A Day In The Life Of...you

Decorating By Mb20fan Updated 24 Mar 2010 , 9:03pm by catlharper

Mb20fan Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 7:56pm
post #1 of 21

What's your schedule? What it's like to be YOU, in YOUR shoes?

I recently befriended a very nice and talented cake decorator who is opening her own shop in just a couple of weeks (congrats Wen)! I'm in awe of her work and recently she shared with me her weekly schedule which was very interesting. She, like so many ladies on here I'm sure, is a mother which means there's alot for a woman (and some men) to juggle to be successful. So, it made me wonder about how other people manage their time. I'm curious to see how a full-time cake decorator's schedule varies from that of a part-timer, that also works a job elsewhere. What's your weekly routine and how do your weekends look? Do you always do the same tasks EVERY Wednesday or Friday? If there are no kinks in the plans, how would the perfect work week pan out for you? Do you always take a day or two off? Is it even possible to have a day off? So, what it's like...A day in the life of....YOU?


I work full-time (accounting) and try to squeeze in all the time I can to learn about this art. I just started classes, so I don't yet have a "day in the life of me" story. Just thought this would make an interesting discussion. icon_biggrin.gif

20 replies
confectionsofahousewife Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 8:11pm
post #2 of 21

This should be interesting thanks for posting! I'm no professional, I just make cakes out of my house for people I know. I have three kids (5 and under), am a stay at home mom, and I have been doing about one cake per week lately. Pretty much every weekday is the same: I go to the gym from 9-11 every morning. We come home, everyone eats lunch, we play, and then nap at 1pm. I either work on cleaning house or cake stuff during nap (whichever is more pressing). Nap ends around 4pm and if I am working on cake stuff I continue until dinner time. Dinner around 6pm. Kids go to bed at 7:30 and I will continue cake stuff if I need to then until I go to bed.
Weekends are different. If I have a cake due for Saturday I spend Saturday morning finishing it up while my husbands takes the kids to the grocery store (or somewhere to get them out of my hair!). If its not due till Sunday I will spend part of Saturday (usually nap time) and Sunday morning working on it while the husband entertains the kids. If it was due for Friday, then I don't do anything on the weekend!

tracycakes Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 8:12pm
post #3 of 21

I work full-time still and have a part-time cake business, I rent out of a legal kitchen. I took a day off in December for a family wedding. I don't have kids and I have a husband who helps me and I'm exhausted. In 2 weeks, I'm going part-time at my dayjob and open the business for regular store hours.

Mon - Wed - day job from 6:30 AM - 5:00 PM
go home, change clothes
at the shop from between around 5:45 - 8:30 or 9:00
Thursday, I usually stay later at the shop
Friday - at the shop by 9:00 and leave around 6:00
Saturday - at the shop for pickups, finish cakes, deliveries, etc.
Sunday - church, teach, lunch then home
almost every day after I get home at night, I work on paperwork, finish invoices, update website and upload photos, etc.

Owning a business is NOT for those who want lots of sleep and an easy schedule

psmith Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 8:20pm
post #4 of 21

We're homeschoolers and only do cakes for friends and family.
Everyday we are up and working on schoolwork from about 7:30 to 2:30 (sometimes later) with lunch and a few breaks. Two children are in middle school and we have one in college. We have a firm rule that school comes first so no baking or decorating until all the school assignments are finished for the day. The middle schoolers took the cake decorating classes with me and like to help out when we have a cake to make. We call cake decorating our 'home economics' course. thumbs_up.gif

KHalstead Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 8:25pm
post #5 of 21

6:00 am, get up, read bible til' 6:30 am, make 3 lunches for kids, get dressed, fix hair, etc. 7:00 am wake up 3 sleepy kids, get 2 younger ones dressed, hand out lunches, 7:30 out the door for school. 8:00 drop kids off at school, 8:30 back at home, check/return emails from customers, check phone messages, return messages,

depending on what day of the week, I have my BFF's grandma whom I take to doc. visits, take out her trash, make her insulin needles, take her grocery shopping,

my mom who needs rides to therapy appt., grocery shopping, general errands.

