I Have To Make The Cake They Want Not The One I Want :(

Decorating By momma28 Updated 3 May 2010 , 2:28am by JenniferMI

momma28 Posted 2 May 2010 , 4:17pm
post #1 of 20

This for me is the biggest dissapointment with my business. I have had several cakes and consults lately where I just dont LOVE what the customer wants icon_sad.gif My hubby keeps telling me that it is their cake not mine and giving them what they want is all that matters but still. I stear them away from the truly hideous design ideas some of them have but feel I have to give in to things that are pretty but not great.

I have done two recent wedding cakes in particular that were executed perfectly, but when all together I just didnt love them. Fondant perfect, decorative elements came out perfect, level, straight, centered, the whole nine, but they werent what I would have done if it were my cake, which of course it wasnt. I attended one of the weddings and was at the other when guests began arriving...at both people ooed and ahhed, said it was the most beautiful cake they had ever seen and asked for so many business cards I ran out each time (at the one I attended and was there long enough for the cake to be served people were shocked that it tasted even better than it looked, I think that should be the norm but sad that its not). So why do I just not love these cakes icon_sad.gif

19 replies
Caths_Cakes Posted 2 May 2010 , 4:28pm
post #2 of 20

No idea why you dont love them But your hubbys right, Suck it up, its there cake not yours, after you all, you are making these people happy by giving them the cake of there dreams, and executing it well. Be thankful you have the ability and talent to actually pull that off and had the chance to make these cakes

momma28 Posted 2 May 2010 , 4:47pm
post #3 of 20

I am happy that I can be a part of their special day and give them a well done cake. I guess I just like doing more elaborate type designs and it seems some people just want super simple (but elegant). I just like to make things that are more of a challenge and more fun to make LOL

I am happy they love them icon_smile.gif Have you ever just had a cake you really didnt even want to put on your website because its too plain?

Ruth0209 Posted 2 May 2010 , 4:48pm
post #4 of 20

Yep, if you don't want to do cakes you don't like you'll have to stick to it as a hobby.

Majie Posted 2 May 2010 , 4:52pm
post #5 of 20

I have had to make the same wedding cake design in different colours 11 times, yep 11 times. I am so annoyed that the customers would choose the same cake design but had to give in just to make them happy on their wedding day. So in this case, the customer is always right. Make them happy, after all they are paying for the cake

rvercher23 Posted 2 May 2010 , 4:54pm
post #6 of 20

I did a baby shower cake where the customer kept insisting we put paisley on it even though it did not go, and I told her my opinion as a decorator that it was not going to look right. After it was done, it was so cute, it would not have been half as cute without the paisley. Sometimes they know what they are talking about. Good thing the customer was an acquaintance and didnt say I Told You So!!!!

momma28 Posted 2 May 2010 , 5:02pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Majie

I have had to make the same wedding cake design in different colours 11 times, yep 11 times. I am so annoyed that the customers would choose the same cake design but had to give in just to make them happy on their wedding day. So in this case, the customer is always right. Make them happy, after all they are paying for the cake




Them paying for the cake is part of the issue for me, knowing what I know about cake and knowing what I CAN do I feel like they should pick a more detailed design, more bang for your buck if you will icon_smile.gif But they love them so that makes me happy. I guess I just get so attached to my customers (most so far have remained in contact with me and invited me to stay for the wedding icon_smile.gif that I want more for them. I know sounds a little off im sure.

rvercher23: Im glad it worked out great!! Im sure not every customer would make such wise design choices LOL

Denise Posted 2 May 2010 , 5:20pm
post #8 of 20

I would love to do elaborate cakes every week but as a professional, we have to do what is the customers dream. I looked at your cakes and they are very pretty and well done. I think you should do some show cakes or dummy cakes if you don't like to compete. (I am not interested in competing!) That way, you still get the thrill of doing designs that you want and put them on your site - you never know, it might inspire someone to chose THOSE designs instead of the ones that are the old tried and true.

I did a cake this weekend that was so simply with just some pink bows. Very easy. I really like the bride and she loved her cake - I would have chose a "fancier" design but she was in love with this. There is no accounting for tastes and everyone's is different. I look at Picasso's work and see totally deranged people - others look at it and see beauty and enlightenment. In Vincent Van Gogh's paintings I see his pain. In Winberg and Thomas Kincade I see beauty and peace.

Each bride or customer has their own vision and you are the talent that brings their vision to fruition. And they bring you money! Woot! Everyone wins!

katnmouse Posted 2 May 2010 , 5:26pm
post #9 of 20

While I can appreciate the skill needed to produce some elaborate wedding cakes, that just would not be my style. I preferred (and got) a beautiful simple wedding cake when I got married. Remember, someone's big day (or special occasion) is not about showcasing the cakers skills with lace, or fondant,or stacking 15 layers, etc... it is what the bride and groom want as an accent for their day. Don't get offended if they don't want you to pull out all the stops. It's not personal against you...it is personal for them.

Jeep_girl816 Posted 2 May 2010 , 5:30pm
post #10 of 20

Be happy you can do perfect fondant and still have the cake be beautiful, it doesn't need bells and whistles and fondant doodads to cover up imperfections.

momma28 Posted 2 May 2010 , 6:48pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep_girl816

Be happy you can do perfect fondant and still have the cake be beautiful, it doesn't need bells and whistles and fondant doodads to cover up imperfections.




true icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 2 May 2010 , 7:10pm
post #12 of 20

I HATE the "3 tier stacked with just a ribbon around the base" design. It's plain, it's ugly and it takes no talent to make one. But it paid the rent and I made them all the time. My artistic satifaction was filled everytime I deposited their check.

