It gave me time to go home and gather my things and get to the class. I want to take some of the classes again and I plan to look for weekend classes.
4. What are some ways I could draw interest in a program that has been poorly run for over 4 years, in an area that isn't very wealthy? Promote the coupons and the specials where you get the class for free when you buy the kit. One of our local Michael's has some beautiful display cakes I always see right on my way out the door, and the calendar is right next to the display.
5. I have yet to receive my info from Wilton and this question may very well be answered in that, but just in case, what does it mean to do a demo? What do they entail? I bet they have specific things to demo. But if they don't, I would say anything that someone could watch for a minute or two and be hooked. Like buttercream flowers. I stopped and talked to an instructor once who was doing the fondang carnations. Those take forever and it would not hold my interest to watch that as a demo.

HTH

step0nmi Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 4:38am
post #7 of 38

Congrats on the new job!

Being a Wilton Instructor entails a lot more than people think. It sounds like you are already thinking ahead and that is good. icon_biggrin.gif

I was an event coordinator for Michael's and we had the same issues that you have. The wilton instructor that i had was wonderful and she offered all of her courses in the evenings (6:30-8:30pm). So, Course 1 was on Tues, Course 2 on Wed, and Course 3 on Thursday. We always had a good response from doing classes like that. IF you decide to offer them a different way then you may have problems with having your customers come back to you. I know there is a HL in my area where all the instructors there want to offer only Course 1...they are loosing customers because they don't want to offer anything else icon_razz.gif anyway...her classes like how she had always had at least 8-10 people..so very good responses.

a demonstration is very simple..you are just showing the customers what the wilton courses are about! I would definitely start there for the make up of the poor view of the courses from the past. Do yourself a favor and come in on the day that you have an advertisement start. yes, start, so it's probably on a sunday...this is when the most people come in..for some reason customers think that the sale items are going to be out of stock and come sooner in the week rather than later icon_razz.gif (don't ask how i know this, it was just an observation) bring in some frosting and a board to practice on and bring out your materials that your customers get for their first course and a table and just talk to customers and get them interested.
I know that with Michael's Wilton was able to offer up specials every month for the courses...like: get one course bring a friend free...or get your course kit for a penny when you sign up during a certain time. you will want to contact wilton and talk to the director of your area to find out more information.

other than that just make some handmade signs that pop to put up around the store and make sure that all of the cashiers know how to sign people up and are nice about it. make sure to have all the sign up sheets in one booklet so that it's easy to find.

If you have any other specific questions feel free to PM me! I loved working as an event coordinator there and we tried many things. GOOD LUCK!

southerncake Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 4:43am
post #8 of 38

Congratulations!!

It has been years since I took the Wilton classes at a Michaels about 30 minutes from my home, so I do not remember a lot. However, I do remember that my classes were on Tuesdays around 6 p.m. I think Tuesday and Thursday nights are great. You run into a lot of issues with Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I also think you have to start late enough to give people time to get off work and run home to pick up their cakes, icing, etc., so 6 was great for everyone in our class.

At that same Michaels there is a day class, which is something like Wednesdays at 11 or 2 (I think I have seen both).

I agree with a previous poster about skipping over things. My instructor would skip over the parts she did not want to teach and said "I never use that anyway." I really did not like that!

As far as getting people in the door, I think the "free class with $___ purchase" or "free kit with class purchase" or "free class with kit purchase" kinds of deals are great.

I also think a very well done display with some super nice cakes helps. At another Michaels about 45 minutes away, there is a cake display in some glass cubes at the front of the store and they look awful. If anything, I'm sure they probably turn people off from wanting to take a class. While on the other hand, if they were really well done, it may spark some interest!

Also in this tough economy, I think a lot of people are looking to do things like make their kids b-day cakes when they would have bought them in the past, so maybe a one-day Saturday workshop on character cakes using the Wilton pans would be a draw to get some folks in the door.

indydebi Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 4:44am
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by IcedTea4Me2

When you walk in our store you see a big sign up by the registers about the wilton classes, signup info, etc.




