As much as I know I LOVE cake decorating...I've decided today that I'm not doing it for a living. I'm always getting those comments and questions like "You're so talented!" or "Why don't you have a cake shop!?"or even "Why did you go to school!? You should be decorating cakes!" Like all of these folks know how easy it is to bake and decorate a cake! And yes, I am a full-time student at the moment trying to finish a wedding cake by 4pm tomorrow...something I didn't get fully started on until Tuesday because of all the homework and my real job I had to take care of. Everyone thinks its just sooo easy and I know I need to take the above factors into consideration today but....
Last year I did a feasibility study for my Entrepreneur class. My projections, I'm sure were wrong, but I didn't show making a profit after 3 years and I wasn't really into doing research in the cake decorating/bakery industry. Now this semester I have to do a business plan. I had a meeting with my Professor and she asked me a few questions to get me off of the fence for continuing on with the cake decorating business plan or with a new one for event planning.( I've done event planning in the past, have always planned events for my family, am currently into creating events even had an internship this past summer....I love that! )She asked me "How do you feel after you make a cake?" My answer: "Exhausted" then "how do you feel after planning an event?" My answer: "Excited and ready to do it again!" (of course I'm tired afterward...but not like after decorating) For some strange reason I'd never thought to ask myself those questions before It just never occurred to me to think that way...and after answering her I knew I didn't want to do this for a living. It really does break my heart...I guess I was pushing myself too hard because I was good at creating cakes and everyone says they are so yummy. But the satisfaction I get after planning an event-seeing if it worked, how many people came, what to do differently next time, talking to people, keeping contacts-is just something I can't get away from! I love it too much!
So, to all of you that do this for a living....I bow down to you! I always think I can get to where you are and I'm sure I still could...but I'm going to leave the professional cake decorating up to you guys!
I guess I just had to come here and get this off my chest. I'm hoping others will understand where I'm coming from since this is the only real cool place I know to go for cake decorating friends
I'm impressed buy your insight and self-knowledge. And I congratulate you to seeing this so clearly. I'm sure you will be very successful. To do what you love AND feel energized about it - that's a perfect base for choosing career. And I feel for you when you write that it breaks your heart when you realize that cake decorating is not going to be your career.
Such luck those questions were asked now and not in 10-20 years
That is an excellent way of looking at it - I wish you luck in whatever endeavor you try, I am sure with your outlook - it is going to work out great! (and there are some cakes that just exhaust me too!)
Thanks This feels really good to share this. I never get to vent about how hard it is to juggle cake decorating. Everyone thinks it just comes naturally to me. now I realize it doesn't! my own answers were a surprise to me. I answered quickly and honestly yesterday...and my mind was going "Really!?"
I think it is better that you realise this now than make it your life's work and realise that you just don't want that. Kudo's to your teacher for asking you the question to get you thinking about it.
I really enjoy doing cakes, but when I think about having to do X number of cakes to pay the bills it just didn't excite me. I always had the fear if I made cakes my job, I'd grow to hate them.
Recently I had to either decide to do something more with cakes or join the family business. I went for the family business, because it is something that is established and I only have to work on the weekends (which is when 90% of celebrations are) when I want over time.
I can still do cakes when I want to, which I like, and I know in the long run I picked the best decission for me.
Well, I know I couldn't do what you do, the event planning or the business school stuff!
"You find something you love, then you twist and torture it... Trying to find a way to make money at it. Spend a lifetime doing that. At the end, there's not a trace of what you started out lovin'." ~Hope Floats
Funny you mentioned it- I am trying to decide Cakes and event planning myself... I'm still not sure, both take up my weekends! ha ha. I think it's pretty cool that you have made up your mind and you have something you are even more passionate about to make a career of. And you can always do cakes on the side- family is always going to want them!!
You aren't alone! A long time back I realized trying to add any form of profit into the equation just killed all the fun for me. Now I only do them when I want to as gifts, for competitions, or donations.
When I tried to do it as a side job I would set so many unrealistic expectations on myself and push too hard to be a total perfectionist. When a cake was done I could not be happy at all with the results because it didn't look like something out of a magazine. In my mind it wasn't a yummy cake for a special event or person, it was a product that had to meet a basline quality standard in order to generate profit. Taking such a clinical mindset really kills any passion one might have.
It's weird because I don't get like that if I'm doing a cake for a cake show or donations. I'm still doing it for other people who aren't friends or family ( and for one I'm being actively judged on quality! ) but I'm able to relax and not take it all so personally if there's no money on the line.
Sometimes when I see all the posts about people wanting to start up their own bakeries or get decorating jobs I wonder what's wrong with me because I don't feel the same way, even though I love cakes as much as anyone else on here. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who thinks this way!
CeeTee-doing cake for a profit is what's ruining it for me also it sounds like we are in the same boat. I'm such a perfectionist and when it comes to the decorating I look too closely at the detail and forget to take a step back once in a while to see how it's looking all together. this is what happened to me today...which I have to make a new post for
TexasSugar: I really enjoy doing cakes, but when I think about having to do X number of cakes to pay the bills it just didn't excite me. I always had the fear if I made cakes my job, I'd grow to hate them.
THIS is exactly what I think to myself all the time. I know it would happen...it's actually already happening
I know I say that "This is my last wedding cake" my family seems to think I say this a lot. but...this really was my last wedding cake today. I'm sore all over, broken from the emotional roller coaster, and not wanting to clean up (who does?)
I know that trying new things is always good...but when you're good at something you need to go with it! I'm really good at event planning and I plan on doing my best to keep it interesting
Thanks for all the support and to those that are feeling the same way as me *hug* it feels good to have people relate
Wow - I'm so glad I'm not the only one experiencing these same feelings and experiences. People don't realize there's a huge step from going from happy amateur baker to stressed out perfectionist business baker - I do it as a HOBBY - If I enjoyed golfing and did "ok" or "not too embarassing" at it - doesn't mean I'm ready to go pro or that I would even want to - it's just for fun and fun only - there's no shame in doing something you love without turning a profit on it