Sorry if this gets long.....
My DH has a coworker who took the Wilton courses last year. She would bring in her cakes to work and would tell my DH how much fun she was having. This gave DH an idea. In February while out running errands he asks if I would be interested in taking classes. Four hours later I am sitting in my first class.LOL I have 4 kids, 13,11,2, and 6mos. It wasn't the idea of decorating cakes that excited me it was getting out of the house for 2 hours every week. Anywhoo, by course 2 it appeared I have a knack for it and my teacher started asking if I would consider teaching. My DH also took some of my cakes to work as I didn't need/want sooo much cake around the house. A coworker asked DH if I would make a b-day cake. Sure why not. The next day the coworker baker was all over FB telling everyone that if they need a cake to only order from her and to be loyal customers. Turns out she had been approached about the b-day cake as well. Thing is she never bothered to get back with the client. DH not wanting to cause problems at work called up the coworker baker and tried to explain we didn't know she was still planning on making the b-day cake and we weren't trying to steal customers. DH is a medical worker at a hospital, plenty of customers to go around but anyway. When the client called I asked if she was sure she wanted me as the baker still that she was doing it. "I like your work better and I am just going to tell her that I am ordering from (grocery store)." Okay. Well, she found out.....
Next my instructor decided to have a cake challenge of sorts on FB. Enter in a picture of a cake and all her FB friends would vote on favorite. She entered and although it was suppose to be anonymous she told everyone which was hers and to vote for her without looking at the others. I had no intentions of entering. I had the b-day cake that week for 70 ppl and had a kitchen fire so I had workers in and out and barely got my cake done for class that week. Instructor talked me into entering that cake from class for more choices so did. Came in 3rd, she came in last with only 2 votes.
The instructors at HB were having a cake challenge like on TV. You start out with a basic cake and have 1 1/2 hours to decorate there in the middle of the store and the customers vote and instructors judge. Asked if I would enter, couldn't as it was the same day as daughter's ballet recital. I asked who else was doing it. " So and so, So and so, Coworker baker..." I said " oh she's in it, she doesn't like me too much." Instructor asked why and I simply said that baker thinks I was trying to take customers and I have never even met her. Response, " You're the one...!!" Turns out she has been going around badmouthing me to anyone that would listen. That I am unprofessional, dry cakes, no talent, even said that I try to pass off store cakes as my own etc. I have now had a couple cancellations from other ppl DH works with for cake orders due to her hounding them to make their cake and they need a peaceful work environment. They apologized profusely and wished I was still doing their cake but between coworker baker and baker's mom who also works at the hospital, it was worth cancelling to not have the hostility.
What do I do? Now she is costing me customers. If she is more capable than me and her work is more desired, then by all means go to her and it justs give me a standard to try to rise to and make myself better. But this is childish. Now I am whining. Big sigh!! Thanks for letting me vent!
Maybe stay away from the hospital with regards to customers, and branch out to other customers. If its affecting more than just the hospital customers, and it goes on for an extended amount of time, it is possible to take her to court for defamation of character.
If I were you and you are in a state like me where its legal to sell cakes from home, then I'd just forget the hospital and forget that circle of people, and branch out into your own customer base. I think that coworker is totally going overboard and being childish...although I can see where if she is immature she could have thought you were "copycatting" or something. But she needs to be an adult about this, as you say..plenty of customers to go around!
Why not take your practice cakes to fire stations, police stations, other hospital break rooms, factory break rooms, or any other place where alot of workers congregate and are happy for cake! I've donated to a hospital ER staff before, as well as hospital children's ward and I think one time a police station, and also a doctors' office. Since you have a bunch of drama at your dh's job (poor guy and he was only trying to help you! I have four kids too, I know how it is) just forget about them and go do your own thing.
Gee, Kris, she sounds like a real piece of work! Just sit back and be patient....Your hubby's coworkers will soon tire of her. It sounds like you do better work that she does, and you aren't being a pest about it. I think the opportunites will come to you over time. What you put out to the world comes back to you threefold!
Chin up girl! You kicked her ass in the FB cake challenge!