Since you're battling a negative image in your area to get these going again, how about setting up a really well decorated dummy cake next to these types of signs? I might overlook a sign, but a really cool cake will get my attention. And a nice looking cake will help battle the negative image that you're trying to overcome.

To promote it in a "not wealthy" area, use the economy to your advantage. Much to the irritation of those of us who sell our cakes, icon_rolleyes.gif you can point out the cost savings when they learn to make the well-decorated cakes for their kids' birthdays. (dont' throw things at me, gang, but she needed ideas on how to market this! icon_redface.gif )

As mentioned previously, you're never going to pick a night that's great for everyone, but a lot of places are busier on Thursday and Friday nights .... waitresses who work in restaurants, anyone in retail, I know a couple of people who work in doctors offices who have late hours on Thursday, people who work in bakeries or grocery store bakeries who want to take a class to enhance their skills are usually busy on Thurs/Fri for the weekend cake orders.

But .... if you hold it on the kids Tuesday night soccer practice night, you'll tick those folks off, too, so you really can't win on that one! icon_lol.gif

Just whatever you do, dont' schedule it during the upcoming new season of American Idol! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

TexasSugar Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 5:15am
post #10 of 38

As a fellow WMI, be sure to talk to the store about displays, signs and flyers. Before you spend your time and money on them you want to make sure they will have a place to be displayed.

While cake dummies are a great way to show that we have classes, there is often very limited room to place them. With the new 5 Star stuff, it is even harder to have a place outside the classroom for them. Plus those types of things get torn up rediculiously fast. It sucks to spend hours working on a display cake and to see it picked at after 24 hours in the store.

I find signs and flyers work, and my store isn't strick on where I put them. Just besure to make them professionaly and again besure to ask the manager about putting them up. Years ago I taped flyers next to the cash registers and they were removed right away because it is against the 'rules'.

One place I love to stick flyers is in the bathrooms, especially on the back of the stall doors. You can't help but to look up and read something while you are in there.

Find out when the store is the busiest? That is the best time to do a demo. My manager usually suggests Saturday afternoons or Sundays, when people are in there using their coupons. Some demo's fell like a waste of time while others catch many students. When you do a demo be sure to have a flyer with your dates for the next serveral months. This helps get people that may not be able to take the class on Mondays in Jan, but could take it in Feb on Tuesdays.

As far a times, I teach in the evenings, because that works with my schedule. If you can teach both evenings and days/mornings I would try out the different times and see what works in your area. I move my days around so that people can find the day that works best for them. I also teach on Saturday evenings for those that work late during the week or hubbys are home in time to watcht the kids or what not.

I start Course 1 one month on Mondays, the next month I mean may start Course 1 on Tuesdays, doing course 2 on Mondays. The third month I may do Course 1 on Thursdays, Course 2 on Tuesdays and Course 3 on Mondays. I can teach any night of the week so I schedule all 4 classes every month.

I'm not looking forward to the price increases at Michaels or the rule of 4 again but I'll deal with. If you are at Michaels, be sure to get copies of the Bounce In Coupons (to hand out at demos) and the Bounce Back Coupons. No matter what ever store you are at be sure to push the promotions. icon_smile.gif

I think one thing alot of my students enjoy about the classes is that I try to give them extra information. I don't go against the 'Wilton Way' but I do try to give them something extra for their money. I have serveral hand outs that give them extra information. It is usually what I consider as common sense stuff, but you have to remember that 90% of your students are going to be total beginners that have no idea what they are getting into.

Also be sure to explain the small things in class, like how to hold your decorating bag. Those things come naturally to us, but not to someone that has never picked up a decorating bag.

Go in there with a love of what you are doing, and that will show to your students. I have learned so much from my students, and hope that I have taught them just as much. I get enjoyment from watching my students blossom and learning and excelling in something I love to do myself.

indydebi Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 5:42am
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

While cake dummies are a great way to show that we have classes, there is often very limited room to place them. With the new 5 Star stuff, it is even harder to have a place outside the classroom for them. Plus those types of things get torn up rediculiously fast. It sucks to spend hours working on a display cake and to see it picked at after 24 hours in the store.



