It's just gotten to the point where cakes are no longer fun for me. I work 40+ hours a week at my day job and then have to run home to rush and do a ton of cakes. It's too much work and I'm burnt out. Thank you everyone for all your great and helpful advice! Happy baking!
One of the reasons I don't want to do cakes as a business is that then it would not be fun for me any more.
When it isn't enjoyable you do need to take a break, BUT be sure to hold on to your supplies. You never know when you will get that itch for a spatula or piping bag in your hand.
just take it easy for a while.. i think we all know how you feel.. take some time off.. and then .. you will know when to start back.. and then do only a few.. good luck.. hth
i hate to hear that but i am so close to that point, i totally understand! i work a full time job and have a husband and 3 year old that i feel like i never see. i'm sure he feels like a single dad because he has to take care of her while i do cake. it will always be there when you decide to do it again - enjoy your time off!!!
It's a great hobby!
Not so happy kitties and fluffy bunnies all the time, is it? That's why many of us have minimums for orders, and only take on good paying jobs, so we can have a life and not get burnt out. I bid out 5 jobs this week. Landed one. That one will bring in $20.00 less than the other four COMBINED. Yay for me.
You'll be back. It's an addiction.
Limit your orders per season/family going ons, etc. If you overload yourself, it's a chore and not enjoyable.
I took a "Sweet Sabbatical" a couple of years ago and didn't even read Cake Central for 3 months! Then....back in the saddle again! But, now, I limit what I do.
I feel your pain. I too was over-caked last month. And now I am going back to the working world in a few weeks after taking 5 years off to stay at home with my kiddos. I just told my husband to return all the baking supplies he bought me for Christmas and get some clothes, I guess I will need something other than t-shirts and jeans now. I am hoping to do a few cakes here and there, but not like I was, and the business had just started picking up...oh well.
Take a little break......
I know what you mean, you look around and realize you have no life. Take a break and .decide how many cakes you would be comfortable doing per month, raise your priceand don't try to compete with Walmart. Enjoy your break.
Raise your prices. That's what I had to do when I was working 40 hours plus cakes. That will not only slow them down but the customers who stay will appreciate you more (since they're paying more for your quality.) Trust me, works like a charm.
I'm also starting to fall apart at the seams...full time work, part time school, baking - it's really starting to frazzle my nerves but baking seems to take my mind temporarily off my stress then unfortunately causes other stress since it takes away from studying time I've got to cut down for sure though but it's sooooo hard I can't go a week without baking a cake - just doesn't feel right
yeah, its not easy - i work 40 hours a week too and then cake from 8.30 pm until about 12 every night.
what i have learned in the past year is to raise my prices so it is actually worthwhile, turn down orders as if I take on too many then i dont enjoy it and before now (when im hopefully opening a cake shop and giving up my job) I have always looked at it as a wee sideline which i enjoy and which is for a bit of extra money to put towards a holiday fund, etc so why kill myself taking on millions of orders..
keep your supplies and just take a break - when you are ready youl come back
I think you're posting this to either get encouragement to talk yourself out of it or to just vent, but... I know JUST how you feel.
I also work 40 plus hours and then have to rush home for cakes. I've now become VERY selective of the cakes I do. It was hard at first to say no, but i've gotten used to it and now its easy Just tell them you have NO room in your schedule and don't want to compromise quality.
I now only do 1 a month, tops. I end up enjoying it opposed to dreading it.
Take a break! You deserve it
I agree with everyone who said "Raise your prices!!!!" I work as a full time decorator and limit what I do at home. As of recently, I only do faux wedding cakes and can do them at my leisure. The bride chooses from what I have instead of putting in an order. I won't do birthday or any other occassion where I can't make a good profit. Let's face it, decorating is fun, but it becomes a big hassle when you can't see the fruits of your labor. I can't tell you how many people think they can get a "good" deal and that I would just jump at their offer to have the honor of making their cake for practically nothing. The best advice I ever got is "Don't ever feel uneasy about turning down work and don't underestimate your work."
