I'm a beginner cake maker. I love it. I love it so much that my current job just doesn't seem satisfactory. I'm only 23 but I have a degree and a really good job. I know that I would probably make only about half (if that) of my current salary if I pursued cake making. I just bought a house and the idea of not having my current income is stressful.
Has anybody out there left a high paying job for cake making knowing that they were going to lose income? Did you find that you found what you were looking for?
Do you have a very large customer base at the moment?
I did...I use to work in advertising, had just gotten my masters degree and was up for a promotion when I quit. While it definitely has been rewarding in pursuing what I love, it also helped that I'm single, can crash with my parents, and have no kids.
That being said, if I had more responsiblities I may not have done it because it can take over your life and drain your bank account REALLY quick.
The advice I would give you is to count up all the costs, determine what's best (even if that means waiting a few years before you quit) and whatever you do, don't make any rash decisions...
I make 1/10 of what I used to make, went from high powered attorney to cake designer, but am much happier. (But I can afford the pay cut since I have a huge pension from my previous career)
Sometimes you just have to take a chance or else your never know!!!
No I don't have a huge customer base right now. I actually still have a student loan that i need to pay off. This isn't something that I'm thinking of doing anytime soon, but maybe within the next couple years...
I live in a city where people have money. So I think that if executed well, I would be able to build a good customer base. Cupcake shops do really well here. And people tend to splurge on weddings.
But For the next little while, I'm just gonna keep making cakes for friends and family when I have the time and build a portfolio.
I'm not a huge risk taker so I would need to build a very small side business before I would be willing to quit my 'day job'. For the first time in my life I HAVE to be able to pay bills every month... The idea of not having a steady income makes me nervous.
Thanks for the replies, I guess I'm just looking for some inspiration from people who have done it and survived!!
Sometimes the best time to follow your dreams is in the beginning. You sound like you have a great education. You did right by getting your education no matter what your dream job happens to be. You have proven that you can follow through with something to its successful completion with the right balance of work/play. OK, enough of the "mom" stuff.
Sometimes, when you start your career, you can get sidetracked and put yourself in a position to never be able to follow your dreams. For example, raises that make quitting even harder, the new car (payments) you had to have, credit card bills for work clothes, motherhood and all of its expenses, you get the picture.
If you are really serious about this being your dream, try to pursue it now on even the smallest professional level while you are otherwise employed. When I was your age, I had a full time job, a small marketing company, rehabbed an old house every two years (while we lived in it), oh, and by the way, two kids. The only way to get what you want is work for it (or find someone to give it to you). Good luck!
I think you're on track thinking you should start as a side-business while keeping your day-job. It's a lot of work, but the steady income will allow you to grow your business the right way, and you'll know when the time (and income) is right to make the move.
I have a great job that I really like, but my passion is my cake business. My plan is to continue working my day-job until I have enough money saved that I feel I can switch over to just my cake business, without having to worry about finances.
I was a six sigma process improvement engineer and project manager. Lots of schooling & training for that, not to mention a big salery and the hours and stress that comes with it. Well, no more. Thanks to corporate downsizing (and I truly mean THANKS), I was laid off. It was such a blessing in disguise because it gave me the push to start my business full time (rather than weekend caking). I never could have rationalized walking away from such a good income to take a risk at starting a business doing what i love. I recieved a generous serverence package and my husband has a geat job too so that definately helped. Now i do the work i love and have twice as much time with my kids than i had before. After spending 14 years in the corporate trenches i am finally doing what makes me happy.
I was a regional visual director for a division of Saks Inc. I traveled all the time and I hated it, but I made great money. I knew I wanted to start a cake business so I started living on less and leaching my cakes every weekend while I squirreled away my money. If you want to make cakes for a living, make yourself a plan or a roadmap on how to get there. Best of luck to you!!
thank you dreamerbaker for starting this post, and thank you to all the wonderful ladies who have replied! I'm also 23 and lately I've had the same question ly and have been really wondering about an answer- i'm a senior in college about to graduate with my engineering degree but i want to go into caking instead! i'm looking for an engineering job right now bc i know i'll have to have money to start up any buisiness, but like ya'll have said i'm afraid to get sucked in and never be able to quit =/ my bf of 3yrs and i plan to marry in a year (after we both graduate) and he tells me as soon as he gets his job going i can quit mine, but i was never raised to depend fully on someone else. its just such a difficult decision! ahhhhh all i want to do is cake! heehee
*sorry for hijacking your thread lol!*
Cake_architect, there is nothing more important to whatever your career path may be than a college education. Obviously, business education would be the most helpful, but if you are as intelligent as you sound, you can pick that up part time. You have made wise choices so far, so your dream is attainable.
When we were rehabbing old houses, all of my friends had new cars and I drove clunkers for years. Every weekend, we bought building material and I laid away antiques while everyone else went on vacations, went to the movies, etc. When I was 29, we bought a huge brick colonial, rehabbed it to perfection, filled it with antiques, and bought a new SUV. Except for a 50k mortgage, it was all paid for. There is a huge reward for hard work and keeping site of your goals. My double major in acct/econ didn't hurt.
I worked for the Fed Gov in Legal field for over 23 yrs, High paying, Traveling etc. Last year I decided to go to culinary school for IBP... Loved it, but I'm broke. School was 20K for the yr. Now I have student loans to pay off.
I want to start up my own bakery in Belize, but the economy will not let me do it. Unlike here in the states you can try to get a business loan, in belize I would have to finance it all myself.
But I love baking, I haven't really ventured out yet with selling cakes. I still just keep giving them away. LOL I got an apprenticeship at Publix Bakery, so I'm just taking it all in, management, production, etc. I can't believe I'm only making $9 an hour.... I made that when I was 18yrs old, 20 yrs ago. BUT I'm HAPPY, or so I tell myself when I have to pay the bills. I can always go back to the Law, but I hate it.
Last month I got a job at a wholesale/production bakery, as an asstitant baker, 40 miles away from my home. I was sleeping on my cousins couch.
They said they will try me out to see if I got along with the Team and see about my speed. Well they loved me, I even gave them ideas for new products.
At my age this was some back breaking work. I kept telling myself that I'm learning all that I will need to for my business in Belize.
Four days into the week, I finally found out how much I was making. $8.75 hr.
OH HECK NO... They didnt see me the next day.
Stay with your Job as long as you can. Until you have the financing and the clients, don't quit your day job.
I was a stockbroker for 11 years. Towards the end of my career in 2009 I was having a hard time with the whole work environment...friends and colleagues of many years were being laid off, we were the scum of the earth in the press and most people's eyes. It just wasn't a great place to be. I negotiated my way out of that business with the help of my boss. With the money I took a year out to plan the cake biz, and managed to open debt-free. I hope it stays that way. I have only been open for just over 4 months and so far, so good.
If you can do it debt-free, go for it. Otherwise, start saving big time and keep practicing. I don't have kids but am recently married - I hardly see him, and spend 13-14 hours at the bakery in the week and around 7 hours on Saturdays. Outside of that I am purchasing supplies and doing admin that I can't get done during the day. It's not just about baking cakes...lots and lots of time is spent on the phone/email/shopping/paying bills/chasing payments...fun to start with but not so much after the first few times. I currently work on my own but hope to be able to hire help soon!
I think builiding your portfolio, practicing and keep making cakes for family and friends is a great idea right now! I'm 22 and do this full time...but I live with my parents for free and deferred all my student loans except for one. I got laid off from my first job about a month after college and this just all kind of came together. But I know what you mean...I hate bills!! lol being a grown up is no fun