For Those Who Are Recently 'graduated' From 'cake School' ..

Decorating By CutiePieCakes-Ontario Updated 23 Nov 2009 , 11:03pm by rosiecast

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 6:32am
post #1 of 28

Would you be offended if someone with many more years experience called you a 'student'?

Here's the situation:

A friend of mine had to refer a cake out to someone else. She offered it to several people, and the first to respond was someone who only very recently completed Level 3 of the Wilton courses. In my friend's email to the client, she referred to this person as a 'student'. The client told this to the referred cake decorator, who then complained to my friend about it. She felt she should no longer be called a 'student', because she has completed up to Level 3 (even though there is another level after that). The cake was nothing tricky or overly fancy.

My friend was quite upset and asked me my opinion. I told her that, as far as I was concerned, we're all students, because there's always something new to learn, new techniques, new equipment, new 'tricks' - even my friend still takes classes when she can. I am not that far out of cake school myself, but as I have finished my Wilton classes, I consider myself an 'amateur' decorator. I will continue to take classes, as there is so much more I can learn from those who've been doing this for 20+ years.

If I had been the referred person, I would have simply told the client that I was recently taking classes but that I was fully qualified to do her cake.


Anyone else?

27 replies
auntiecake Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 7:35am
post #2 of 28

I have been decorating for 40 plus years and I am still learning. There is so much new that there is no way you can know it all. I learn every time I log in. Sharing is a great way to learn also. I still consider myself as learning and I teach classes at the community college. She shouldn't be offended. 3 courses of Wilton is a great start and I hope she keeps learning to make it even more exciting.

lilthorner Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 7:47am
post #3 of 28

I will always be a student. However if I was the referrer, I would have said someone I work closely with or something like that. I once got a referral from a pastry chef that I have taken classes from. He knows I am in school still and he knows my skill level, when he referred he said that he was passing the clients information to a fellow pastry chef.

with that said, I probably wouldn't have been offended becasue I am a student, but I think the client would not have had the confidence that the new person could carry out the task.

Mike1394 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 11:48am
post #4 of 28

Tell her to come off of her supposed mountain. It's not like she went to the CIA, or French Pastry School.

Mike

playingwithsugar Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 12:21pm
post #5 of 28

Ditto on what Mike said1394.

I am 53 years old now, and will always be a student. And I do not mind being called one.

Your friend need not refer this person to anyone else. Their ego is in the way of their skill level. Not disparaging Wilton classes - I took them all, and learned something new during each one. But this person obviously thinks more of themself than they should.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

ccr03 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 6:06pm
post #6 of 28

Ditto to Mike as well. Plus if she was a student of your friend how else is she supposed to refer to her. The 'student' is being overly sensitive.

Ruth0209 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 6:19pm
post #7 of 28

It sounds like your friend is just insecure enough that she wanted to imply to the customer that they would have gotten a better cake from her if she'd been able to do it than they'll get from the "student". She may have been worried they'd like the student's cake just fine and she'd lose them as a customer in the future. Or she might have just wanted to let them know that the "student" has less experience with cakes.

A more accurate description would have been "novice", or "a decorator who recently completed her cake classes", or someone who is "relatively new to decorating".

I don't think it's insulting to be called a student if it's accurate, but if you've completed the class you're a former student.

LaBellaFlor Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 6:28pm
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Tell her to come off of her supposed mountain. It's not like she went to the CIA, or French Pastry School.

Mike





Exactly what I was thinking. We are all students, for life! Even the CIA & French Pastry School graduate.

With that said, I wouldn't refer anyone to someone who had just finished the Wilton's courses. I would only feel comfortable referring people who have a certain level of decorating skills.

lilthorner Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 7:03pm
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor



Exactly what I was thinking. We are all students, for life! Even the CIA & French Pastry School graduate.

With that said, I wouldn't refer anyone to someone who had just finished the Wilton's courses. I would only feel comfortable referring people who have a certain level of decorating skills.




exactly, why refer if you are unsure or doubtful of their skills

Adevag Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 8:15pm
post #10 of 28

I don't think she felt upset just because of the label student. But in this situation, your friend probably made her feel less worthy as a decorator. It seems to me that your friend wanted to let the client know the different levels of skills. The "student" decorator probably does not have the mentality that she has stopped from learning. I think it was just this situation.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:40pm
post #11 of 28

Thanks for the input. I appreciate it all.