baking cakes, cleaning what I can of the house, gabbing on cake central.

wed. I tutor a high school girl in math during the day too

2:30 pm, leave to get kids from school, 3:00 kids get in car, 3:30 get home, 4:00 figure out what to have for dinner, 5-5:30 pm, eat dinner....6:00 pm DH gets home, give him dinner, 6:15-7:00pm try to clean up junk kids are throwing everywhere (shoes, coats, bookbags, etc.), 7:00 pm put kids in bath, 7:45 kids in p.j.'s ,8:00 pm kids in bed. 8:05 try to talk with DH about his day, 8:10 yell at kids to GO TO SLEEP, 8:15, try to talk with DH 8:20 yell at kids, etc. until about 9pm, kiss DH goodnight, read Bible until about 10pm.........go to bed!

If it's a friday.........replace go to bed! with decorate cakes!

lol

Dizzymaiden Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 8:36pm
post #6 of 21

I work full time in a non-cake related business- that is 40 hours per week.

I get frustrated with my DH because I want to go back to school and start a biz of my own but he feels it is too risky.

So...I squeeze my goodies in whenever I can and only do it for friends and family.

malene541 Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 8:50pm
post #7 of 21

This is fun!

I take my 4 year old to daycare then off to work at an insurance agency (8:00am)
I get home to husband/daughter at 5:00 pm
On Mondays I make my fondant for the Saturday cake (I've learned to never do a weekday cake due to time constraints) clean kitchen
Tuesdays, the same daytime but add in to and from preschool drives then make fillings and possibly details that will be on the cake, clean kitchen
Wednesdays, the same as Monday daytime, then afterwork finish up details that might go on the cake, clean kitchen
Thursdays, preschool day, work as usual, start baking cakes after work, clean kitchen
Fridays, work blah blah, take fondant out of fridge, cover boards and prepare for Saturday morning.
Saturday, finally put a cake together, deliver and then clean again!!
Sunday, attempt to spend quality time with the family, laundry, outside yard work, plan next week meals (I forgot to add them each night). Yep artists are crazy!! Whether we are painters, sculptors or cake decoraters!!

Dizzymaiden Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 9:05pm
post #8 of 21

Your schedule works for me...I have thought about doing items one day at a time. I don't have any young ones at home so I have to stop sitting on my duff and get something done! Thanks for the inspiration!

Quote:
Originally Posted by malene541

This is fun!

I take my 4 year old to daycare then off to work at an insurance agency (8:00am)
I get home to husband/daughter at 5:00 pm
On Mondays I make my fondant for the Saturday cake (I've learned to never do a weekday cake due to time constraints) clean kitchen
Tuesdays, the same daytime but add in to and from preschool drives then make fillings and possibly details that will be on the cake, clean kitchen
Wednesdays, the same as Monday daytime, then afterwork finish up details that might go on the cake, clean kitchen
Thursdays, preschool day, work as usual, start baking cakes after work, clean kitchen
Fridays, work blah blah, take fondant out of fridge, cover boards and prepare for Saturday morning.
Saturday, finally put a cake together, deliver and then clean again!!
Sunday, attempt to spend quality time with the family, laundry, outside yard work, plan next week meals (I forgot to add them each night). Yep artists are crazy!! Whether we are painters, sculptors or cake decoraters!!


malene541 Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 9:15pm
post #9 of 21

Dizzymaiden,

I find if I space my things out I'm less stressed because I feel more organized and I don't seem to get burned out. When I first started making cakes I made it about 8-9 months and then was ready to quit. I slowed down a bit then tried this schedule. Now I'm full force again and love it!!! Even if I'm feeling a little lazy one day, I say to myself "can you do this and tomorrows stuff tomorrow??" if not then I do it now!! If so, I relax and push harder tomorrow.
I sometimes have to trick myself but it seems to work. Malene

cammyblake1 Posted 23 Mar 2010 , 10:05pm
post #10 of 21

Shop opens at 9:00, first consult of usually 6 or 7 for the day start at 10. I roll in at about 11, and sit it in on the higher priority consults (celebrities, for the tv show, royalty, $20/serving or more, etc). Any meetings with press or magazines are held between 2 and 3. We do several charity and galas a month, so we have a special room for photography for all the cakes that will be in the magazines or featured in the newspaper. Everyone takes a 2 hour lunch, and we usuallly roll home at about 6. I wouldn't trade this life for anything.

wjmonte Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 12:41am
post #11 of 21

Well now, since this thread is inspired by me I thought I would go ahead and share what I do also.

