Hello everyone, I'm fairly new to this website (Not quite sure if it's English/American etc :s), but i really do need some help from people who should know why I'm confused and stuck in a rut at the moment.
I'm currently in year 11 at school and i really want to go into the cake decorating business such as making wedding cakes/cakes for special occasions.
Basically I'd really love to know how to get into the trade... do i go to college and study a basic cooking NVQ to get a good ground level and certificates and only a tiny bit of my course to be dedicated to basic cake making? Or can i study just cake decorating part time? How did you all become so successful, how did you start off etc?...
I'd really appreciate any guidance/tips/help or information on how i can start out.
Thanks so much xx
If you want to make cakes out of your home and sell them, the first thing you need to do is find out your state laws to see if that's even possible.
Then you need to create a business plan so you will know more about how to run your business. This will take quite a bit of time and research.
While you're doing that, you can practice making and decorating cakes. Wilton has classes at various craft stores like JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels. They often have sales on the classes, so keep an eye out and you might be able to save some money. The internet is full of tutorials and videos so you can learn for free, if you like.
Other than that, read, read, read, and research, research, research. Eventually it will all come together into a plan and you will be able to consistently turn out a good product.
Practice on friends and family. Birthday cakes are a great gift.
Facebook is a great/free advertising.
I started decorating at age 12, self-taught with the help of Wilton books, way before the internet, and moved on to cake decorator as a profession.
You have so many opportunities with the web, local classes, and chosing a job that you love. I highly recommend working in a bakery because you'll never regret the experience that you'll gain.
Best of luck to you!
This site is American - however there are some decorators about from the UK (like me!).
I'd say, firstly, concentrate on getting your GCSEs this year. They are important, and you need to set aside the time to study (trust me, if you don't, you'll regret it later in life....and I'm only 27).
I came into cake decorating just from my love of cooking/baking. I'm completely self taught; I've attended a couple of demonstrations but that's about it. Just have a play - see what you like doing, and what you have a natural knack for. If you can, attend the Cake International show on at the NEC in November, and Squires in Farnham, Surrey in March.
Read lots, practise lots....
There are a couple of cake decorating qualifications around, such as the city and guilds in cake decorating, however these would, I think, be chargable, even for you
Laws over here are more relaxed than in the States - so once you've had your kitchen inspected by Environmental Health, technicially you're good to go - insurance isn't mandatory, but is strongly advised!
There is a cake forum, and guild here, the British Sugarcraft Guild - google it, and they've also got a forum which can give you some more, specific pointers.
I knew I wanted to be a baker at a very young age and my father knew this. He bought me a beautiful Wilton tube set at age 12. I found a night class and there I was, this 12 year old in with all these older people taking this little class. At the end of it all the woman who taught it called me aside and told me to pursue this further. My mother was against me working in a bakery as she had done it her whole life. I did a lot of cakes, even wedding cakes until I was lod enough to work in a bakery. I took my pictures into a supermarket bakery and at 16 I was hired part time after school and on weekends. My mom (who thought she was doing the best for me, bless her) talked me into taking college(legal field) but the moment I graduated I knew that I still wanted to bake! I moved to Calgary in the early 80`s and started working in a french bakery where I met a man and his wife who encouraged me to take trade school baking classes for both baking and pastry making. I worked in bakeries and on the side all over Canada but I came back home in the early 90`s and scored a high paying bakery job with great pay and benefits. I retired in 2005 and still missed it! Now I am in the process of opening my legal pastry shop in my home and loving it!!
Follow your dream because being happy at your chosen career is one of the most important things in life, right after family and health!!!
i also recommend www.bsguk.org although this site is amazing, a lot of the stuff, especially relating to business and classes just isnt relevant to us. you can join, possibly as a junior member, and they have regular local meetings, and plenty of chances to learn new skills. many adult education courses run on cake topics, although theres often a minimum age.
there are college courses you can do in decorating, but without your own porfolio, you are unlikely to get a job. and the majority of cake businesses are very small operations are very small, so may not hire an other decorator anyway. therefor, its a good idea to look at choosing to do business classes/ courses as well if you are wanting to go this route. (if you get to the want a business stage, theres lots of start up help including business classes - so you need to do lots of research)
lots of people are successful without any college training, it maybe takes a bit more trial and error to learn your self, but it works just as well!
how many cake shave you made already? get your pictures on here, and never be afraid to ask for hints and tips!
If I were you I would get a business degree at a university while practicing cake decorating in your spare time. Business classes will help you launch your own company, and the degree will also give you the flexibility to find a job in another field if you ever get tired of decorating.
Ooh! That's a good idea, jasonkraft. I'm have my Associates and will have my Bachelors in a year and I know how far ahead of the game I am compared to those without that knowledge. Of course, my caking skills still have to catch up to everyone.