My friend has been decorating wedding cakes for well over 5 years (she's amazing), and is often voted "Best Of" in our local paper (in a city of 500,000). She doesn't have a jealous bone in her body.

She doesn't do celebration cakes very often because she doesn't like doing them. Also, she has a system (for lack of a better term) whereby she gives out client referrals to cake decorators she has on a list. First response gets the gig, but she will advise the potential decorator of any potential difficulties (the client is 'difficult'; cake is for 400; etc.) so that they can make the decision. She would not give the reference to someone she felt couldn't handled it - it's also her rep on the line if the referred decorator fails.

Ruth, I agree a better term of reference would have helped, and I will pass this along to my friend.

Thanks, again.

MrsNancyB1 Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 9:28pm
post #12 of 28

I agree with Ruth.

I think the connotation of the word student, is maybe that she is inexperienced or not as 'capable'. Perhaps by using the word student it promotes an image in the mind of the client, that this person doesn't really know what they're doing. I can understand why the 'student' would have been upset.

FromScratch Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 10:04pm
post #13 of 28

Or it could mean that she has confidence in her skills since she is refering this potential client to a student. It's all in how you choose to look at it really.

I'd be inclined to slap her (said "student") up and tell her to get over herself... but that's just me. icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif

cabecakes Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:28am
post #14 of 28

I'm sorry but I don't believe that after completing 3 Wilton classes you are by any means an expert in this field. Not even close. There is so much to know in doing cakes that you could do it for years and not know everything there is to know. Everyone has different techniques. I will probably always consider myself a student, I don't ever want to think I know it all, because that is when you close your mind and quit learning. You can call me a student in the field any day you want, the proof is in the pudding. If you do good work, people will want your cakes. You see this all the time in areas outside of the cake business as well. If the "Pro" doesn't want to assume responsibility for the "students" work, she has the right to disclaim her as a student in the field. For example, bridal shops that don't offer alterations, but refer clients to outside sources for alterations. Most time will disclaim affiliation to the outside source. They will state that the outside source is just there as a convenience to the client.

rosiecast Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 4:49am
post #15 of 28

I completed up to course 4 in the Wilton courses and I'm SO a student. LOL One thing that she needs to remember is that at these courses they don't really teach you how to frost a cake properly (yes, you learn how to make their bc, but not how to apply to the cake).

I did course 1 and 2 with one lady, course 3 with another and course 4 with yet another and just recently got an email from a Wilton supv. because the instructor in course 3 referred me so I could become an instructor. I guess I fooled her. LOL Don't see anything wrong with being called a student.

JustToEatCake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 4:58am
post #16 of 28

Gosh it sounds to me like it was a GREAT thing to tell the customer. What should she have said "This person I am referring you to is a amature? When in FACT the friend IS a AMATURE! I am a AMATURE and proud of it, well not really proud but not ashamed to say it. Unless this friend is a PROFESSIONAL, and I hardly think after 3 Wilton classes she has a clientel to give the lady for references calling her a "student" was kind gesture.

What if this customer ordered and cake and the friend with 3 Wilton classes just couldn't do a "professional" job on the cake from lack of experience and lo and behold has a unhappy customer who wants their money back? I think calling her a student gives the customer, in a nice way, upfront information that this person may not be able with their experience to put out a top notch quality cake. Then the customer knows this and should be a little less critical of the inexperienced cake lady and there probably will be a GOOD experience for both.