It's part of the difference between doing it as a business and doing it as a hobby.

I never go back to a caker who told me, "what you want is ugly and boring. let me take your money and make what *I* want you to have."

disclaimer: not saying anyone would actually use those words but I used this example once and got a PM from someone about how no one would actually SAY that (duh!) so I want to avoid any sidetracked discussions along these lines. The point is that messages like this can be conveyed without ACTUALLY saying the words.

momma28 Posted 2 May 2010 , 7:22pm
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I HATE the "3 tier stacked with just a ribbon around the base" design. It's plain, it's ugly and it takes no talent to make one. But it paid the rent and I made them all the time. My artistic satifaction was filled everytime I deposited their check.

It's part of the difference between doing it as a business and doing it as a hobby.

I never go back to a caker who told me, "what you want is ugly and boring. let me take your money and make what *I* want you to have."

disclaimer: not saying anyone would actually use those words but I used this example once and got a PM from someone about how no one would actually SAY that (duh!) so I want to avoid any sidetracked discussions along these lines. The point is that messages like this can be conveyed without ACTUALLY saying the words.




I would never tell them that what they want is boring (i know you were just giving a fictional example hun icon_smile.gif, far from it. They have a dream of their cake and I am there to bring that to life in edible form. I totally understand that and live that out in my business I was just saying that sometimes I look at the finished cake and think, I just dont love it.
Its a good thing I have 6 kids to make birthday cakes for....now THOSE get down right elaborate LOL I have very imaginative kids who take total advantage of mom being a caker and I love every minute of it. It scratches my artistic itch.

I didnt mean to sound ungrateful for the business or unprofessional (I always aim to please my customers) I was basically just saying that at the end of alot of work sometimes I am not thrilled with the end result (design wise), but its not MY cake icon_smile.gif I was just venting a little.

indydebi Posted 2 May 2010 , 7:51pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma28

I was basically just saying that at the end of alot of work sometimes I am not thrilled with the end result (design wise), but its not MY cake icon_smile.gif


Yep! That's how I felt about those ribbon-around-the-base cakes. Looked at it, shrugged my shoulders, said to myself, "Next!" icon_biggrin.gif

Lenette Posted 2 May 2010 , 8:37pm
post #15 of 20

I totally understand what you are saying!!

I second the suggestion to do some dummies of more interesting cakes. It worked for me. At least some of the elements get incorporated into orders that may not have if I had not done the display. Sometimes people can't see it in their mind, they have no idea what can be done so we have to show them. When I chose a design that I really loved and made the display at least 1-2 brides ordered it.

The other thing that worked for me is that when they call for a consult encourage them to look for inspiration in their gown, invites, any other element of their wedding stressing how their cake will be unique for them and not a copy of a cake 10 other people have had.

There will always be clients who want "something simple" which often translates to boring. We suck it up and do it that's life but these techniques have really turned things around for me. At least there is some creative satisfaction some of the time. icon_smile.gif

There will always be cakes that don't make it to my website, I am looking to showcase my talent there and I have no problem leaving off certain cakes.

HTH! icon_biggrin.gif

PS-- this worked for me on flavors too. I got sick of only making vanilla and chocolate so I added multiple flavors of cake and filling that were more interesting and unique for consults. Yeah, I still make vanilla all the time but almost every bride will choose a different flavor too. They don't know if we don't show them.

Nothing wrong with showcasing your talent!

mamawrobin Posted 2 May 2010 , 11:38pm
post #16 of 20

I do alot of cakes that I don't like icon_lol.gif I don't put all of my cakes in my portfolio either. I've made some pretty tacky cakes because that's what the customer "designed". I've also made my share of the plain, fondant covered cakes with ribbon. But like Indydebi said "my artistic satisfaction was filled everytime I deposited their check". icon_lol.gif

Niliquely Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:02am
post #17 of 20

I just did a wedding consultation the other day for an upcoming wedding and the bride brings in this *sigh* wedding topper that her niece unfortunately did not get to use on her wedding cake and wants the aunt to use it on hers. I'm cringing all the way but I let her look through all the books and then I just said, "Can I sketch you something quick to show you what I'm thinking based on what you've told me you like?" Then, in my sketch I incorporated things that I thought would look great and still go with the topper (that I despise but she loves for sentimental reasons) and she loved the sketch! I don't know if that helps, because doing and sending sketches can be time-consuming, but sometimes you could offer suggestions of your vision mixed with theirs and maybe they like it?!

momma28 Posted 3 May 2010 , 1:26am
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niliquely

I just did a wedding consultation the other day for an upcoming wedding and the bride brings in this *sigh* wedding topper that her niece unfortunately did not get to use on her wedding cake and wants the aunt to use it on hers. I'm cringing all the way but I let her look through all the books and then I just said, "Can I sketch you something quick to show you what I'm thinking based on what you've told me you like?" Then, in my sketch I incorporated things that I thought would look great and still go with the topper (that I despise but she loves for sentimental reasons) and she loved the sketch! I don't know if that helps, because doing and sending sketches can be time-consuming, but sometimes you could offer suggestions of your vision mixed with theirs and maybe they like it?!




I do sketches often but some brides just "know what they want" icon_smile.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 3 May 2010 , 1:43am
post #19 of 20

I know the feeling... just did the ugliest wedding cake I've ever seen... plain white with grey piping up and down the cake..looked like spider webs.......but that's what she wanted, and she paid for it LOL

JenniferMI Posted 3 May 2010 , 2:28am
post #20 of 20

I think the main thing is if the customer is happy. If you did your job well and they are happy, you have succeeded. Some cakes you will just like better than others.

Jen icon_smile.gif

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