When Baking/decorating Is No Longer Theraputic....

Decorating By KKC Updated 15 May 2010 , 3:21pm by KKC

KKC Posted 14 May 2010 , 6:41pm
post #1 of 11

What do you do? My business started picking up at a rapid pace since the beginning of last year (been open legally 1 1/2 yearS). That means no breaks only on Sundays...i've been baking and decorating every single day since. I am the only one who does the baking and decorating, and it has gotten so bad that I've had to stop selling cookies because they were just too time consuming. I felt myself heading towards a burn out. I screwed up 2 orders icon_cry.gif The first, was when I put the wrong name on the cake (luckily it was written on a banner and they were able to remove it) Then there was when I made a cake a week earlier than the customer needed icon_redface.gif Oh and lets not forget I forgot to make a cake for my cousin who had asked me weeks before she needed it. A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of the cake I started getting chest pains, then I saw black. My husband ordered me to take a couple of days off...but when I went back, I just couldn't get into it. I was stressing about every little thing, whether or not i put the right amount of sour cream or oil. So I decided to take a few weeks off. I've been on a "CAKE BREAK" since April 30th and I've been getting calls for orders every single day...emails every single day, I just refer them to a trusted cake friend of mine. I'm going back this Monday the 17th, but I'm still worried that I won't be able to get back into the swing of things.

Have any of you ever experienced this? How did you bounce back from it??? TIA

10 replies
KHalstead Posted 14 May 2010 , 6:53pm
post #2 of 11

The best thing to do is RAISE YOUR PRICES! Weed out all the little, unneccesary orders that don't turn that much of a profit!

I'm doing this myself very soon! I'm taking on 15 cakes a week over the last few weeks and it's just TOO MUCH. I'm not enjoying the art of decorating as much because I'm getting overwhelmed with all the orders.

If you raise your prices, it will cut down on the number of cakes you're making, but because the ones you ARE selling are higher priced, you'll make the same if not more profit from them!!

Good Luck, I'm in the same boat! Doing this is not worth your health, take it easy!!!

your symptoms could have been a mild heart attack! No cake is worth that!!

TexasSugar Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:13pm
post #3 of 11
Originally Posted by KHalstead

If you raise your prices, it will cut down on the number of cakes you're making, but because the ones you ARE selling are higher priced, you'll make the same if not more profit from them!!

Ditto this! thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:28pm
post #4 of 11

what KHalstead said .... every word!

newmansmom2004 Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:44pm
post #5 of 11

I feel for you. It's no fun when something you love turns into a chore and begins affecting your health.

Think about closing the shop for a vacation. Businesses do it all the time. Your customers won't leave you. They'll be even happier to see you when you're back, rested, and ready to go again. We have a few restaurants where I live who close for two weeks every year so the employees can have a real vacation. Hasn't hurt them one bit. They put a sign up about a month ahead of time announcing the dates they will be closed. People here have become so accustomed to them being closed that they now know during two weeks in August or July or whenever, such-and-such is closed. You deserve a break to relax and regroup.

linstead Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:54pm
post #6 of 11

Another option is to simply take less orders. Period. You are booked when people call and then refer to somone else. I agree health compromise isn't worth it really is it?

KKC Posted 14 May 2010 , 8:47pm
post #7 of 11

Thanks everyone for the responses and advice. Very much needed!! Khalstead, i've been thinking about raising my prices but I haven't really sat down and gave it much thought because I've been so busy. 15 cakes a week, that could be a blessing and a curse all at the same time.

A mild heart attack...omg..that is so scary. I've been relaxing alot since my break. Except for the few emails and phone calls for cakes i've been getting (nevermind the fact that Its posted on my website and on my fb and on voicemail that I'm on vacation until...) icon_mad.gif My hubby took me and our son to Disney for 5 days for my b-day and I had the most fun i've ever had. It really took my mind of things..and not once did I think about cakes.

Again, thanks you guys for the responses...when I try to tell people how I'm feeling they think its just me being lazy icon_mad.gif

StephW Posted 14 May 2010 , 9:00pm
post #8 of 11

Can you afford to hire some part time help? Then they could do the tasks you aren't so fond of and you could concentrate on the things you like to do.

auntiecake Posted 14 May 2010 , 10:15pm
post #9 of 11

I agree with several things said. Learn to say no, raise prices, hire someone to help you and do it because you enjoy it, not because you are being pushed to a burnout or worse yet poor health. Now if I just took my own advice. It is hard to say no, raise prices (especially if it is friends and family), and to hire someone who can really help that you trust. I have been decorating for over 40 years and love cake decorating. I am still in a position where I can control and say no if I have to, but I am not able to work full time (probably because I decorated cakes, worked full- time, + I teach classes at the community college, and took care of my grandaughters. etc. Well it is pay time now, so be careful and put yourself first because no one else will. I am not working full time anymore so we'll see if I can say no cause now I have more time. You just can't win and it does take a lot of stamina. I LOVE it too much to give it up and would probably drive my family crazy. Enough ranting!

Julie_S Posted 15 May 2010 , 1:45pm
post #10 of 11


Can you take on an apprentice? It could be a high school student who is genuinely interested in cake decorating or baking. Apprenticeships work well for homeschooled or unschooled students because they have time to explore what they are really interested in as opposed to sitting in school all day. You could place an ad looking for one. Or it could be an adult who wants to learn. They learn in exchange for helping you. Or it could be a paid internship type of thing.

Right now I would give my left arm to be an apprentice in a good cake shop and I'm an adult. If I get a full time job this year (doing something else) I still want to apprentice in a cake shop on the weekends.
You're not in PA are you?

KKC Posted 15 May 2010 , 3:21pm
post #11 of 11


No I'm in Miami, FL....

When my hubby is not working he comes and helps out sometimes with the sculpting (i do a lot of 3d cakes). I could afford to hire someone part time, but I think my problem is I have zero patience so if someone doesn't get it the first or second time I just do it myself. The only other person working with me is my cousin who I have clean up and sometimes answer phone calls and emails...and sometimes she can't always come because she has school.

I have turned down some cake orders and thats only because they try to nickle and dime me.

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