That is so sad that grown people can't learn to keep their hands off of stuff like this. icon_cry.gif

TexasSugar Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:01am
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

While cake dummies are a great way to show that we have classes, there is often very limited room to place them. With the new 5 Star stuff, it is even harder to have a place outside the classroom for them. Plus those types of things get torn up rediculiously fast. It sucks to spend hours working on a display cake and to see it picked at after 24 hours in the store.


That is so sad that grown people can't learn to keep their hands off of stuff like this. icon_cry.gif




You would be surprised how many people come up and start to touch the gumpaste flowers I have out during a demo that show what you do in the classes. And it is more the adults than the kids that like to touch. I once had a lady run her finger through the icing on my cake cause she didn't think it was real. I wasn't sitting there when it happend, but come on. You see something that looks like a cake, why would you touch it!! After I do a gingerbread house demo the house sits out with the display of them. People litterally pick all the candies off it, in just a matter of days.

The only way to avoid that is to get one of those foot ball glass displays, but I'm not buying it and I haven't convienced the store manager to store use one. At my store the only place I can put cake displays now is the class room. Too me, once they are in there I don't really need the displays to promote the classes, so I save my time and supplies and promote the classes other ways.

zubia Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:01am
post #13 of 38

Congratulation. We are in the same boat .I aslo got the job of WMI at a Michaels in my area .I was going to start in December but no students signed up .I have sign ups for Janvary so its going to be my first month. I took all 4 courses .Had 2 years between 2nd and 3rd .But both times classes were in the evening. I loved evening classes because had no thing more to worry about just went had good time ,learned .
As for advertisement , Taxes sugar here on Cc gave me some very good advise ,s.Micheals is offering 50% off in jan I printed lots of flyers stating that and put them in the store and bathrooms for all to see,put up a big poster in the window and asked the sales girls to tell customers that they will get $5 off of 2nd course.Hope this helps .Good luck

johnson6ofus Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:03am
post #14 of 38

just nosy, but what is .....the rule of 4?

TexasSugar Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:09am
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

just nosy, but what is .....the rule of 4?




As of Feb, WMIs at Michaels will once again need 4 paid students signed up to run the class. If we have less than 4 we have to cancel that course for the month and hope they come back the following month.

zubia Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:10am
post #16 of 38

Took too long to type and post she shared her wisdom her self.Thank you texassuagr I took your advise and have 3 classes in January .Thank you so much for your help.

TexasSugar Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:14am
post #17 of 38

I'm glad I can help. icon_smile.gif

CakesbyBecca Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:43am
post #18 of 38

WOW! I really didnât expect this kind of response so quickly! Thank you all so much!
Schnumvf, you said you signed up for Course 2 twice but have yet to start. Is this because of something that Wilton or Michael's did, or is it for personal reasons? I ask because if itâs because of something the store did, I would love to know what happened so that we can make sure this doesnât happen at our store.
I can totally relate to the frustration with an instructor skipping parts of the course. Mine did that and is was soooo annoying! I will definitely do my best to cover all the material. In course 3, she didnât even get around to showing us the fondant rose icon_surprised.gif. I had to teach myself (with help from CakeDiva73).
I LOVE the idea of display cakes! I think that will really help spread the word that weâve brought the quality up a few notches. Iâll have to check with the manager to see if there is anywhere we could put them out of reach of stray fingers. Like TexasSugar said, I would hate to spend so much time on them, only to have them destroyed.
Indydebi, you are too funny icon_biggrin.gif. Iâll make sure not to schedule the classes on Tuesday or Wednesday after 8 icon_wink.gif.
TexasSugar, thank you soooo much for all the helpful information, things I hadnât thought of, like flyers in the bathroom icon_smile.gif. Do I have to make my own flyers, or does Wilton have some we can use?
Thanks again and keep the ideas coming!

