Is This A Good Idea?

Business By chloe_52 Updated 5 Mar 2009 , 4:41pm by mommyle

chloe_52 Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:25pm
post #1 of 22

I have been looking into opening my own cake shop next door to a Wedding Dress Shop. I am wondering though if it would be a good idea to also sell on top of my cakes the following items
Wedding Invitations, items for people to make their own Wedding/Baby Shower Favors, Unity Candles, Guest Book/Pen Sets, Ring Bearer Pillow?

Any input would be appreciated

21 replies
costumeczar Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:34pm
post #2 of 22

Unless you're doing only wedding cakes, I'd keep the wedding accessories out of your shop. More appropriate would be to sell some basic cake decorating supplies, or fancy cupcake wrappers that people could buy to use on the cupcakes you sell them! You don't want to confuse people as to what your retail identity is. (I have a mental image of some shops that sell mainly one thing but have that extra glass case with unrelated dusty junk that never sells over on one side of the shop.)

chutzpah Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:45pm
post #3 of 22

I agree.

What in the world is a unity candle?

costumeczar Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:52pm
post #4 of 22

The unity candle is a candle that the couple lights during the ceremony. They use two candles and they light the unity candle at the same time. I think it's stupid, but it's caught on here for some reason. They say it's to show the unity of the couple, but I figure that getting married is enough of a statement, so why add length to the service? icon_lol.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:53pm
post #5 of 22

It usually is a big fat white candle that the Bride and Groom light together during the ceremony to symbolize one!!

springlakecake Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 8:59pm
post #6 of 22

I don't think it is a bad idea, but I will bet you will be a competition for the dress store next door. I am sure that a lot of those items would be there.

chloe_52 Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 9:08pm
post #7 of 22

I have already looked into if this would end up as competition with the Dress Shop. They only sell dresses, shoes, tiaras and a bit of jewlery. I thought it would be a good idea to sell stuff like this all in one building, like a one stop for brides, get wedding invites, favors, cake and dress as this is the main dress shop in the city I live in, it is the busiest.

msulli10 Posted 17 Feb 2009 , 9:22pm
post #8 of 22

Maybe you should start with the wedding cakes first and then see what else the bride is looking for. You don't want to overwhelm yourself with so many different items. Making wedding cakes is pretty overwhelming in itself. Sounds like a great location, though.

drowsyrn Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 5:26pm
post #9 of 22

Maybe invest in just a few items and then see what the demand is for. What they come in and ask if you have and then go from there. I wouldn't spend too much on any inventory until you have an idea of what the need is.

-K8memphis Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 6:21pm
post #10 of 22

I see it as a lack of focus. Which will disorient the bride as well as your business. Bad idea in my opinion. Cakes are hard enough.

I mean I would to want have the best in each of those departments. That's big bucks for inventory. If it doesn't sell in one season then you eat it and get some more great stuff. Not at all a good idea in my book. I run a retail store. The market is numb right now. Just say no.

CakeForte Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 9:17pm
post #11 of 22

I think you should do cake first, but then test the waters with cake related accessories. Custom cake toppers, those little colored bridesmaids, different cake server sets, forks, napkins, plates...stuff like that. That's what people tend to forget.

kandu001 Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 10:24pm
post #12 of 22

I don't think its a bad idea, kind of like a one-stop shop. I wouldn't sell any decorating supplies though, because you want people to buy your cakes, not make their own.

SusanaDalia Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 2:42am
post #13 of 22

I don't see how it would hurt to include both the cake side of things and the "accessories" of sort. At least with those items, they aren't perishable, so there really isn't any cost to lose unless you just decide to stop after a few months of trying it out. I would say on the invitation thing, the books for them to see the samples, can run around $500 or so a piece depending on the supplier. So, you would have an initial investment to make with that and your items you would regularly stock for this. The bride might look at it as a one stop shop since the wedding gown store is next door. Anything to lessen her stress might just be appreciated in the end, and bring you in some nice profits. Good Luck!

-K8memphis Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 3:42pm
post #14 of 22

Ok--here's another good reason not to do it. You'll be in direct competition with many other vendors. You will loose mutual linkage and valuable referals. Honest--it makes you go in too many directions.

You're gonna have to have someone be a clerk for that stuff and pay their salary. How much foot traffic you gonna have to compensate for that.

Cupcake wrappers yes, all the other stuff no.

Think about all the bakeries that hardly stock and sell toppers anymore. If they do they are often in that dusty neglected condition that CostumeCzarina mentioned.

Not only that but Michael's and Hobby Lobby will be your unrelenting competition and out price you every step of the way and you'll be left with that dusty aging inventory taking up square footage and making your shop look forlorn.