OMG, I'm so glad to see this post....I am so frazzled from all the cakes I've been doing for other people, that tonight I'm having a hard time finding any joy for my SONS birthday cake tomorrow. The topper for me was this last cake I did(in my pics), plus 2 dz cupcakes, the lady gave me $25.
Now, I know that is my fault, because it was a friend and we didn't discuss price up front...but really.
anyways. I'm not doing any other baking, for any other people but my family until end of January. period. and when I do another one, it's gonna be for more than 25 bucks.
I work 30-40 hours a week as a decorator. I turned down two orders this week because I have several family members that have birthdays this month and I want to enjoy making THEIR cakes. I don't plan to take any more orders until after the first of the year so that I can bake for my family and enjoy the holidays.
Just take a break....you'll be back.
Speaking as one who has been there, done that, and came back, don't give up your supplies. I took my first classes in 1990 and made a ton of cakes for 1 1/2 years and got completely burnt out. For the next 14 years, I made maybe 1 cake a year. But, there was no way I was giving up my supplies.
About 3 years ago, I got back into it more than ever and I enjoy it so much better! I opened by cake business on Sept. 1 and I still working my 40 hours a week at my 'dayjob'. It's not easy but I'm very blessed to have a great husband who is very supportive beyond what I could ever have asked for.
Take a break. Raise your prices. Choose the cakes you want to do. Take some time to practice techniques you want to learn. Don't give up.
Remember, cake will always be there to make, play with and enjoy...but your kids and family won't be! As women, we have different seasons in our life and sometimes we need to put our little ones and our husbands first so that in a few years we'll still have a family to love on! You'll never regret spending more time with your family...but you may regret that you didn't. I'm preaching to myself here too - my desire to be a better cake designer rules my mind sometimes and I can feel the tension in my home. Nothing nothing nothing is worth more than your family!! So, lose that which causes tension and know it'll be returned to you someday! I only do one cake per month - TOPS! - and my family gets first dibs on those cakes! I still play, learn and grow, but my family doesn't suffer.
I work a full time job and a part time job, i also have a special needs child and i try to do most of my cakes on the weekend. Yes it is very stressful but like now for the months of nov and dec i have had less orders and did not have any for this weekend and it allowed me to do some things around the house and rest but at the same time i am beginning to miss all of my other cake orders I had. I feel like it gives me a chance to grow in continue to learn new things with differnt orders and I am always trying to enchance my skills.
Unfortunately but - FORTUNATELY! It is good to hear that so many of us feel the same. These past few months have totally burned me out to where I was pretty sure I didn't want to do it anymore either. Quite certain in fact at 4am chasing condensation bubbles around just about every tier of a five tiered cake. Not to mention, my son had his first birthday and I had no idea where that first year went - and worse, where was I for it????? In the kitchen..... unacceptable to me.
So, I'm taking a "va-cake-tion" through the holidays then doing like __Jamie___ suggested and slowing production considerably. Maybe one to two cakes a month and doing my best to make those wedding cakes. No more every weekend and sometimes two and one during the week. And let's not even talk about how the disasters wreck havoc on me physically and even worse - emotionally (hence my tag line....)
Like someone else said, it is an addiction so just hold off on getting rid of everything. We'll be here should you decide to come home - I'm mean...back.
Enjoy your holidays with your child/ren and family. I AM!!!
I started with classes last February for fun and with the goal of making my kids' birthday cakes...and that's it. I enjoyed it so much that I continue to make cakes - just for fun. I have requests to make cakes all the time and turn them down because I don't want it to turn into a "job". I have agreed to do two cakes for some really close friends and those cakes didn't turn out as nice because I was under pressure. I am sticking to my guns and only making cakes for the "hobby" part of it and I give them away to the area Children's Home, Retirement Community Building, or bring them to work Maybe you can take a break for a while and you may want to just do them for fun in the future...
i hope you decide to come back. i know taking a break will definately help.
i peaked at your pics...and you have talent!
im kinda shocked too how many people feel like me/us. i always said too when my hobby isnt fun anymore or feels like work, then im out. and even though i feel like that at times-i still cant give it up. its either cake decorating or pay therapy bills? hmmmm tough choice!
good luck with your decision.