Hubs is a trauma nurse so I know all too well how much the ER loves food and sweets. I had some cake scraps that I tried cake balls with for the first time, so glad I have something to with them now, that he took into work tonight. He just called saying the nurses will gladly take more cake balls and to "mess up" a few cakes for them. LOL
He recently transferred to the satelite ER so he no longer has to deal with the baker personally. He's getting into this whole cake stuff. and even tried a rose the other night. It was hard to help him though when he's a lefty and I'm a righty.
I hadn't thought about the other places. They wouldn't think it was weird, some woman just shows up with cake?
Thanks ladies for the input!
think of it this way... your cake talent has her running scared !!! take it as a compliment that she is so intimidated by your cakes that she is panicing and making a complete jacka$$ out of herself.
Bake as many cakes as you can and GIVE THEM ALL AWAY.. like others have recommended. That way people get to see and taste your talent and they will know pretty dang quick that it is jealousy making her badmouth you.
omg im in the same boat one day my hubby told me about ppl at work taking classes and if i wanted to so i did and the girl that told him is always trying to tell him what i should do her way my hubby tells her look she knows what she is doing and she has her own way of doin=g it thats why everybody want her to make there cakes. did i mention the always hire me to make there potluck cake and nerver ask her. and she is there superviser ok soo her is the thing i cant stand about her when i make cake she always wants to know where i get some of my things i'll get a text ____ wants to know whats the name of the cutters u used and where did you get them me i'll text i forgot the name of them (when i didn't) and i'll tell her i bought them online (when i bought them at a store). i know i mean but seriouly i fed up with her crap. Ohhh and hears a really good one so i made a website and she saw it and the next day at work apparenty i owe her money cause i used her designs. i have never even seen one of her cakes in my life shes a joke.
there i let it out i feel so much better.
Sorry to hear about this. You obviously are more creative and skilled than your competitor. She sounds territorial and behavior disordered to me. I've observed that some people take ownership of people or places and consider other people (new or an outsider) as intruders. It could be this, combined with her feeling threatened by your abilities. Plus, I bet you have a nicer, more approachable personality.
Her co-workers are probably aware of this and will either appease her behavior to keep the peace or want to rub her face in it by ordering from you. It's up to you to determine if it's worth the trouble or not. It sounds like she will not tolerate competition and that there is no limit to how low she will go. She may want to develop a cake business and wants you off her turf.
As others have suggested, why not branch out and see what other opportunities are out there for you? I'm sure that you would be well received by others who are not encumbered with this person. If people from that hospital want to buy your cakes, they will find a way and protect you at the same time. Good luck to you and don't be surprised if people get tired of being bullied into buying her cakes. I know that I would not do business with someone who badmouths their competition- but, that's just me.
Sorry for the long response- it's almost as long as the OP.
If you can get licensed in your state to sell cakes, do so and get your own customers. If you can't, I would call her and tell her that you looked into it and know that it's illegal to sell cakes from home, and if she keeps badmouthing you you're going to turn her in. But that's just me.
Why does the witch get to win? Why does the bully get her way? Why don't the coworkers stand up to her? I bet she's this way in general and not just about cakes. It's harrassment and her coworkers should report her so she can be fired, as she deserves. It's not of her dang business what coworkers choose to do outside of work.
Stepping off my soapbox now.
Jealous she is indeed! It sounds like she "thought" she was the queen diva of cakes and when you started to enter the cake world, she can't handle any form of competition.
For someone to go to that lengths to tell everyone else, "don't order from her, only order from me, etc".. that's a jealousy issue with her.
And to try to mess up a cake voting thing by telling everyone "exactly" which cake was hers and to only vote for her, well, don't you worry,,,, she's desperate now. It was obvious by her votes that people out there are starting to see what type of person she really is for the fact that she has to "bully" them. As others said, they will get tired of her bullying.
Obviously, your doing something right..
That should also tell you that where your DH works now, the nurses "want" your cake, GIVE THEM YOUR CAKE! You'll get orders from them.
So what if this NUT is trying to bad mouth you by telling anyone whom she can bend their ear to that your cakes are dry, no taste, etc... If you know your cakes are good, no worries.
If she keeps up with her stupidity, then send her a "cease of defamation letter" or you will take her to court.
She's just ticked off because a newbie entered her turf and she doesn't like it one bit. Very obvious she can't handle any form of competition.