icer101 Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:47am
post #19 of 38

i have been decorating cakes for 13 years.. took all my couses at michaels here close to my house... been teaching at michaels for 3 years... have really loved it... teach .. mon... tues... wed.. and thurs.. if i have enough students... no one bothers me.... all that work there are friendly to me... i really feel at home there... i do as i please.. you might say... i don,t don any advertising... the store does it... it is in our paper a week before classes start... i go in and teach... get papers signed and sent off to wlton,etc... do my extra demos once a month and the mandantory ones when they come up... never had any problems... i try to make the classes fun. i teach everything in the lessons... its up to the students if they want to practice it.. i do encourage it.... i don,t have to ask if i can be off for any reason.. i just don,t sign up as many classes and work around any that i plan... its worked good for me... i get along with my supervisor at wilton.. and all my supervisors at michaels.. i do not like the new rule coming up in feb. about the no of students that we must have inorder to teach.. but that is the way it is. i will deal with it when it comes up.. i also teach cake decorating at a community college here 4-5 times a year. that is rewarding too. just to see the accomplishment that the ones that are really interested arrive at..... it is dissappointed to see some sign up but they are really not that interested.. they show that when they don,t bring in any cakes.... nor icing... says they were too tired to make the cakes and icing. anyway teaching is fun and rewarding. wilton always send all the info and dvd,etc. on all the courses. and what is expected of you...as long as you do this ..there will be no problems...believe me.. when i do extra demos... i demo on what each course teaches.. like one time i might use buttercream and do the techniques in couse1.... then royal icing flowers and ice a dummie cake with buttercream basketweave and rope borders... the for course 111... make fondant roses on the toothpick.. and then the royal icing flowers in that course... then the fondant andgumpste class... i,ll sit there and work from that book ... and make all kinds of things from fondant and gumpaste etc.. that is what i am told to do. to show what we teach in class... then if people stop and talk to you... they can see what each course is about... plus i go to a yearly teachers meeting here in raleigh nc around june or july. i love it ..it is fun... not much money...but any helps out... especially in this day and time... i forgot to say that the classes are at night from 6:30-8:30

rblee Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 6:57am
post #20 of 38

1. What were the things you liked about your Wilton Courses? My instructor was very helpful. She was patient and would repeat/re-show as needed. Also, she has an email list and she emails with Michael's coupons, specials, etc. We could email her or call her if we had a question while we were at home decorating. She also asked what we would like to learn about that wasn't covered in the Wilton 1,2,3, and she would do one-time 2-4-hour classes about that (for example, specific buttercream flowers in the book Wilton Way of Decorating Vol 2) The regular classes were no more than 5 people and that was nice. She would also show us new Wilton products, not really a "sales pitch" but "oh look at this" and often we would get to try them out. My instructor sold so much Wilton stuff that that particular Michaels store waived her rule of 4. But she would also tell us if something wasn't needed or worth spending the money on. She would also show us cake decorating books (Collette, Peggy Porschen, etc).
2. What were the things you didn't like? Nothing.
3. What days/times should I schedule the classes to attract the most people? Evenings.
4. What are some ways I could draw interest in a program that has been poorly run for over 4 years, in an area that isn't very wealthy? My instructor was always promoting/talking about upcoming classes that she was going to teach. She would let us know about any coupons or discounts. There were signs posted on the backs of the stall doors, as another poster mentioned. There were contests in the area Michaels for which instructor could get the most sign-ups and I think she won quite often. She would let us know if she was in any contests like that and encourage us to tell our friends. She would also let us know when she was going to be doing demos. Of course, we were already in the door.
If you're going to start promoting to get new people in, you need to let people know why this is different and better, and not more of the same thing that has been going on for 4 years.
Could you call past students to get them to their next course (2 or 3)? Could you do a press release? Could you buy some small advertising space on the back of a church program? (The "Supporters" page.)

HerBoudoir Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 2:10pm
post #21 of 38

I took a couple of Wilton courses in the Spring at Michael's (I finished 1 & 3, will retake 2 because I could only go to 2 classes).

