Sacrificing Your Style For The Money

Decorating By Dreme Updated 23 Nov 2010 , 8:47pm by loriemoms

Dreme Posted 23 Nov 2010 , 3:36pm
post #1 of 6

I have noticed more and more clients asking me for the stuff on TV. I really don't do the 3d stuff, nor do I know how to construct or price those types of cakes. I am also getting clients that ask for elaborate stuff but do not have the budget for it. I take some of these orders because it is money, Business side.

But the artist side of me feels like this is defeating the purpose of why I fell in love with decorating edibles. So that I could share MY style of work with others. I'm really am starting to hate designing on a low budget. Some clients will just settle on my starting serving price and skip out on the artwork, delivery, and stand rental. I make some money but, I defeated my purpose as an artist. Others I stress and spend so much of my time researching how to create a 3d cake that I don't really want to do anyway. I spend the entire week stressing about getting their cake done in addition to all the other orders and work that needs to be done. I make some money, but i'm having migraines and loosing sleep due to stress.

How do I get more clients actually willing to get my style, the reason they should have came to me in the first place. (They see the type of work that I do, but then ask me for something different.) How do I move on from the A. I want the cake I seen on tv and the B. I really don't want to spend that much and keep it simple or go elaborate?

Sorry for the long rant. I'm just stressing this week. I have several clients i'm dealing with that fall into these two things. I no longer get excited when I receive inquiries. I also realize i'm favoring the clients that book my style of work with a budget first. I'm starting to respond back later and later to those I really don't want to book. I just have no more motivation for them.

5 replies
-K8memphis Posted 23 Nov 2010 , 3:45pm
post #2 of 6

Well I think you either have the beginning of burn out or the beginning of streamlining your work to suit your taste. One is real bad one is real good. Tread carefully huh.

Y'know I mean consider to just start weeding out the ones you don't wnat to do. But the money is nice.

Here's an option--determine what kind of budget line of cake styles you want to do--something easy and fun for you. If someone wants budget they get the fast and fun for you styles. You might already do this just saying.

Sounds like you're leaning toward editing your business style to more closely adapt to your business model. Brilliant.

cakedout Posted 23 Nov 2010 , 3:45pm
post #3 of 6

It's your business, and you need to do what you feel comfortable and happy with. Politely tell those clients that the cakes they see on TV aren't the style that you do-besides, they come with an equally impressive price tag! Tell/show them what quality products you CAN offer them with a reasonable price.

indydebi Posted 23 Nov 2010 , 8:12pm
post #4 of 6

I dont' think many of us know a lot of folks who can actually afford TV cakes. I mean, no one *I* hang with will spend $8000 for a Cake Boss cake or will spend an avg of $2500 for a Duff Cake. So the fact that they WANT the tv cake and can't afford it just makes them regular everyday consumers. I WANT a Cadillac Escalade. I DRIVE a used Olds Bravado that has a broken gas gauge. Want vs. Reality. We deal with it all the time.

It's sometimes hard to balance the need to keep the lights on with our passion and creativity desire that got us started in the first place. I'd love to be a pure full time student but I've kinda got this food-shelter thing going for me that I've gotten used to, so night job here I come! icon_biggrin.gif

That said, I can't walk into Nordstroms and get a Walmart priced t-shirt. the salesperson would tell me, "I'm sorry, we dont' carry that line. You might try walmart." Did they lose a sale? Yes, they did. Will they make it up on the next customer who CAN afford to shop at Nordstroms? You betcha!

Work your business plan to know what your break even point is on the higher priced "artsy" type of cakes and see if that is attainable.

jenmat Posted 23 Nov 2010 , 8:28pm
post #5 of 6

Sounds like you need to make a goal that works you toward the "I don't do that." mentality. It is perfectly ok to say no to projects that don't fit your style.

You say you make money off the 3D cakes, but you stress and fret and research. Well, if you would be paying yourself by the hour for that cake and factor that in, I bet you are making nothing or next to it. Your cakes are amazing, and your style is amazing. If you continue to do things that stress you out and don't match your style, you WILL burn out and your style will suffer.

I should be preaching to myself. Sigh.

loriemoms Posted 23 Nov 2010 , 8:47pm
post #6 of 6

I agree with Indy, Many many customers walk in here and ask for the Duff cakes and then are surprised they are not cheap and that they cannot be done in 10 minutes.

I agree also you need to examine what you want your business to be. If you want to do 3D cakes, develope your own style that customers can afford. examine cheaper ways of doing those fancy cakes, like dont make them so large or the characters do detailed, or buy the gum paste flowers in bulk or dont use the eleborate support systems needed for some cakes, use more rice krispies, etc. I dont charge 3000 for a sculpted cake, but people are paying the 350-400 I ask for. They understand what is involved. I personally don't want the walmart customer who wants a TV cake for 20.00...

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