Amaetur Decorator

Business By Bakersman1 Updated 19 Dec 2009 , 5:02am by bfranzen

Bakersman1 Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 9:46pm
post #1 of 18

I am a amaetur cake decorator, but everyone tells me I should open my own business. Right now I just make cakes for friends for the cost of the cake, and about $20 extra. I don't have the confidence to do it for a living, but wanted to know what I needed to do to get started.

Here is my website http://lexingtoncakes.weebly.com

Please any advice, and let me know what you think of the site.

Warmest Regards,

Mark

17 replies
myslady Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 1:33am
post #2 of 18

There is a sticky at the top of this forum titled "states that license home businesses" start there and it will tell you if you can bake from home or not and who to contact to get further information of what is allowed in your state.

About the site:
Licensed characters are copyrighted and it is illegal to make those types of cakes. Be careful when posting those pics as you could get sued.

When taking pics, be aware of your background. The things that may be insignificant to you stick out to others.

As a critique, I would say that you should focus on refining your skills.

masturbaker Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 8:31am
post #3 of 18

Mark, hey man! It's nice to see some more testosterone around here! hehe...
Well, from what I can see, your pirate cake was very creative, the flower pot cake was really cute and so was the sweet 16 cake.. you certainly have talent. Now it's just a matter of refining your skills, and learning and perfecting new techniques.

In some of the pics, looks like you may need some more practice with getting the fondant smooth over the cakes... especially in the flower pot one... But you certainly are creative! I say go for it, and just practice practice, practice...

The website is a pretty simple one, but I suppose will grow as you do more cakes. Make sure to put information about yourself and how you can be contacted when you're ready to do cakes for "outsiders".

I'm pretty new to selling my cakes myself... and I'm not very experienced myself with a lot of advanced techniques. But I am pleased with my work and my customers seem to be very pleased as well... I don't do wedding cakes... mostly birthdays, showers and other events.

As for what to do to get started... you should look online for what the home bakery requirements are in your state. Some states don't even allow home bakeries! I'm in Ohio so thank God for those cottage food laws! You want to make sure first and foremost that you are selling your cakes legally.. otherwise there could be fines to pay! Just selling them to your friends and family is one thing.. but once you start advertising and have a website and start selling to "outsiders" it's a whole new ballgame!
Several people on here have been caught selling cakes without a license and it wasn't pretty! So get that checked out first...

As for practice.. Youtube was a WEALTH of information to me... my two favorites are

Edna at




These two women are extremely helpful and will even take the time to answer your emails....

Another thing I did, was I went to the library's website ( I already had a card) and I reserved every book I could get ahold of about cake decorating and cake baking.. went through all of them and photocopied pages of ideas I liked and techniques I wanted to learn. This was a HUGE help! And it was FREE...

Also if you want to improve your decorating skills, just get out some wax paper and a piping bag with some tips and decorate the hell out of it! try different borders... try making 3-4 different borders with each tip. And when you've used the whole bag of icing... simply scrape it off the wax paper. put it back into the piping bag and start over again!

If you want to practice with fondant... maybe try getting a dummy cake or something that you can practice laying and smoothing the fondant on... try making your own fondant and practice making figurines.. practice making flowers... try gumpaste.. really, it's endless the things you can do.

And lastly, here at cake central you'll find unbelievable amounts of information! Just about everyone here is the friendliest people you can find... check out indydebi's pictures and website! She does phenomenal work and she's been doing this for years.
never be afraid to ask questions... I've only been selling cakes for less than a year and I have new seemingly ridiculous questions all the time!!

Well good luck!


P.s.- about the licensing for certain cakes... for example, looks like you have a Disney "Cars" cake... that is fine.. Now, from MY understanding, if you go out and buy a Disney pan and make a cake, it's fine. And if you want to make a cake for yourself or for your kids birthday in the shape of Mickey Mouse or anything else Disney.. It's fine. I think the line is only crossed when you make a cake and use Disney or other copywrited images and then SELL it.. that's a big NONO. You can totally get sued.
If I'm wrong about this, someone please let me know!

minicuppie Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 12:37pm
post #4 of 18

I kinda like the flower pot cake. Sort of Dali (esque)....and MB, your attitude is infectious. Cute.

LaBellaFlor Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 1:08pm
post #5 of 18

I agree with myslady. I think you just need to refine your skills as well. You know what makes a cake look great? The cleanliness. It can be the most simplest looking design, but it looks just so clean, it has a BIG effect, and everyone wows. Get my drift? icon_smile.gif

Masturbaker is correct on the selling the licensed characters or anything else that is licensed. You always need to get permission. A lot of colleges or teams will give permission for like one cake. From what I've read a lot of on here, Disney just doesn't do it. Now if you make a cake and then put a purchased character cake kit on it, that's legal to sell. If you make a licensed cake for your personal use, no profit, thats okay. You just shouldn't put it on you business site.