They were fun, and worth the money. For myself, weeknights work best, but my schedule is all over the place, so it's hit and miss as to what actually fits into it. The classes were 6:30-8:30, which was perfect - enough time to grab dinner before class, didn't run too late. A Saturday morning class running from 10 am to noon would probably work too. I had two different instructors, and I enjoyed both. I liked when they showed a few little extra tips that weren't straight from the books, and I liked being offered some ideas about the class cakes that weren't straight out of the text either. I'll also say it's very important for the instructor to go around and give hands on attention to each member of the class as we practiced. I liked that while they were definately teaching the Wilton method, they didn't treat it like the "one twue way" of cake decorating, if that makes sense - i.e., that it's one way of doing things but you're not going to cake decorating hell for trying other things icon_smile.gif.

My biggest gripe was that the classes were not posted at all until a couple days before they actually started. It was really only by chance I happened to be in a Michael's at the beginning of one month and noticed that they had the classes posted off to one side - not even in a prominant part of the store - and that the Wilton 1 class (which started in 2 days) would fit into my schedule - so it was just luck that I ended up being able to take them. I had previously even asked about the classes, and the people working up at the help desk said they never knew when they were offered until a couple of days before they started. As a result, the classes that I took were quite small in attendees. Once I was actually IN a class, the instructors knew what was being taught the next month, so IMHO there was no reason the store should not have been advertising classes weeks in advance.

johnson6ofus Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 2:51pm
post #22 of 38

Makes sense--- thanks. icon_wink.gif

Hope it works out for you all...

kakeladi Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 3:24pm
post #23 of 38

.....If you can teach both evenings and days/mornings I would try out the different times and see what works in your area. I move my days around so that people can find the day that works best for them. I also teach on Saturday evenings for those that work late during the week or hubbys are home in time to watch the kids.....start Course 1 one month on Mondays, the next month...start Course 1 on Tuesdays, doing course 2 on Mondays. The third month I may do Course 1 on Thursdays, Course 2 on Tuesdays and Course 3 on Mondays. I can teach any night of the week so I schedule all 4 classes every month. ......

I stopped reading the comments when I got to this^^^.....because it is **right on!**
If you are available don't limit when you teach. Vary the days of the week. As has been said, you can't please everyone so offer it at different times of the day and on different days of the week. I sometimes had Sat or Sun classes....often day time and always night classes. Some weeks I was teaching 5 out of the 7 days.
The 6 or 6:30 starting time is important.
On rare occasions I had a 3-5 class followed by a 6-8 classicon_smile.gif If 'you' can swing it go for it! It's that much more money in your pocketicon_smile.gif
If you find one time doesn't seem to get much response then the next month change it.
Please make *sure* clerks know you will only allow 8 (**MAX 10**) per class. (Mark the sign up sheet in red!) Have a back up plan..... so if 20 people sign up you can split the class in two. Keep a close ck on sign ups so if it's getting close to full you can offer that 2nd time slot.
Oh, ck your local news papers....many will publish (once a week) a free one line info on 'community highlites'. Try putting a small add in your local 'penny saver' or 'thrifty nickel' type paper. Pin up ads on your local supermarket & laundry bulletin boards.....maybe at your church - hairdresser - bank? And the restroom door is perfect! icon_smile.gif

sparklepopz Posted 29 Dec 2008 , 10:19pm
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

just nosy, but what is .....the rule of 4?



As of Feb, WMIs at Michaels will once again need 4 paid students signed up to run the class. If we have less than 4 we have to cancel that course for the month and hope they come back the following month.




For my daytime classes which usually have less than 4 people, I will be calling my registered students to explain the situation and ask them to have a friend or family member sign up so the class can "make" and we will start the following week. I'm not scratching the class for the whole month.

My numbers have jumped tremendously for my evening classes since I started scheduling the courses to begin mid-month. When Michael's finally does mention Wilton in their newspaper ad, it is usually on a Sunday when classes are due to begin that week, and I noticed many people calling me a day or two or three after class started only to have to be told they'd have to wait a month. For the last several months, starting mid-month caused my classes to max out at 15 students for both my Course I and advanced courses.

CakesbyBecca Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 4:13pm
post #25 of 38

I have another question that just popped up. What do you do when one of your classes falls on a holiday, or you are unavailable for one of the classes? I have to be out of state the last Saturday in February, but I should have 3 Saturday classes scheduled that month. How do I manage that? I'm the only instructor. Dh is convinced there has to be a way to handle it because of situations like July 4th or Christmas, when classes obviously aren't held. How do you handle a 4 class course in that situation?

