Venting! A Customer Took My Design To Another Caker!

Decorating By MamaNenascakes Updated 26 May 2011 , 9:32pm by indydebi

MamaNenascakes Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:09pm
post #1 of 51

Im sorry to vent here, but believe me, no one else but another caker will understand my frustration.

So here comes this woman for a tasting, after she tried them all and she really looked happy with the flavors we proceed to design her cake. Once she starts telling me all about her DD and her graduation, then she tells me EVERY DETAIL OF HER LIFE and how hard she has worked to earn every penny! And that BTW she raised her kids by herself icon_cry.gif with no Daddy help(Hello! My Mom did the same, but I knew here that she wanted a bargain).

Then she tells me she went to another caker that was charging her $5 to $6 per serving(at this point Im thinking well Im going to charge about the same) . Meanwhile Im listening and writing down the details to make the cake, I start sketching and the Idea I had was absolutely wonderful!
I made a handmade sketch and told her that if I needed more info I will email or call her.
The cake was due on the 8th of June so as she didnt brought her check book (of course she didnt) I told her to mail me the deposit or to stop by anytime. When she left she asked me if she could keep the sketch, I said sure.(stupid me)
The cake I designed was for 50, with sculpting and a lot of modeling (that I always charge extra for), I only charged her $200NOTHING because at the end I kind of felt bad for her.
So I didnt hear back from her for about 10 days, Im thinking in emailing her to see if she wants the cake or not guess what, she said as I didnt hear from you, I went with another baker and theyre charging me less for your same design
OMG! icon_eek.gif Im freaking pissed! Dont care for the contract, but I care for my design!
Im so so so mad!

50 replies
MamaDear Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:19pm
post #2 of 51

As just a hobby baker I can tell you that if I was a money baker I would have hit the roof. Did you find out which bakery she went to? Well I suppose it wouldn't matter because she probably told them it was her sketch anyway. Your only remedy in the future would be to write in bold letters across the design "Intellectual Property of MamaNenasCakes" or only sketch on watermarked paper before you let anyone get ahold of your sketches. Hate to say it but in this day and age, that probably wouldn't stop a less moral bakery from stealing it anyway.

Sorry for your bad experience. Hope things get better after the vent!

psmith Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:22pm
post #3 of 51

I'm just a hobby baker but your story makes me super angry too! That is a rotten thing for her to do. Unfortunately, you know now not to let that intellectual property out of your hands unless they pay for it!

I have no idea here but maybe someone else knows if it is possible to make a claim against her for using your design without permission? I also wonder if the other baker knew that it was the design of another baker she had spent time with? That seems wrong too. Grrrrrr...I would want to do something. So maddening!

cakeninja82 Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:24pm
post #4 of 51

The same thing happened to me except I found out by looking at a local bakeries website and low and behold there is the one of a kind design that I had sketched a few weeks earlier.

I looked rough to say the least, where I would have use gumpaste to make a bow this other baker used real ribbon and piped ugly sloppy dots directly on the ribbon.
The pearls where all mushy and misshapen, the topper was metallic pipe cleaners bent into shape.

It was horrible to say the least, and at first I was mad and then I figured hey they got what they paid for and now I have a good example to show my clients of what happens when you choose a baker solely on how much they charge.

yummy_in_my_tummy Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:31pm
post #5 of 51

That SO wrong... I'm really sorry that happened. On your sketch, did you happen to put your business name or anything like that? I know that if someone brought me a sketch with someone else's business name, I would tell them I couldn't do that, and offer something else. But, if someone brought me just a sketch, and didn't tell me that it was done by another caker, how would I know?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending what she did, because that was wrong, but I wonder if the other caker knew she was ripping you off??

MamaNenascakes Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:32pm
post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeninja82

The same thing happened to me except I found out by looking at a local bakeries website and low and behold there is the one of a kind design that I had sketched a few weeks earlier.

I looked rough to say the least, where I would have use gumpaste to make a bow this other baker used real ribbon and piped ugly sloppy dots directly on the ribbon.
The pearls where all mushy and misshapen, the topper was metallic pipe cleaners bent into shape.

It was horrible to say the least, and at first I was mad and then I figured hey they got what they paid for and now I have a good example to show my clients of what happens when you choose a baker solely on how much they charge.




I have a pretty good idea of who will be making MY design! I really want to just make the cake, keep it for myself (or I'll share with my neighbors) and post a picture before the other caker does it! Here where I live, there are few cakers... so I'm sure we're always checking the other one pictures...I know they'll not do it the way I was going to... I'm not the best around... but I work much better than most of the others...

CalhounsCakery Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:40pm
post #7 of 51

I have a pretty good idea of who will be making MY design! I really want to just make the cake, keep it for myself (or I'll share with my neighbors) and post a picture before the other caker does it! Here where I live, there are few cakers... so I'm sure we're always checking the other one pictures...I know they'll not do it the way I was going to... I'm not the best around... but I work much better than most of the others...[/quote]

I would totally make that cake first and post pics. Than you will have proof that is was yours first. And if you do do a better job, it's great advertising for your talent!

chrisviz Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:59pm
post #8 of 51

Hahaha great idea Calhouns Cakery!

