Should I Decline This Cake?

Decorating By prismperfect Updated 22 Dec 2010 , 6:06pm by jenmat

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:12pm
post #1 of 47

Hi all, need some advice.

I've been asked to replicate this cake, I don't know any details as of yet, if they want fondant, buttercream, how big (i think 20 people) or what details to exclude or add. I'm currently waiting to hear back from the 16 year old birthday boy on exactly what he wants.
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1552494


I'm a perfectionist so mine will look a lot cleaner than that one, with a lot more detailing more than likely. I'm still an amateur though and have only had one paid client so far.
[Edit: To clarify here what I mean to say was that I'm anal retentive and a huge Mario fan so I would make mine more detailed and change it a bit to the client's request, I love the original design as-is. I'm not trying to offend anybody or critique their work, I'm just saying the client is probably going to ask for more details that I'd like to do. Just trying to clarify that the cake probably won't look the same, so it will probably me take longer than the one pictured. icon_sad.gif ]


Of course it's family (a very distant cousin my mom recommended me to), so I feel bad, but I don't know if I can get it done as they're just now emailing me to have it done Jan 1st. I work full time, this weekend is a no-no with the Christmas activities, so I maybe have a couple of hours a night to work on it next week, and the full day before the delivery. There's a lot of colors of fondant to mix, not even factoring in if there's things to add.

How much advance notice would you require for that cake as-is? Have you ever had to turn down a client and how do you voice your concern politely?

Would appreciate any advice icon_smile.gif

46 replies
-K8memphis Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:18pm
post #2 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismperfect

Hi all, need some advice.

I've been asked to replicate this cake, I don't know any details as of yet, if they want fondant, buttercream, how big (i think 20 people) or what details to exclude or add.
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1552494

I'm a perfectionist so mine will look a lot cleaner than that one, with a lot more detailing more than likely. I'm still an amateur though and have only had one paid client so far.
Of course it's family (a very distant cousin my mom recommended me to), so I feel bad, but I don't know if I can get it done as they're just now emailing me to have it done Jan 1st. I work full time, this weekend is a no-no with the Christmas activities, so I maybe have a couple of hours a night to work on it next week, and the full day before the delivery. There's a lot of colors of fondant to mix, not even factoring in if there's things to add.

How much advance notice would you require for that cake as-is? Have you ever had to turn down a client and how do you voice your concern politely?

Would appreciate any advice icon_smile.gif




Light on manners are we?

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:20pm
post #3 of 47

Oh no no, I just meant that I love the features of that but I'm a huge Mario fan and mine will be a bit more detailed and a bit different, many kudos to the original baker's skills icon_biggrin.gif

Sorry it came off that way.

aligotmatt Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:22pm
post #4 of 47

"Thank you so much for considering me for your birthday cake. Normally, I would love to be able to do this cake for you, however, it is Christmas and New Years and I just don't have any time to be able to complete this order. Best Wishes!"

-K8memphis Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:24pm
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismperfect

Oh no no, I just meant that I love the features of that but I'm a huge Mario fan and mine will be a bit more detailed and a bit different, many kudos to the original baker's skills icon_biggrin.gif

Sorry it came off that way.




You could edit that out of yours and maybe they won't have seen it yet and then I'll delete my post--deal?

playingwithsugar Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:25pm
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismperfect

I'm still an amateur though and have only had one paid client so far.




A-hum (clearing throat) - If you've had a paid client, you are now a professional. And since you think your work is so wonderful that you have the right to humiliate another member here, I'm sure the unprofessional professional in you can figure out the answers to your questions yourself.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

dreamcakesmom Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:28pm
post #7 of 47

That's almost 2 weeks away for a cake for 20 people for me that would be more than enough time. Even setting aside 1 night for baking, 1 for prep and 1 for decorating

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:38pm
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by prismperfect

I'm still an amateur though and have only had one paid client so far.



A-hum (clearing throat) - If you've had a paid client, you are now a professional. And since you think your work is so wonderful that you have the right to humiliate another member here, I'm sure the unprofessional professional in you can figure out the answers to your questions yourself.

Theresa icon_smile.gif




No no I didn't mean to humiliate her in any way, that cake was adorable and I can really see why he picked it as something to try to replicate.

