I am new to this forum, so bear with me if I am rehashing a recent topic. I have learned gumpaste but am just now going into the buisness end of it. I need to figure out what the market will bear when it comes to sugar flowers...I have rough pricing for some but would love some real world comparison to make sure my ranges are accurate. Any input would be greatly appreciated! My operatuions are based in the southeast if location bears any on it.
there are websites out there that sell them, that can be good for a rough idea of what to do. some local cake shops may sell them (two do here, at least) so then you can see what you are up against.
Most of the price of gumpaste flowers generally comes from the time it takes to produce them. I do sell occasional gumpaste flower arrangements on some cakes and I have roughly broken down a few things. Maybe they will be of help to you:
Startup costs (gumpaste items alone):
molds & veiners
wirecutters (used only for cake decorating)
books, templates, training
Once you figure out the total costs to produce gumpaste, the actual gumpaste itself is inexpensive... pennies per flower or leaf. I would figure in a combination of startup costs plus your hourly labor rate and time it by flower or bunch. Then you know that, say, a rose stem with 4 leaves takes 1.5 hours to make (assuming you are semi-proficient). Add in the piece of startup cost and materials and you should get a rough idea of what to charge.
I recommend putting a basic price list together of common flowers and letting your customers decide based on that. If I was a customer, I might pick a peony over a stargazer lily.. once I see how much more money (aka time) it takes to make one. Hope this helps!
Price higher than what you can buy them for... it takes a lot more time to make them and take the time to make sure they look right than to mass produce them.
I start toppers at $150.00 and go from there and side cascades start at $200-ish depending on the size of your cake and the flowers you choose. Single flowers are not cheap either... orchids I charge $15 and up per flower.. gerberas are $10 and up per flower.. roses are $7 and up per flower.. lilacs are $35 PER flower (they take 150 plus individual blooms to make a single flower). I take great care to make sure that my flowers are an excellent representation of a natural bloom and I do not give my work away. If you are making a less intricate version you can charge less, but make sure you are being paid for your time and expertise. Sugar flowers are not the cheap route.. if they want cheap flowers they can use silks.
Thanks for the input...I have looked at the flowers sold in bulk online and have come to the conclusion that while the prices are great, the detail is pathetic. I consider myself an artist/craftsman and as such I cannot bring myself to present an end product that does not meet my own personal standards! I realize that this may be a deal killer to some in my marketplace but I am willing to accept that not everyone can afford my work! I work too hard to make sure my flowers are as realistic as possible and as matched to any live flowers at the function to discount them just to get the order. I know the bride may not know the difference between the cheapo version and my nice ones but I try to educate them on those differences during the consult so that they understand the pricing difference. Once again, I do appreciate the input and hope to chat here often...from what I have seen on the site so far there is some really good info and even better networking going on here...thanks!