Elcee Posted 25 May 2011 , 12:28am
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNenascakes

I really want to just make the cake, keep it for myself (or I'll share with my neighbors) and post a picture before the other caker does it!




thumbs_up.gif I say go for it!

10xHigh Posted 25 May 2011 , 12:32am
post #10 of 51

That was pretty shady. I have a graphics background and for over ten years designed logos and painted murals. I had this happen to me when I first started out designing.I sketched a paper drawing and let her hold on to it and even sketched the freaking mural on the wall in chalk.

I did it because she was excited and I was too. The next day she called me and said she changed her mind on the theme and would get back with me. A month later saw my sketch in an ad for the decorator she was using, haphazzardly painted in. It made me sick. Morally it was wrong but in the end, I told her she could have the sketch so it was her's to do with how she wanted.

Trust me never have I made that mistake. I won't let anyone take a picture with their phone either. I kindly say if you would like it for your events scrapbook I will gladly make a copy for myself and sign this one for you to keep when I deliver the finished project. That goes for logos to cakes icon_smile.gif

costumeczar Posted 25 May 2011 , 2:22am
post #11 of 51

I don't even do sketches anymore, just for that reason.

BakerAnn Posted 25 May 2011 , 3:42am
post #12 of 51

I am so sorry that your design was stolen right out from under you. I'd be furious too. I really appreciate your posting about this because I just made an instant decision. No sketches are available to the client until that hefty non-refundable deposit clears my bank.

MamaNenascakes Posted 25 May 2011 , 4:00am
post #13 of 51

thank you all for the support!

2txmedics Posted 25 May 2011 , 4:02am
post #14 of 51

I would be extremely upset also...Its amazing that todays society has gotten so ugly, cant trust your neighbors, cant trust anyone just going to the store, ...cant leave your door unlocked, not like the good ole days.

That was pretty low of that person, BUT...rest assure, that if that person couldnt come up with there own design for a cake, they wont give it the justice and talent that you would. People like that are not/dont know how to be creative and must take what belongs to others to profit.

You might get more orders after they see there work. Remember, you are far better than the person who deals like that, and in the end...It is You who will have peace of mnd, and can sleep at night.

Im sorry it happened to you, I bake cakes for hobbys and just for my family. I love it and I soak info in here but I never take credit for what others show me!
*hugs*

johnson6ofus Posted 25 May 2011 , 4:07am
post #15 of 51

Some people just suck... sorry.

cakegirl1973 Posted 25 May 2011 , 4:09am
post #16 of 51

I don't sketch anything until I have a signed contract.

Chonte Posted 25 May 2011 , 4:41am
post #17 of 51

make the cake first. use dummys if u don't wanna waste the cake. but make it and get the pictures up asap!

YellowBrickRd Posted 25 May 2011 , 6:34am
post #18 of 51

thumbs_up.gif You can doooo-it!! Hurry and do what the caker above me said!!! Beat them to it! Your quality of work will speak for itself!! Cant be matched!!

FromScratchSF Posted 25 May 2011 , 8:07am
post #19 of 51

I had a similar experience... so I don't do sketches without a signed contract either.

Some people do suck.

jason_kraft Posted 25 May 2011 , 1:35pm
post #20 of 51

At the very least you should have the customer sign an invoice for the tasting...and if they forget their checkbook and don't have enough cash to cover the cost of the tasting, direct them to the nearest ATM.

psmith Posted 25 May 2011 , 1:36pm
post #21 of 51

Oh my gosh! Making the cake first and putting pictures of it ALL around is a great idea!!! I hope you do it!! Make sure to post it here too! thumbs_up.gif

cakeninja82 Posted 25 May 2011 , 3:08pm
post #22 of 51

It probably won't matter to the customer or other baker.
If they are in the business of undercutting other bakers rather then outshining them talent wise then they aren't the kind of people to be concerned with a superior cake.
All they want to do is sell a cheap product, even if it means stealing designs.
I would just take comfort in knowing that the customer and baker is going to get what is coming to them which is a feature on Cake Wrecks....and not on Sunday either.