I apologize that I came off that way it is not what I meant at all and I explained that above, I'm just saying I would alter the design a bit to be more detailed. I didn't mean to be rude at all, I think you're being a bit harsh and I'm sorry I offended you.

bakencake Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:45pm
post #9 of 47

I agree with prismperfect's quote. but do it asap so that they can have a back up. hth

Quote:
Quote:

"Thank you so much for considering me for your birthday cake. Normally, I would love to be able to do this cake for you, however, it is Christmas and New Years and I just don't have any time to be able to complete this order. Best Wishes!"


playingwithsugar Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:51pm
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismperfect

I'm a perfectionist so mine will look a lot cleaner than that one, with a lot more detailing more than likely. I'm still an amateur though and have only had one paid client so far.




After reading a statement like the one I've highlighted, I don't think I'm being harsh at all.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 3:54pm
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by prismperfect

I'm a perfectionist so mine will look a lot cleaner than that one, with a lot more detailing more than likely. I'm still an amateur though and have only had one paid client so far.



After reading a statement like the one I've highlighted, I don't think I'm being harsh at all.

Theresa icon_smile.gif





Please read my clarification that I've mentioned many times after that. I apologized several times that it came off that way.

I was just trying to clarify that mine would not be exactly the same as the one pictured, more detailed, and would take more time. I thought that bit of info would be important in determining if others would think that's enough time/warning to do the cake. I unfortunately said it in a way that made it seem like the original design was sub-par, which is definitely not the case and not what I meant. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.

Moving on.

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:18pm
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluntlySpeakingKarma

Well, I hope you've practiced a lot since your last cake, cause it looks to me like yours would pretty much look the same.




Alrighty, irrelevant but good idea, I'll just change the entire thread to asking if I'm capable of doing the cake at all. icon_confused.gif *sigh*

Not really what I was inquiring about, I am asking if other decorators would accept a project like this with possibly more detail than the one pictured, around the holidays, with basically a week's notice, and how to go about politely declining if I needed to.

Thanks so much aligotmatt & dreamcakesmom for your thoughts. thumbs_up.gif

visionsofprisms Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:22pm
post #13 of 47

Alright folks, lay off of her a bit, she miss spoke, I am sure none of us have ever done that. She has apologized several times. Get over it.

PrismPerfect - if you honestly do not think you will have enough time for the cake. Which I think a couple nights would be more than enough for it. Just tell them exactly what aligotmatt said.

But honestly I really do not see how this cake would take that much time to make. Even with more details added.

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:27pm
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by visionsofprisms


PrismPerfect - if you honestly do not think you will have enough time for the cake. Which I think a couple nights would be more than enough for it. Just tell them exactly what aligotmatt said.





Thanks much! I will definitely take that into consideration, the last paid cake I did took over my life for a couple weeks but it was really my first big one, but I'm much more practiced now and have a general idea of what to expect this time around. But I thought you guys who are pros at this would know if that's something that could be feasibly done within this time frame icon_smile.gif

Thanks again!

leah_s Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:27pm
post #15 of 47

So are we ignoring the potential copyright issues?

leily Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:30pm
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

So are we ignoring the potential copyright issues?




i was going to post something similiar. I wouldn't do the cake since it's copyrighted material. So the amount of notice they're giving isn't an isue then since you can't legally charge for copyrighted material.

VaBelle Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:30pm
post #17 of 47

I get what you're trying to say, though next time you may want to use the delete button instead of editing your comment. Even though you tried to clarify, the person who made the cake would probably feel bad by your comment and as you've seen, others are quick to berate.

To answer your question though, only you can answer for yourself. It all depends on how fast you work and when they get the details to you. For me personally, I would have to turn the job down. I work way too slow to get it done.

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:31pm
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

So are we ignoring the potential copyright issues?




Of course that's a concern, but then the original baker should be questioned too, and anybody else with character cakes...all over this site...it happens, it's always gonna happen unfortunately as long as there's cakes to be made. I won't make a habit of it at all going forward.

I'm way undercharging pretty much only for the food costs since it's family, and I've given thousands of dollars to Nintendo over the years so legally of course it doesn't balance but morally for me it does. icon_lol.gif

cfpeoples Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:33pm
post #19 of 47

I think it looks like you have enough time to do it. I take big orders on short notice all the time. Yes, i prefer to have more time, but sometimes things come up for people, or they don't consider it ahead of time. I always end up staying up till 5:00 in the morning but that's why i charge for my time. It's always up to me whether or not my time is worth it at any given time. If you tell them you will do it, just include, "in the future i require x-amount of time advance for orders so i can schedule it properly and get any special materials".

-K8memphis Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:36pm
post #20 of 47

For sure you are forgiven for your mis-spokedness. But why didn't you just edit that line out during the two times you edited that post like I suggested?