I was amazed when I was in Michaels and overheard these two women talking and one asked the other "are you a cake decorator?" and woman #2 replied "no but my daughter and I are going to open a business after we take the Wilton class. I want her to have something she can do to make money while her kids are asleep".......OMG I just rolled my eyes as I have been a professional custom corset maker (yes victorian, edwardian corsetry) and amazed at the people who buy a Simplicity costume corset pattern and make themselves one then all of a sudden they want a website and can make "custom" corsets...never ceases to amaze me how people can think they can become professional by just a couple of classes or making one item....oopss I rambled/ranted...sorry

LaBellaFlor Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:00am
post #17 of 28

I TOTALLY feel you JustToEatCake.

rosiecast Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:23am
post #18 of 28

What? Are you ladies telling ME that I can't open my own shop?. I completed ALL four wilton courses. LOL I know is hilarious, there were a couple of ladies like that in my course 3. lol

LaBellaFlor Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:34am
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiecast

What? Are you ladies telling ME that I can't open my own shop?. I completed ALL four wilton courses. LOL I know is hilarious, there were a couple of ladies like that in my course 3. lol




LOLOL!!! When I was looking for someone to make my wedding cake, I talked to this lady and she said,"Yes, me and my mom just finished the Wilton's courses and opened our business". icon_confused.gif I was also looking for someone who made SMBC, so I asked if they made SMBC. They said,"I don't know what that is, but we have a very yummy Wilton's buttercream that we do make" icon_confused.gif Now, if you like Wilton's buttercream, fine. But I think as a cake decorating business, we should know the basics of buttercream, wether we make that buttercream or not. JMO. icon_smile.gif

tonedna Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:37am
post #20 of 28

I been decorating and teaching for a lot of years and I consider myself a student.
But I can understant how it would be taken wrong if you are trying to do business. Maybe she could have used another term..
Edna icon_smile.gif

JustToEatCake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:48am
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

I been decorating and teaching for a lot of years and I consider myself a student.
But I can understant how it would be taken wrong if you are trying to do business. Maybe she could have used another term..
Edna icon_smile.gif




Edna you are so sweet (and lovely) and I want to thank you for all your videos. I have watched them a hundred times and I keep going back for more! I even had to show my sister, who doesn't understand computers, your videos. I was like look at this beautiful young lady who is so nice to share her knowledge! I met a couple of ladies in the craft store here and we were all watching YOUR videos!

Sorry to hijack the thread....back to regular programing!

rosiecast Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:48am
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiecast

What? Are you ladies telling ME that I can't open my own shop?. I completed ALL four wilton courses. LOL I know is hilarious, there were a couple of ladies like that in my course 3. lol



LOLOL!!! When I was looking for someone to make my wedding cake, I talked to this lady and she said,"Yes, me and my mom just finished the Wilton's courses and opened our business". icon_confused.gif I was also looking for someone who made SMBC, so I asked if they made SMBC. They said,"I don't know what that is, but we have a very yummy Wilton's buttercream that we do make" icon_confused.gif Now, if you like Wilton's buttercream, fine. But I think as a cake decorating business, we should know the basics of buttercream, wether we make that buttercream or not. JMO. icon_smile.gif




Yeah, I'm sure the Wilton BC would have been a hit at your wedding. Can you spell yucky? (MY opinion, no flaming!). I made MMF for my last cake on course 4 because I just couldn't take using the hard as heck wilton fondant anymore. My first fondant cake on course 3, I brought it to work and the guys were wearing the pieces of fondant as hats. My boss had a laughing fit trying to cut into the cake. I'm still laughing thinking about it. But is like my instructor said to us- I personally don't use their fondant for my cakes, BUT it is the best in terms of teaching people to manipulate it.

JustToEatCake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 5:50am
post #23 of 28

[quote="rosiecast"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiecast

What? Are you ladies telling ME that I can't open my own shop?. I completed ALL four wilton courses. LOL I know is hilarious, there were a couple of ladies like that in my course 3. lol



LOLOL!!! When I was looking for someone to make my wedding cake, I talked to this lady and she said,"Yes, me and my mom just finished the Wilton's courses and opened our business". icon_confused.gif I was also looking for someone who made SMBC, so I asked if they made SMBC. They said,"I don't know what that is, but we have a very yummy Wilton's buttercream that we do make" icon_confused.gif Now, if you like Wilton's buttercream, fine. But I think as a cake decorating business, we should know the basics of buttercream, wether we make that buttercream or not. JMO. icon_smile.gif




