"will You Teach Me How To Make Cakes?" Ugh I'm Sic

Decorating By dellboi2u Updated 28 Apr 2009 , 9:32pm by Jayde

dellboi2u Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 4:28am
post #1 of 18

Okay... my turn to vent! I just don't get it! This does not apply to everyone here on CC... I love the help offered here and love to answer any questions that have been asked of me.... anyway... my vent: Everyone asking me, "Will you teach me how to make cakes?" It is always friends of friends or friends of family who ask this... even when I deliver cakes to customers I have never even met! I swear that everyone thinks I am having "play time" everytime I make a cake. I have worked really hard to teach myself to decorate and hours upon hours and hours of trial and error to figure out what works and doesn't. Like I am going to say "Sure! Come on by and I'll teach you everything I know". Sure they want to come over and learn how to "decorate" them... but what about the mounds of dishes that are done on a regular bases many times a day, the baking, making all of the fillings, making fondant,etc....etc..., sweeping, moping, scrubbing the piece of fondant you dropped on the floor and didn't notice until you stepped on it and it is squished on your shoe and floor... okay you get the point. Oh wait.. one more... Being up until 3 or 4 in the morning working on a cake you didn't charge nearly enough for and are cussing yourself for wasting your time. I don't ask a dentist or Doctor how to do a root canal or surgery.... or even a pilot how to fly a plane because I think it would be fun... I am a really nice person and don't even know what to say to them when they ask... I've just started saying when I get the time I am wanting to teach basic classes, but just don't have the time to teach right now. It takes care of it for now, but I'm afraid that I'm going to start getting the phone calls from these people asking if I am starting classes yet. I just wish people would realize I am not in a Fairy Tale land and magically decorate a cake in 10 minutes. I don't know, maybe I'm being selfish in feeling this way, but I am tired of it..... lol... okay now I have vented..... now all of you have a great time in all of your fairy tale lands where cakes take 10 minutes to decorate and you all tip toe around dancing to magical music, because I know I am... ya right. I love what I do and wouldn't change it for the world, I just don't really feel like teaching everyone and their dog how to do what I do for free.... atleast offer me something in trade! lol. I'll shut up now! I love you all here on CC, and have been a great help to me! Thank you!

17 replies
TexasSugar Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 4:42am
post #2 of 18

Next time someone asks tell them they can take classes at the local Hobby Lobby, Michaels or JoAnns. That way if they really want to learn they have some where to go and you don't have to worry about teaching them all your well learned secrets. icon_wink.gif

dellboi2u Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 4:45am
post #3 of 18

Great idea! Thanks!

Texas_Rose Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 7:30am
post #4 of 18

It's probably the economy that has a lot of people looking for a way to make a little extra cash, and they figure they already have a kitchen at home, how much else can it take? It's good that you've figured out a response for them, but
I'm sure they think asking is a compliment to you, and don't realize that they're putting you on the spot.


I'm a hobby baker, so I don't mind showing a friend some of the stuff I do, if I think they're really capable of doing it on their own later on. I was asked once to teach a class on decorating with fondant at the elementary school next door to my house, and I didn't do that, because most of the ladies who would have been in the class were my neighbors and I was afraid they would send their kids to borrow pans and other equipment all the time, and I don't loan my stuff out to people, and didn't want the hard feelings when I had to say no.

tootie0809 Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 1:31pm
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dellboi2u

..... now all of you have a great time in all of your fairy tale lands where cakes take 10 minutes to decorate and you all tip toe around dancing to magical music, because I know I am...




This made me literally laugh out loud! I imagined my self in a ballerina tutu with my magic wand spinning and twirling in my kitchen to the beautiful music, pointing my wand at my immaculately clean countertops and sparkle dust sprinkling out of it to magicially make a beautiful completely decorated cake. Well geez if it was that easy, what would be so fun and fullfilling about slaving over a cake? Great post and sooooo true!

7yyrt Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 2:56pm
post #6 of 18

'I'm sorry but in this economy, I have to concentrate on things that bring in money, but here's a list of books and a site or two that can get you started.'

terrylee Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 3:18pm
post #7 of 18

If it wasn't for a friend of mine taking the time to teach me a few things, I wouldn't be doing the cakes I love to do today. I'm just a hobbiest that loves decorating...

I've said it before....I teach 15-20 kids cake decorating with our local 4-H club. It takes time to bake, it's takes a day out of my week once a month, I have a mess to clean up but the kids have fun, do some fantastic cakes and do appreciate the class. I'm sorry but it makes me feel so proud to see all the cakes on display at the fairs.

Parents and friends have asked me to teach them or help them.. I do...I don't feel that they are taking anything from me except maybe a little knowledge and tricks for decorating. They can have the same joy of doing a cakes for their family like I have.