But if you think you don't have enough time I think that's your answer.

visionsofprisms Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:41pm
post #21 of 47

I am definitely not a professional. I am like you I work a regular job, and cake on the side. I normally do it at night when I get out of work.

The first night you could bake the cakes and tint the fondant/ or make it depending on what you need to do. I find it easier to just buy it.

night 2, ice and put basic decorations on, start to work on more complicated figures

night 3 finish it up.

leah_s Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:44pm
post #22 of 47

[quote="prismperfect"][quote="leah_s"]So are we ignoring the potential copyright issues?[/quote]

Of course that's a concern, but then the original baker should be questioned too, and anybody else with character cakes...all over this site...it happens, it's always gonna happen unfortunately as long as there's cakes to be made. I won't make a habit of it at all going forward.

I'm way undercharging pretty much only for the food costs since it's family, and I've given thousands of dollars to Nintendo over the years so legally of course it doesn't balance but morally for me it does. icon_lol.gif[/quote]


icon_eek.gif

Beansss Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:45pm
post #23 of 47

I really just do cakes for the kids in my family and I most likely would turn down something over the holidays. Not having done very many cakes, I am still S-L-O-W (although getting quicker with each one!). You said your last order consumed your life a bit, and I know for me, I wouldn't want that stress over the holidays!

Good luck with whatever you decide! icon_smile.gif

leily Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:47pm
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismperfect

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

So are we ignoring the potential copyright issues?



Of course that's a concern, but then the original baker should be questioned too, and anybody else with character cakes...all over this site...it happens, it's always gonna happen unfortunately as long as there's cakes to be made. I won't make a habit of it at all going forward.




Just because the original baker made it doesn't mean they broke copyright rules, (well that part is still to be debated) but we don't know if they sold it. Selling copyrighted items w/o permission is where you get into trouble. And just because they're posted on this site in the galleries doesn't mean they were sold.

I have done copyrighted characters for my nephews and neice, but i don't sell the cakes, and they aren't in my portfolio that customers look at, they're posted here for inspiration to others and in my own personal files.

Kitagrl Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:48pm
post #25 of 47

I guess I don't understand why threads have to go this way.

Simple answer: If you don't have time for the cake, don't accept the cake.

Why do we have to pick apart the posts as followed:
1. You're rude
2. Your skills aren't as good as you think they are
3. You are breaking copyright
4. It doesn't matter if you apologize...you're still rude


I mean geez...this thread should have been three posts long: "Do I have time"? Answer: "Its totally up to you, dear." Third reply: "Thanks!"

If you really think she's rude and offensive, then ignore the thread....? If everyone ignores a rude and offensive person (not saying the OP is, just saying in general) then rude and offensive people won't have anyone to talk to...right?

Its Christmas guys....lets dump the drama for a bit, ya think?

kelleym Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:49pm
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by prismperfect

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

So are we ignoring the potential copyright issues?



Of course that's a concern, but then the original baker should be questioned too,



She says in her description that she made it for her son.

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 4:55pm
post #27 of 47

Thank you Kitagrl, I agree completely. I'm the only one who knows if I can do the cake, but I thought maybe some experienced decorators would know if I'm setting myself up for failure by not really having any details with less than a week to prepare (minus this whole weekend really).

Just assumed we were all like minded and could share some experiences/tips, reading around the forums my question seemed like business as usual around here but for some i guess not icon_cry.gif

Thanks very much to all those that gave advice, it really helped me!

CakesHeaven Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 5:05pm
post #28 of 47

If your asking the question, then I think you already know that you don't have the time but feel guilty for saying no.
I had my sister ask me two weeks before my neices birthday to make her cake at the beginning of December. I just simply said that I would love to but right now I just couldn't. With working full-time, a christmas parties, a wedding cake and the kids school plays I just don't have the time to spend on making a beautiful cake she deserved.
They are family, they should understand and if they don't, they will either know to ask you earlier so you can plan it in your schedule or they won't ask again but that's okay too. Holidays are busy enough, don't keep trying to please everyone by adding to your plate.

Merry Christmas!

cfpeoples Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 5:09pm
post #29 of 47

So funny Leah_s......I know how you feel about giving $$ to Nintendo over the years!!

prismperfect Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 5:12pm
post #30 of 47

@KitKatCakes

Yep the guilt is definitely a factor. I'm not close with this cousin but it's for his step-son who is turning 16, but the kid is really excited and as his mom said "It would mean the world to him." So I just want to really do a good job and not have to disappoint him. I just thought for something like this, me doing it on the side and being a novice, I'd like a month's notice! thumbs_up.gif

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