Wow ladies..I hadn't been back to cakecentral since I posted this topic and I really didn't expect to see all these responses. It's comforting to see that I'm not the only one. I started doing cakes as my outlet, I found it relaxing but it's gotten to the point where it's just another stressful thing in my life. I've been ignoring my daughter and my boyfriend (well not my boyfriend anymore, he was jealous of the time I spent doing cakes and ignoring him). I had 4 cakes due last Friday on top of my day job and that's just not fun to me. One of them my best friend asked me to do for her friend and she picked it up and didn't even offer to pay for the costs of making it. Whatever, my fault...
I have spent over $2000 in the past year on my cake supplies and I'm going to hang on to everything. I'm sure at some point I will come back to decorating and when I do, I will DEFINITELY raise my prices and not take on as much....I need to enjoy what I'm doing...not stress over it.
Thanks everyone for your support and for letting me know that I'm not the only one!
I think last Friday had to happen to you in order for you to realize how your talent has evolved and to feel completely justified in now demanding to be paid what you are worth. It's my bet we all have that "right of passage" at some point. We take on way too much and are good enough now that we don't have to beg for orders for practice or to grab the pic for a portfolio. Mine was that Leaning Tower of Pisa cake. Since that whole episode, I ask for more and don't lose sleep if I don't get the order. In fact, I'm actually happy to have the weekend free. It's actually come to the point where I try to price myself out of certain orders but what I'm learning is that people really WILL pay what we ask. Those who know the value of what we offer anyway. Everyone else can move on and I'm soooo okay with that!
Enjoy your time off. It's well deserved. Just know that it HAD to happen this way. In some tribes the young men are sent out into the jungle on their own - to come back a man. In cakes - we crash and burn and come back even stronger and more determined! When you come back you won't take on 4 cakes a weekend (I couldn't do that and I'm a stay at home mom! No wonder your burned out!!) and your daughter will come first. You'll pace yourself and pick and choose your jobs not sit and hope to be chosen.
Glad you checked back in with us...it was sooooo feeling like a Dear John letter....winky wink!
So funny...I guess we all work ourselves into a corner and get burned out. Glad that I am not the only one. I am new to cake decorating, only been about a year, and I need a break already. Others have mentioned it too, but I knew I needed a time out when I couldn't even enjoy doing my own daughter's birthday cake. Of course all the "practice" I got from the other cakes made her's better, but I just didn't enjoy it like i did the others. Lesson learned....never - ever will I do 5 cakes in one month!!!!!
Enjoy your break, I know I am!!!
I am totally caked out too!! I woke up one morning not wanting to look or think about cake. I'm taking a bit of a break and still not completely ready to start up again. I did raise my pricing which will weed out the smaller orders that are just not worth my time. I am thinking of staying mostly in weddings and not taking anything small period.
I have to agree with mrsmudrash. As one whose children have all grown up and left the nest it's amazing how quickly that time comes. Don't rob yourself of the precious little time you will have with your children before they are grown and gone. One day you are tucking them in at night and the next day you are at their college graduation and wondering where the time went. I am a hobby decorator that started decorating as a way to fill the void left after my children were all grown. I don't know how some of you do it working regular jobs, raising kids, and doing cakes to sell. It makes me exhausted just thinking about it.
Take a nice break and then re-evaluate the situation. You'll make the right decision for you.
I agree with all of you. We do no charge nearly enough for all the work we put into the cakes. I have been doing them for 20+ years. But I for one, would do them for free just for the fun of doing it. Especially if it is a challenging one. So if anyone wants to be released of any cake decorating equipment, please send me an email!! I will put them to good use!!