<<Yeah, I'm sure the Wilton BC would have been a hit at your wedding. Can you spell yucky? (MY opinion, no flaming!). I made MMF for my last cake on course 4 because I just couldn't take using the hard as heck wilton fondant anymore. My first fondant cake on course 3, I brought it to work and the guys were wearing the pieces of fondant as hats. My boss had a laughing fit trying to cut into the cake. I'm still laughing thinking about it. But is like my instructor said to us- I personally don't use their fondant for my cakes, BUT it is the best in terms of teaching people to manipulate it.[/quote>>

You are putting me to bed (it's late here) with a giggle!

tonedna Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 4:50pm
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustToEatCake

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

I been decorating and teaching for a lot of years and I consider myself a student.
But I can understant how it would be taken wrong if you are trying to do business. Maybe she could have used another term..
Edna icon_smile.gif



Edna you are so sweet (and lovely) and I want to thank you for all your videos. I have watched them a hundred times and I keep going back for more! I even had to show my sister, who doesn't understand computers, your videos. I was like look at this beautiful young lady who is so nice to share her knowledge! I met a couple of ladies in the craft store here and we were all watching YOUR videos!

Sorry to hijack the thread....back to regular programing!




Thanks!..means a lot..hope you enjoy them!..Im about to post another one soon..
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

rosiecast Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 6:45pm
post #25 of 28

[quote="JustToEatCake"]

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiecast

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiecast

What? Are you ladies telling ME that I can't open my own shop?. I completed ALL four wilton courses. LOL I know is hilarious, there were a couple of ladies like that in my course 3. lol



LOLOL!!! When I was looking for someone to make my wedding cake, I talked to this lady and she said,"Yes, me and my mom just finished the Wilton's courses and opened our business". icon_confused.gif I was also looking for someone who made SMBC, so I asked if they made SMBC. They said,"I don't know what that is, but we have a very yummy Wilton's buttercream that we do make" icon_confused.gif Now, if you like Wilton's buttercream, fine. But I think as a cake decorating business, we should know the basics of buttercream, wether we make that buttercream or not. JMO. icon_smile.gif



<<Yeah, I'm sure the Wilton BC would have been a hit at your wedding. Can you spell yucky? (MY opinion, no flaming!). I made MMF for my last cake on course 4 because I just couldn't take using the hard as heck wilton fondant anymore. My first fondant cake on course 3, I brought it to work and the guys were wearing the pieces of fondant as hats. My boss had a laughing fit trying to cut into the cake. I'm still laughing thinking about it. But is like my instructor said to us- I personally don't use their fondant for my cakes, BUT it is the best in terms of teaching people to manipulate it.[/quote>>

You are putting me to bed (it's late here) with a giggle!




I'm here trying to find some pictures. LOL

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 9:13pm
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiecast


Yeah, I'm sure the Wilton BC would have been a hit at your wedding. Can you spell yucky? (MY opinion, no flaming!). I made MMF for my last cake on course 4 because I just couldn't take using the hard as heck wilton fondant anymore. My first fondant cake on course 3, I brought it to work and the guys were wearing the pieces of fondant as hats. My boss had a laughing fit trying to cut into the cake. I'm still laughing thinking about it. But is like my instructor said to us- I personally don't use their fondant for my cakes, BUT it is the best in terms of teaching people to manipulate it.




When I did my first fondant covered cake, our instructor told us that she's supposed to tell us to get Wilton fondant, but she said that we were free to purchase another (cheaper, tastier and easier to use) one. I bought Virgin Ice. That's the one I've been using ever since. Haven't tried making MMF yet - haven't had the need to - but I want to give it a try sometime.

marmalade1687 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 9:24pm
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CutiePieCakes-Ontario

When I did my first fondant covered cake, our instructor told us that she's supposed to tell us to get Wilton fondant, but she said that we were free to purchase another (cheaper, tastier and easier to use) one. I bought Virgin Ice. That's the one I've been using ever since. Haven't tried making MMF yet - haven't had the need to - but I want to give it a try sometime.




LOL, my instructor did the exact same thing! Did the same with the Wilton buttercream recipe too BTW! CutiePie, I'm originally from Hamilton (around Delta High School area) but moved away years ago to Ottawa. Where are you located?

rosiecast Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 11:03pm
post #28 of 28

Cutiepie- I've never heard of it. Now I wanna try it. lol

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