I don't rely on my cakes as a living... but when you do, maybe teach someone at their house, they supply the cake, you supply the icing and tools if necessary, they have the clean up mess.

weirkd Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 3:19pm
post #8 of 18

Ive had a few people ask me to teach them things. One was just interested in getting decorated cookies and cakes done for free so she could take them to her family functions and claim that she did them. Learned quickly on that one to make excuses as to why they cant come over and that "sure I will show you how to make daisys. Let me know how many you need and I will give you a price". Ofcourse never heard from her again!
Another wanted me to teach her how to make a gumpaste rose. Wasnt interested in paying for a class, just thought that I should give her my knowledge for free so she could charge for her cakes on the other side of the bridge. "Sorry, my front door has to be replaced and its going to be several weeks before its completed. I cant have anyone over during the construction". Which was partly true. Did need to do it but gave me a great excuse to not teach her. Never heard back from her!
And finally the last gal. I showed her a few things I knew. She wasnt familiar with fondant. We shared videos that we both had of different decorators and became really good friends.
So you just have to ask yourself why this person is asking you. Are the truely into it and want to learn from a master? But making it worth your while for showing them (not just using you).
If they are truely using you, then blow them off. Give them the number for Michaels or the email address for some of the sugar artists on here that travel (Jen Dontz is one of favorites!) and have them take a class with them. Tell them your not in the position right now to teach and that you might rethink it later in life when you have more time to devote to it. If their really interested, then they will pay for the classes. If not, then you blew them off in a nice manner without making yourself look bad!!

jammjenks Posted 25 Apr 2009 , 10:49pm
post #9 of 18

I had a not-so-nice lady one time ask me to show her how I get my icing so smooth. I said, "Next time I am up doing a cake at 1am, I'll call you and you can come watch." She laughed...I did not.

diane Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 3:26am
post #10 of 18

i get that all the time...i just tell them that there are classes at their nearby michael's if they are interested! icon_cool.gif

Adria_NyxxTX Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 1:29pm
post #11 of 18

Customers always ask where I went to learn to do what I do. I tell them I taught myself...bought some Wilton books and a set of tips and just went at it. Now that I work at a bakery I have access to so many tips I just wait for a slow day so I can experiment! The pansies you see of mine made out of buttercream are an example of serendipity at work.

I make a point not to show family how to decorate, because then what would I bring to family gatherings? LOL

I see nothing wrong in asking to be compensated for my time if I was to teach someone how to do something.

DDiva Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 1:58pm
post #12 of 18

Maybe you might look at this situation in a different way. This may be an opportunity to teach.

Your situation was mine as well. Too much time on the phone helping folks with their decorating dilemmas; too much time helping decorators that would just stop by. So I started teaching. First, working with gumpaste. Now, 7 years later, I offer about 12 classes and workshops!! Teaching is a great way to share this art form. And, you get paid for the time that you're using. Teaching is now a very big 1/3 of my business (desserts and supplies making up the other 2/3).

So, maybe somebody is trying to tell you something icon_biggrin.gif

solascakes Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 3:00pm
post #13 of 18

I understand teaching people and getting paid but the problem is that people don't just want to pay for it,they feel since they know you as a cake decorator,you should do the teaching.
A lot of people ask me i just say ok i'll let you know when i'm less busy,and I never call.

weirkd Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 3:05pm
post #14 of 18

Yah, i dont know why they think that. Like someone said earlier, we dont ask doctors and dentists to show us how to do their jobs for free!! Could you imagine?
"Mrs. Johnson, I would like you to meet my friend Jane. She isnt a doctor but do a class with me. She will be doing your heart transplant today."

DDiva Posted 26 Apr 2009 , 3:40pm
post #15 of 18

Solascakes-
You'll never know if you don't try.
I teach classes almost every week (depending on my schedule). I recently engaged the teacher who taught me the basics to teach a Beginners class at my shop. I generally teach private classes because that's the format that most people want...especially women.

If people genuinely want to learn to do anything, they will pay for the instruction. But you have to let them know that you offer instruction. If you keep offering all of this information for free, then of course, those people won't expect to pay. It falls into the same category as the free or discounted cakes. People seldom hold in high regard that which they get for free.

Nick Lodge, Bronwyn Webber, and others aren't having any difficulty filling their classes. If you, and others, feel that you have something valuable to offer, they won't mind paying to tap into your knowledge. But, you have to believe it in order to convince others.

tiggy2 Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:08pm
post #16 of 18

Just tell them private lessons are $30/hr and semi private are $15/hr (2 people or more) with a minimum of 3 hrs. and they furnish their own supplies. They'll either pay up or shut up.

miss-tiff Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 9:03pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by solascakes

I understand teaching people and getting paid but the problem is that people don't just want to pay for it,they feel since they know you as a cake decorator,you should do the teaching.




A few weeks ago my SIL (who lives about 45 mins. away) called and said, "My neighbor wants to learn how to make daisies so she can make her daughter's wedding cake. I told her you know how to make cakes, so maybe you can come out and teach her."

I asked, "How much is she paying me?"

My SIL laughed it off and beat around the bush. Finally I suggested this neighbor sign up for Course 2 at Michael's. My SIL said, "Yeah, but there's not one around here, the nearest one is a half hour away!"

Wonderful. I can leave my two small children for an entire day to drive 45 min. both ways to show someone I've never met how to make a flower, yet she can't drive a half hour to pay for a class. Go figure. So I told her to have this neighbor go to Wilton.com instead. icon_twisted.gif

Jayde Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 9:32pm
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by weirkd

Ive had a few people ask me to teach them things. One was just interested in getting decorated cookies and cakes done for free so she could take them to her family functions and claim that she did them. Learned quickly on that one to make excuses as to why they cant come over and that "sure I will show you how to make daisys. Let me know how many you need and I will give you a price". Ofcourse never heard from her again!




A similar thing happened to me. At first I was flattered! I qickly realized that all she wanted was a free cake. I did all of the work, while she left to go pick up her dog from the groomers! icon_eek.gificon_mad.gif

She doesnt order from me now anymore. She gets her sheetcakes from the big chain bakery in STL. But everytime she does, she gets the third degree from all of my friends. "Why didnt you order from Kim? Are we having XXX Bakery sheetcake again? Kim's cakes are so much better!"

I love some of my cattier girlfriends...

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