You've done some VERY challenging cakes and for a first timer, AWESOME. Now, just work on refining your skills. thumbs_up.gif

TexasSugar Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 3:32pm
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by masturbaker

P.s.- about the licensing for certain cakes... for example, looks like you have a Disney "Cars" cake... that is fine.. Now, from MY understanding, if you go out and buy a Disney pan and make a cake, it's fine. And if you want to make a cake for yourself or for your kids birthday in the shape of Mickey Mouse or anything else Disney.. It's fine. I think the line is only crossed when you make a cake and use Disney or other copywrited images and then SELL it.. that's a big NONO. You can totally get sued.
If I'm wrong about this, someone please let me know!




You can not recreate any copyrighted image in any way. Wiltons character pans are a big no no because they are stamped for home use only, but doing it freehand doesnt exclude you from the copyright laws.

It is still illegal if you pipe the image, do a color flow picture, fondant/gumpaste figure, sculpted cake or any other way you can think to do it. If you make it and it looks like, even just a little bit, something that is copyrighted then it is illegal. You cant change the color of Minny Mouses dress and say it isnt her. You cant call Nemo a clown fish and get past the copyright laws.

As was mentioned most anything big named we see out there is copyrighted. We focus on Disney because in the cake world those are the stories you hear more often about. Sometimes you can get permission for using an image simply by asking for it, both with others it may take an act of congress and a large fee to get permission.

If you do a cake completely free, as in one for your child, then yes you can do a copyrighted image, this is how the Wilton pans work. But if you take money, even if you disguise it as payment, then you are breaking the copyright law.

jodibug0975 Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 3:42pm
post #7 of 18

Well, technically photocopying all the books from the library was illegal also. ...... just sayin

ccr03 Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 5:05pm
post #8 of 18

Photocopying from books is not illegal. It would fall under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). You can copy a page out of a book up to 10 times for educational purposes. You cannot however, sell the pages or make a profit off of the direct pages.

Just had to throw that in there.

masturbaker Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 5:44pm
post #9 of 18

LaBella is SO right... it's the cleanliness of the finished product that impresses. Clean lines... You could do a simple small round cake covered cleanly and smoothly with white fondant and everyone would ooo and ahhh

jodibug0975 Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 6:15pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccr03

Photocopying from books is not illegal. It would fall under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). You can copy a page out of a book up to 10 times for educational purposes. You cannot however, sell the pages or make a profit off of the direct pages.

Just had to throw that in there.




Really? Once or twice (many years ago) I tried to copy something from a book at Kinko's and was told that I could not due to copyright violations.

I'd really like to know one way or another.... if it were legal, I would do it. But it seems like stealing to me.

http://www.jeff-smith.com/copyright-law-makes-it-illegal-to-photocopy-books/

Its against the law to photocopy books and training course materials under copyright law.

jodibug0975 Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 6:24pm
post #11 of 18

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/11/28/2003459626

Although 97 percent of college students know photocopying textbooks is illegal, 52 percent of them still copied books cover to cover, a survey showed yesterday.


http://web2.concordia.ca/Bookstore/faculty.courseware5.html

While your book makes a contribution to education, as an author your reward also depends on your book being bought. Instead, a lot of people take advantage of your work by photocopying it -- illegally. It makes you feel like you've been ripped off.

Well you have been.

Photocopying textbooks is intellectual exploitation.



http://julyfishtail.blogspot.com/2005/05/you-photocopied-entire-book.html

Last week, I saw a rather disturbing sight in class. I usually walk around the students when I lecture, and as I was doing that last week, I saw a student having an entire photocopied book. It was a huge thick thing, numbering more than 400 pages, and every page, including the front cover, was photocopied. I pounced on the student immediately, and asked him whether he knew it was wrong to photocopy even one page, let alone an entire book, for crying out loud. I read out that paragraph from that very book about copyright and said, You even photocopied that very page that says photocopying of this is wrong!


FROM THE US COPYRIGHT OFFICE
http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-definitions.html

What is copyright infringement?
As a general matter, copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.

tonedna Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 6:41pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by masturbaker

Mark, hey man! It's nice to see some more testosterone around here! hehe...
Well, from what I can see, your pirate cake was very creative, the flower pot cake was really cute and so was the sweet 16 cake.. you certainly have talent. Now it's just a matter of refining your skills, and learning and perfecting new techniques.

In some of the pics, looks like you may need some more practice with getting the fondant smooth over the cakes... especially in the flower pot one... But you certainly are creative! I say go for it, and just practice practice, practice...

The website is a pretty simple one, but I suppose will grow as you do more cakes. Make sure to put information about yourself and how you can be contacted when you're ready to do cakes for "outsiders".

I'm pretty new to selling my cakes myself... and I'm not very experienced myself with a lot of advanced techniques. But I am pleased with my work and my customers seem to be very pleased as well... I don't do wedding cakes... mostly birthdays, showers and other events.

As for what to do to get started... you should look online for what the home bakery requirements are in your state. Some states don't even allow home bakeries! I'm in Ohio so thank God for those cottage food laws! You want to make sure first and foremost that you are selling your cakes legally.. otherwise there could be fines to pay! Just selling them to your friends and family is one thing.. but once you start advertising and have a website and start selling to "outsiders" it's a whole new ballgame!
Several people on here have been caught selling cakes without a license and it wasn't pretty! So get that checked out first...