malene541 Posted 25 May 2011 , 3:37pm
post #23 of 51

I had somewhat of the same experience lately.
I spent time back and forth via e-mail with a lady about a design. She had some really crazy ideas that didn't go together. I finally explained how I would do it and drew it up for her. (BTW we never did get to the cost part) After all that she sends me a message via facebook and says "we are so busy right now that we have postponed my daughters sweet 16 birthday, I will call you when we decide to celebrate" I thought no big deal right?
Well right after the weekend of originally needing the cake I see a photo album of her daughters sweet 16th birthday party. ???? Doesn't make much sense right?
Low and behold there is the cake that I drew up. Clearly she had someone that didn't really know how to make cakes do it! It was a complete mess but it was the exact design I came up with.
I was more amazed that she asked to be my friend on facebook and then was dumb enough to post the pictures so I could see them??? I think I was really mostly mad because she lied about not even having a party though.
No worries though, I have a list of people I will never make a cake for/again and she just got on it icon_smile.gif

cindyloowho Posted 25 May 2011 , 3:47pm
post #24 of 51

I don't think people understand that what they are doing is wrong. Any artist has to worry about this problem...writers, musicians, illustrators... If this lady copied a page out of a textbook and turned it in to a professor, she would be in trouble! One thing you might want to do is get a notepad made up with your bakery's name and something at the bottom saying that this design is the property of ___ bakery and that this design cannot be used unless you have the written permission of _____ bakery, or something like that. Not that it still couldn't be stolen, but at least the customer would be aware. Anyway, she is very wrong, and I am so sorry this happened to you!!!

jason_kraft Posted 25 May 2011 , 4:16pm
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cindyloowho

One thing you might want to do is get a notepad made up with your bakery's name and something at the bottom saying that this design is the property of ___ bakery and that this design cannot be used unless you have the written permission of _____ bakery, or something like that.



This. Looking at the issue from the customer's perspective, she (the customer) may have assumed the design was a collaborative effort, and without a signed contract there would be nothing deterring her from shopping around with other vendors.

Calling this "stealing" is a bit of a stretch, normally people charge for tastings to recover the cost of their baking time and sketching time, and one of the deliverables of a tasting is usually a rough sketch. The other vendor might not even know where the customer's design came from.

TexasSugar Posted 25 May 2011 , 6:22pm
post #26 of 51

I think it is really easy to be quick to judge, but there are unknowns in the equation that I think people should factor in. No one knows what was said between the customer and other baker about the sketch.

If the baker knew who made the sketch, how much the other baker was charger and offered to do the design at a lower price that could be seen as shady.

I also really can't blame the customer for shopping around. Does no one else look for deals or bargains?

CutieMcCakes Posted 25 May 2011 , 6:59pm
post #27 of 51

I completely sympathize with you! I can't believe people! I learned that the hard way too, and let me tell you, I'm feeling upset too! I had two friends that are getting married in sept, and we had the tasting, they raved about everything, she loved the design (rough sketch) and everything. I had given her fiance (my coworker) a copy of the rough sketch a week earlier b/c we were unable to see each other quick enough, I thought, "what's the harm? they're meeting next week to finalize everything anyways." again, i was so trusting. I came back with a price and they're saying its 'over budget ' (by $75) and now won't book. some friends. I'm waiting for my design to show up.. and i was told the same advice... get dummy cakes and make your spectacular creation BEFORE the other place does. Good luck and know you're not alone in this!!!

leah_s Posted 25 May 2011 , 7:14pm
post #28 of 51

1. My sketches are MY work product and belong to ME. They never go into the customer's hands.
2. I had a stamp made that says, "Each cake design is copyright by Louisville Wedding Cake." Stamp that little sucker right on the invoice, even if there's no cake sketch drawn on there.

carmijok Posted 25 May 2011 , 7:53pm
post #29 of 51

IF the design is an ORIGINAL design then yes...I'd be PO'd about another baker doing it. But really, how original is it? Were you doing something so totally different from any other wedding cake ever made? I mean, like the first person that ever did a topsy turvy cake...THAT was original. Now it's everywhere. Was this design something that no one else could have thought of given the bride's direction? Let's face it, many brides come in with pictures of cakes from magazines and other sources, some for inspiration...some want direct copies.

At the bakery I worked for, a bride wanted a cake exactly like the picture another baker in town had in a city magazine. Reason? She liked our cake better (we were more expensive too) but she was dead set on the design. So we did it...only we made it look a hell of a lot better and made a few little changes. No doubt this other baker will make a few changes too.

I can fully appreciate your anger. You were taken advantage of. But it's a lesson learned. Whenever I did a tasting I would make little sketches while the bride was talking. I did the sketches on the order pad. If the bride made a deposit great. If she wanted to 'get back' with us, I put the order form with the sketch in a folder and kept it in-house. I really don't remember too many brides who didn't book with us wanting to take the sketch with them. However nothing was going to leave the bakery if it wasn't signed and sealed. Not so much because it was so 'original' as much as it was the principle of the work that we had already taken the time and effort to do.

NaNaof5 Posted 25 May 2011 , 8:29pm
post #30 of 51

I had the same experience. Potential customer took a pic of a sweet 16 cake I had designed and made to another baker who I'm sure beat my pricing. My friend happened to see the pics from the party, and there was an imitation of my cake. On my facebook page I posted, "Often imitated but never duplicated!"

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