No--SBA, SCORE, anyone worth their business salt would advise against too much diversity. This be it.

LaBellaFlor Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:30am
post #15 of 22

A unity candle is supposed to represent the unification of both families. The MOB lites 1 candle, the MOG lites the other, the bride & groom take those two lit candles to lite the one candle, hence unifying both families with an unseperable flame...and no, I didn't do the unity candle when I got married. Heck, my MIL couldn't stand seeing her baby getting married anyway! icon_wink.gif

chutzpah Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 5:18am
post #16 of 22

What do the FOG and FOB do then?

justducky Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 1:34pm
post #17 of 22
Originally Posted by chutzpah

What do the FOG and FOB do then?

Sit quietly and keep their wallets open. icon_smile.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 2:57pm
post #18 of 22
Originally Posted by justducky

Originally Posted by chutzpah

What do the FOG and FOB do then?

Sit quietly and keep their wallets open. icon_smile.gif

LOL! Basically, YES! Except the FOB does get to dance with his daughter once at the reception.

BabyCakes2 Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 3:11pm
post #19 of 22

I don't know about your area but near me we would all LOVE a place where we could get a better assortment of cake decorating goodies.

As it is my only option is a craft store or online. I woul dMUCH prefer to be able to see and touch things before I buy them and would greatly appreciate being able to go somewhere to buy gadgets and gizzmos relating to cakes and decorating.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 3:34pm
post #20 of 22
Originally Posted by BabyCakes2

I don't know about your area but near me we would all LOVE a place where we could get a better assortment of cake decorating goodies.

As it is my only option is a craft store or online. I woul dMUCH prefer to be able to see and touch things before I buy them and would greatly appreciate being able to go somewhere to buy gadgets and gizzmos relating to cakes and decorating.

It's apples and orangutangs.

Think about the amount of money necessary to get all those lovely touchable cake toys under your fingertips just so you can decide if you wnat to buy or not. The amount of money to be able to have a decent inventory that would entice you to drive over to "look at" is astronomical.

All of these products have different manufactureres and purveyors that you have to start relationships with--aka go through credit apps--place start up orders with minimum amounts. Place so much business with them per annum in some cases. Each re-order probably has to be a minimum amount. Each one with different parameters--Buying is a whole 'nuther job.

This buying prowess alone takes away tremendously from the caking. The ability to buy and know what will sell and market it while you market cakes--it's a double business and it dilutes each other rather than enhancing each other. Bad business idea.

Now a gift shop within a cake place, sell balloons maybe--see here you at least have like minded shoppers. Someone who buys a cake will be buying gifts. But still yet it's an unneccesary diversity. Grocery stores sell balloons--you gonna compete with buying power of grocery stores?

With cake toys and also selling cakes you have two different shoppers. One does it themself the other wants to purchase already made.

Yah gettin' me, Camera-guy??

FromScratch Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:26pm
post #21 of 22

Sham-WOW K8... Sham-WOW.. icon_wink.gif

I agree with K8 all the way. If you are going to be selling cakes then focus on that. I think it will overwhelm you and your shop to have a bit of everything. The bridal shop has dresses, tiaras, some jewlery and shoes... all things that do the same thing... dress the bride for her big day. You could possibly do something similar... sell some stands and service pieces, have a small display with some novelty candles... maybe have a small display with little cards since that's one of those last minute things they might have forgotten, but beyond that you look like a shop that doesn't quite know what it is. A better bet would be to network with local vendors and have a preferred list of people who offer services like stationary and be able to make recommendations as to where they could go. Honestly, when I was getting my wedding invites, the last place I would have thought to go would be the cake store. You want custom work done, not DIY when it comes to that, and you don't want to have to deal with the custom orders of wedding invites when you have cakes to work on. Most people who are picking out or picking up a cake have already sent out their invites.

I do understand your thought process, but you are going to have to spend money on inventory that will probably not sell and that is taking money out of your pocket. Money spent on things that are pulling you away from your ultimate focus.

mommyle Posted 5 Mar 2009 , 4:41pm
post #22 of 22

Going with Birthday cakes, Cards and funny candles practically sell themselves!!! Even DQ sells a SMALL inventory of them here. Invitations and various other stuff are just an invitation for disaster!!! In my last few experiences with brides, they already have EVERYTHING planned and bought, and the cake happens to be the last thing on their list (I don't get it either). Besides, like K8 said, you then become competition for people who could actually be giving you referals instead. I would take small cakes or samples or cakeballs to the places that sell the dresses, the invitations, the knick knacks and start a friendly referal relationship with them!
Good luck!

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