I just took a cake for a Birthday Lady and as all of her co-workers were oogling, snapping pics with their cell phone cameras, etc.. I over heard one of her co-workers say she was taking classes at Michaels. Long short of this,, she was being asked, "so, you can do this and you can make this design, etc".. I didn't hear a response.
But sometimes, it amazes me how those out there who take a class (nothing wrong with that and wanting to learn a new thing) at class # 1, right away, they "know" everything about cake decorating and can blab blab blab how much better they can do a cake they had just seen.
My friend was with me and so my friend bleeped up and said to her, well since you do cakes too, I want a cake from you. The lady did the cake, let me tell you, " I " wanted to tell her to keep taking your classes at Michaels and keep learning the techniques and keep practicing! Now, I can say, her cake was indeed dry and it indeed tasted like cardboard. The icing you could really really taste the "lard" in it.
But out of courtesy, I kept my mouth quiet. As long as you know your cakes are good and you are getting good at decorating, have no worries, you will get people to approach you for a cake.
Like everyone else is saying, go spread your wings, take cakes to Fire Stations, PD stations. They may look at you oddly at first, but when you tell them you just wanted to say "thank you" for protecting your community, guaranteed, you'll get cake orders. Just be sure to leave your calling card.
There's also other floors where your DH works are they not? If so, go take cake to the other floors too. Never mind what Miss Prissy Pants says or does.
Sorry to sound so long.....
Thank you, TheCakeShak! I hope we all realize that by the OP not staying in the game and the coworkers giving in they are doing what happens in so many schools: letting the bullies rule. I say, "no more!"
I know, it's tough. Hang in there, dig in your heels, and know that you'll be a better business person in the end having gone thru this trial.
I agree with most all of this. Take the high road, God doesn't like 'ugly' and she will not win this way. Keep baking cakes and YES, put your work out there in other places. Hubby is a firefighter and let me tell you if you are known with them for your cakes, that alone could keep you busy! Your work will speak for itself and drown out her protests. Then she will be left looking foolish. Pray for her.
Thanks everyone. It's not easy being the bigger person sometimes, but what you give is what you get.
I had the same problem several years ago. My work used to throw a baking contest and the winner would compete at our district company picnic. The first year I won with my Caramel apple cheesecake and the next year was a Halloween theme. One of the ladies worked at a grocery store bakery during the day and entered a round cake with drizzles of ganache around the sides, sprinkles and a cardboard witch. I carved a 3 D monster head on a platter with fondant veggies and one of his eyes hanging out. She got so made when I won. Glad she didn't work for the company very long. Have your husband take in samples. His coworkers will soon findout who is the better baker and it will stop her and her mouth in her tracks. LOL
I would take DH's lead on this one since it's his workplace. If he doesn't care what she thinks and wants to keep taking them in, then let him. If he would prefer to keep the peace, then I would find other ways to sell them.
The cream always rises to the top.
I took a class with a friend about 2 years ago at the first class it was clear I had an ease with it and she was struggling she was constantly looking over at my work. After we got a few classes done she started telling folks at our local school "we" were in business making cakes. It wasn't long that people saw the difference between mine & hers and it wasn't long she saw how many more orders I was getting, then it started. She went full out nuts on me telling everyone that would listen how horrible my stuff was and harassing people into ordering from her. I totally stopped getting orders from school but a funny thing happened I started getting orders from outside people to the point that I was turning away customers. So all I can tell you is be patient people are smart they'll figure it out ;o) and who wants to eat cake made by a nut job lol! She is flailing right now, she is dying for some of the praise you are getting it's almost sad that to elevate herself she needs to attack you. I know it's not easy to be on the receiving end of her nuttiness but she will be a distant memory soon enough.
Forget being nice...make her a "I'm sorry you're crazy" cake and stick some laxatives up in that bit**. Really though, I agree with everyone else at the fact she is running scared because she knows that she has competition.
My mother went through the same thing with her job (she is a seamstress and does custom work). There was another seamstress that moved in about 5-10 minutes away. She didn't even know my mom and started badmouthing her work. Long story short, after people tried the new woman, they came back to my mom because they knew she did good work. Her only response to this situation was: "My loyal customers know my work, my fairweather customers know my work and the first-time customers will come to know my work."