Sunday, my day off I do (almost) nothing.
Monday, shop is closed but I do errands...I literally drive all day: carpool for 3 families to school, banking, grocery, supplies, appts, carpool at 3pm, home with kids for rest of day, dinner etc.
Tuesday, paperwork, call backs, organize orders for week, open at 9am, start making elements for cakes that need drying, cut boards, make icing, consults.
Wednesday,Bake all day all cakes. Level, fill, bag cakes. work on more elements as I bake
Thursday, ice and stack all cakes,
Friday, decorate all cakes completely, DH gets kids and I stay at shop until done. i go home at 6 when I close, eat dinner with my family and go back until I get all cakes completed.
saturday, get all cakes out the door either via delivery or pickups
each week day I bring 3 families worth of kids to school and get to my shop at 730 also I leave my shop for 30 minutes in the afternoon to get my children from school they come back to the shop with me and do homework and hang out (they are 9 and 14) if my DH gets off early enough he picks them up and goes home, if not and this is most often they stay with me until I close at 6pm.
Home, dinner, baths, kids in bed for 8pm.
saturday afternon we do family stuff or yard work or deliver wedding cakes if they are due then.

My shop has been open since march 2nd and so far this is working for us all. my dh even took over the dishes duty. :0)

jenmat Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 12:50am
post #12 of 21

I'm a mom of a 2 year old and baker 30hrs per week or so, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Each day for me has its own challenges and surprises.
Normal no hitch week?
Mon- shop
Tues-bake
Wed-icing, fillings, etc
Thurs- base ice, decorate
Fri- Decorate/deliver
Sat- Deliver
Sun-Off
I also have tastings/consults at least 2-3 per week at 8pm Mon, Tues and Thurs.

This is in addition to 7am wake up with 2 year old, Sid the Science Kid at 11:30, lunches, suppers, Candy Land games, library trips, tantrum number 12 for the day, etc.
My husband is out of the picture Mon-Fri. So its me and Miss Thing, who is fairly high maintenance as far as kids go, but so am I, so what would I expect?
No celebrity meetings for me though! icon_smile.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 1:04am
post #13 of 21

I am a SAHM mon of 2...a soon to be 9 yr old in grade 3 and a 7 yr old in grade 1.

Monday to friday

1.drop off kids at school for 8:30
2. Go home and bake for the weeks orders and cover boards,make icings,Fondant embellishments etc...
3.Decorate Wednesday/Thursday for orders to go out friday and Saturday Morning.
4.Off Sunday...

Somewhere in between that I do grocery shopping and errands and pickup kids everyday at 3:15



Laurel icon_smile.gif

Mb20fan Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 3:55am
post #14 of 21

It's interesting to see how the routines differ. Thanks Wendy and everyone else for sharing!

More please... icon_biggrin.gif

prterrell Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 4:15am
post #15 of 21

I'm mostly a housewife/aspiring writer (working on a novel and a cookbook simultaneously), but I do some at-home tutoring and the occasional sub job and a LOT of volunteering at church. These days, I rarely make cakes, mostly for friends and family and mostly for my nephews back in NC, which means the cakes have to be transportable for an 8 hour road trip. I generally bake the cake, make the icing, and do all the decorating the day before we leave to go up to visit, or the day before the cake is due. If there is any figures to be molded, I'll get those done ahead of time, usually. The last cake I did, (sandbox cake) I did in about 4 hours from start to finish, including time for the cake bake and to cool, so actual working time (mixing cake, making icing, decorating) was about an hour. The gumpaste figures sat out overnight and then I boxed the whole thing up the next morning before we headed out.