Carolynlovescake Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 6:06pm
post #26 of 38

What I do is let them know the first night that something came up and that you have to travel that last Saturday.

You can offer to switch nights to another night that weeek or extend the course by a week if you don't have classes starting that next week.

Go to my site calendar at http://www.mycakeclass.com/calendar.html

It should show up in December 2008 for you. Let's say my classes on the 27th had to be moved. I could not extend it a week because January 3rd is the 4th week and the next day January 4th starts the new courses.

I would have the option of telling my students that we need to find another day that week we could all get together, or they could return at no charge for my next lesson 4 taught for that course. The best thing to do is get another night if at all possible because they will loose steam with the wait between when their actualy L4 should have been and going to the other one.

If your courses have a week breathing room then you can extend it a week.

KieslerKakes Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 6:51pm
post #27 of 38

I have taken all four of the wilton classes, at Hobby Lobby. They offered classes on tues and wed from 6:00-8:00. I to prefer small classes 6-8 people. You get more individual assistance that way. My instructor was very good, we could look over her should and watch the technic she was teaching. I would suggest any cakes you make leave them for the store employee's. My instructor all so did this. And on Saturdays do a demo in the store next to the cake decorating supplies. Also show all your work throughout the store. Make sure people see them coming in and out. This is the best advertisement. And make it fun!

dlinnane Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 7:15pm
post #28 of 38

Just FYI, I started two courses at once and stopped both after the second week. There were several reasons for that, and not all were pertinent to the classes, but one factor was that the classes were offered out of order - in other words, course 1 was offered on a Thursday, and course 2 on a Tuesday (and course 3 on a Wednesday). Granted, the ideal way is to take one course at a time, but the instructor and I agreed that I already had some skill levels that could make it work. But it seemed that I was always backtracking, and I think the two courses might have worked well together (for me) if they had been "in order" during each week.

Another factor that discouraged me was the amount of icing we were expected to show up with in week three. This may be another reason to discourage people from taking more than one course at a time, but after I heard the list of different colors and consistencies we were supposed to bring in just one class, plus a cake, I just gave up. Seems like there could be a better way, but maybe that's the way Wilton wants it to be.

I am one of those folks, too, who needs a daytime class. We do exist! Perhaps I could have handled a day class more easily (with time to prepare all those recipes!).

HTH

CakesbyBecca Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 7:36pm
post #29 of 38

dlinnane, one of the things my instructor did was to have us bring in stiff, white icing. We colored it in class and could thin it then if we needed to. That way we didn't have to mix a ton at home, especially if we didn't end up using it. You can learn the technique of say, the violet, without having to use purple. Now, if you are making the flowers for the final project, then yes, you want to make sure you have all the right colors, but if you're just learning the technique, there's no need for all the extra work.

Carolynlovescake Posted 30 Dec 2008 , 8:51pm
post #30 of 38

I tell my students to look in the book prior to making frosting to see what we will be learning/making technique wise and then from there pick the colors they want.

I have some students that go 100% by the book.

Others who are more creative may not want the colors listed.

I let them customize their cakes and strongly encourage it because as a teacher I get so tired of seeing month after month cakes that look like the covers of the books. icon_lol.gif

Also as for the royal icing for C2, I strongly encourage my students to keep left overs for the next week and to create custom shades for their C2 L3. I also mention they can bring what they have that week and trade colors if they want to avoid making more.

It doesn't take much RI for those flowers especially for the class final cake. To make so much listed is just stupid crazy.

I themed my class off of a hand out Wilton gave me "Relax - Enjoy - Have Fun".

It's my job to stress out and be sure everything's right and it's your job as the student to show up prepared and have fun. If by not making all that frosting works for you, it works for me.

Another thing to remember all that RI is just a step away from buttercream. Just add hiratio or crisco to it and voila! you have small amounts of buttercream to play with after the courses!

Another great thing... you can do all C2 flowers in stiff buttercream. Freeze them until hard then pull them out and put directly on your cake just before you present it/leave to deliver it.

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