As for practice.. Youtube was a WEALTH of information to me... my two favorites are

Edna at




These two women are extremely helpful and will even take the time to answer your emails....

Another thing I did, was I went to the library's website ( I already had a card) and I reserved every book I could get ahold of about cake decorating and cake baking.. went through all of them and photocopied pages of ideas I liked and techniques I wanted to learn. This was a HUGE help! And it was FREE...

Also if you want to improve your decorating skills, just get out some wax paper and a piping bag with some tips and decorate the hell out of it! try different borders... try making 3-4 different borders with each tip. And when you've used the whole bag of icing... simply scrape it off the wax paper. put it back into the piping bag and start over again!

If you want to practice with fondant... maybe try getting a dummy cake or something that you can practice laying and smoothing the fondant on... try making your own fondant and practice making figurines.. practice making flowers... try gumpaste.. really, it's endless the things you can do.

And lastly, here at cake central you'll find unbelievable amounts of information! Just about everyone here is the friendliest people you can find... check out indydebi's pictures and website! She does phenomenal work and she's been doing this for years.
never be afraid to ask questions... I've only been selling cakes for less than a year and I have new seemingly ridiculous questions all the time!!

Well good luck!


P.s.- about the licensing for certain cakes... for example, looks like you have a Disney "Cars" cake... that is fine.. Now, from MY understanding, if you go out and buy a Disney pan and make a cake, it's fine. And if you want to make a cake for yourself or for your kids birthday in the shape of Mickey Mouse or anything else Disney.. It's fine. I think the line is only crossed when you make a cake and use Disney or other copywrited images and then SELL it.. that's a big NONO. You can totally get sued.
If I'm wrong about this, someone please let me know!





Thanks for the mention!
About copyrights.. Is true, you can do the pans that they sell for your personal use, but selling the cakes with copyrighted characters is a big no, no.

I agree, you have a lot of potential!..Some details can be cleaned with practice and experience, but you are going in a great direction.
Just make sure to find out if your state is allowed home business before anything... I agree with all of the above.. icon_lol.gif

Edna icon_smile.gif

PS* explain the name icon_lol.gif Im confused by it... icon_lol.gif

ccr03 Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 6:45pm
post #13 of 18

Excuse me, it is not FOIA act that covers it, rather Fair Use. As noted, it does have some restrictions, but for teaching/instructional purposes you should be okay.


http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

http://www.copyright.gov/

http://www.copyright.com/Services/CorporateGuide/photocopies_frameset.htm

jodibug0975 Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 7:06pm
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccr03

Excuse me, it is not FOIA act that covers it, rather Fair Use. As noted, it does have some restrictions, but for teaching/instructional purposes you should be okay.


http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

http://www.copyright.gov/

http://www.copyright.com/Services/CorporateGuide/photocopies_frameset.htm




I'm not finding anything helpful regarding Fair Use... can you help me out?

Because if I can go to the library and copy books legally then I will.

There are a lot of resources there I would love to have.

This is from one of your sites you posted:

http://www.copyright.com/Services/CorporateGuide/copyright_101_frameset.htm

Examples of fair use:
Quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment.

Quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work for illustration or clarification of the authors observations.

Reproduction of material for classroom use where the reproduction was unexpected and spontaneousfor example, where an article in the mornings paper is directly relevant to that day's class topic.

Use in a parody of short portions of the work itself.

A summary of an address or article, which may include quotations of short passages of the copyright-protected work.


To me... that doesn't mean that I can go copy books from the library.

Another question.... you said something originally about being able to make ten copies. How would you know how many times the library book has been copied?

masturbaker Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 7:10pm
post #15 of 18

Yes Edna, your vids were such a help to me when I was starting out and they still are as a matter of fact. My screenname is a naughty play on words.... master baker... masturbaker... think about it! icon_biggrin.gif

To the posts about copyright infringement... PLEASE let's stay on topic here. This guy asked for help about starting as a beginner... please let's not hijack his post and make it about copyright law.
All I suggested was photocopying a picture from a library book for an idea, or writing down a recipe or technique.. i'm not suggesting anyone go to the library and copy and entire book... gimme a break.

Any comments to add about the OP's question?

tonedna Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 7:20pm
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by masturbaker

Yes Edna, your vids were such a help to me when I was starting out and they still are as a matter of fact. My screenname is a naughty play on words.... master baker... masturbaker... think about it! icon_biggrin.gif




That's the thing..I didn't have to think about it!... icon_lol.gif
Im dying laughing here icon_lol.gif
Edna icon_biggrin.gif

ccr03 Posted 18 Dec 2009 , 8:15pm
post #17 of 18

@jodibug0975 I PM'd you.

And for the record - I'm not suggesting copying a whole book either.

bfranzen Posted 19 Dec 2009 , 5:02am
post #18 of 18

Just a thought on your site pictures...I didn't feel like I needed to see multiple pictures of your cakes--6 or 7 flower pics, 6 or 7 car pics, etc. Also, why did you post pics of your tools and flowers drying?

Just some late night thoughts!

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