peg818 Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 11:27am
post #16 of 21

I work full time outside of the home. Do cakes when i can/want to do them. I have two children and have been decorating and working since they were babies.

typical day for me:

Up at 4am off to work by 5, home by 2pm (kids old now don't need to worry about getting them to and from the bus, one in college, one senior in hs) M and T i do house work, and any grocery shopping that needs to be done, cut boards and any before hand decorating that needs to be done

W afternoon bake
Th afternoon ice
F afternoon decorate
Sat deliver

Of course since i only do cakes as i want i'm not a pressed as i could be. And working the awful morning hours do help to give me free time in the evenings.

We eat dinner between 5 and 6pm and i cook nearly every night (it does help to plan ahead for this) i pull stuff for dinner usually before i leave for work in the am.

katies_cakes Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 11:28am
post #17 of 21

This is great, im a single mum to a 5yr old and a 4yr old. i do 1 cake a week for family etc. get up at 6.30 get ready for school, leave at 8.10 walk 1 mile to 2 different schools. get home at 9.45. clean house. leave to fetch youngest at 11.45. (walk 1mile each way) get home make lunch and play. leave at 2.45 to fetch oldest (another 2miles) get home at 3.45. play, cook, bath etc girls in bed at 7 then i bake/decorate till 1-2am then bed. lol

lauthala Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 11:35am
post #18 of 21

I'm retired,so I do what I like,when I like and how I like.
Sorry about that you youngsters.he,he.

Mb20fan Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 2:55pm
post #19 of 21

To those that this applies:
What's a day in the life of you in terms of your business?
What's your creative routine from consults, prepping, baking, decorating, completion to delivery or pick up for a typical week?
How does your individual success factor into your already busy life as most ladies are married with children AND many work full-time outside of caking?

So far...there's alot of different approaches to pretty much get to the same goal of offering an awesome creation to someone, be it a customer, family member or friend. I don't think that the recipients of these beautiful works of art have any clue about all that went into making it happen. I think it's quite impressive how much some you have to juggle! icon_wink.gif

Mb20fan Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 3:04pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauthala

I'm retired,so I do what I like,when I like and how I like.
Sorry about that you youngsters.he,he.




Congrats to you! thumbs_up.gif Hope to be able to say the same thing one day. icon_biggrin.gif

catlharper Posted 24 Mar 2010 , 9:03pm
post #21 of 21

Ok, I'll just give you this week. Quick background...I am mom to one son almost 9 who is at home, two grown daughters. I run an event company with the younger of the two daughters as well as work 3 days a week from 11-6 as an apartment manager. Cakes get fit in between. This week is as follows:

M-W: up at 7 to get son off to school, 8am off to the kitchen to work on embellishments for the three cakes due this week, 10am back home to shower and dress for office job. 6pm home to cook dinner, help son with homework and then back to the kitchen to bake, cool, wrap and freeze the layers of the cakes due at the weekend. (Wed only different after 6 where I have a cubscouts dinner after my office job so no baking that night)
Th: up at 7 to get son off to school. 8-2 off to the kitchen to put together "house" cake due on Friday morning. Back home to get son from school and help with homework and then get ready for baseball game. After game head to school for open house night.
Fri: up at 7 to get son off to school. 9am to kitchen to box up "house" cake and deliver to client at 11am. Back to kitchen to work on baby shower cake due Sat afternoon. 2pm back home to pick up son. Early end of day today.
Saturday: up to get the house together for younger daughter and husband who are arriving for baby shower later. Off to kitchen to work on "suitcase" cake for goodbye party Sat night. Package up baby shower cake and deliver at 2pm. Attend shower. Back home till 5:30 then back to the kitchen to package up "suitcase" cake for 6:30pm delivery. Go to party and try not to fall asleep from utter exhaustion and try not to say aloud "why did I agree to 3 cakes this week?".
Sunday: sleep IN and then clean up house from family visit. Do laundry....nope, not a day "off" but at least slower...Monday's coming and another cake is due!

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