Unique Situation....need Opinions And Ideas

Decorating By BakerzJoy Updated 16 Aug 2011 , 9:48pm by playingwithsugar

BakerzJoy Posted 14 Aug 2011 , 11:56pm
post #1 of 32

Hey everyone,
Last year I was invited to be apart of a Harvest Home Show which was a bunch of us girls with different businesses under one roof. It was held at an old victorian home in the fall and was decked out with fall leaves, pumpkins and harvest stuff. We advertised for months and on that day we had a bunch of people come through and go from room to room to visit each booth. I was in the kitchen obviously. I gained a lot of clients from the event so it was definatly worth it, not to mention it was so much fun.
I had cupcake minis in my top flavors, 2 display cakes and a huge photo album with all my cake photos. I ran a contest at my booth and was booking buisness in my book.

Well, I was invited to be apart of it again and I was so excited. Then the host wrote me and said "well I didn't want to offend you so I thought you should know that I am planning on inviting my friend who also does cakes. She is just getting into the business and you both are very different in style on your cakes. Are you okay with this"??

Instantly, I was taken back because this event shouldn't be about competition. It's about helping to promote each others business.
So, I asked her what kind of cakes does she do? She responds with the girls facebook page and name and to my surprise...she isn't just getting started at all...maybe her business, but she's been doing cakes for awhile and is almost as good as me.
So, needless to say, I'm not looking at this like I did last year. I am trying to show this girl out!!
Our businesses are within 15 minutes of each other and were gonna be fighting for competition.
What would you guys do and if you chose to go with it, what would you do to outshine this girl??

31 replies
jason_kraft Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:06am
post #2 of 32

Does GA have a cottage food law? If not, I would be very careful about promoting your home-based food service business in public.

gourmetsharon Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:26am
post #3 of 32

I have done home shows similiar to this.
Personally, I don't think that's cool to invite two very similiar vendors. One of the other benefits is to invite each other's friends, families, and contacts.

but you seem to have a good attitude about it! good for you!

You'll have to bring your A game. You'll need a stunning centerpiece. take a look at her work and see where you can truly shine.

Good luck!


and, Jason, that's not what she asked. Keep on topic please.

jason_kraft Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:35am
post #4 of 32

Sorry, I'll stick to the question that was asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

What would you guys do and if you chose to go with it, what would you do to outshine this girl??




If it was me, I would decline to participate in a public event showcasing my home-based baking business until I was sure I was operating legally according to my state's food safety laws.

Spuddysmom Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:45am
post #5 of 32

Kind of tricky question to post as this other baker may also be part of CC. Why does the host think you two have VERY different styles? Is there something you do obviously better/different - why not emphasize that? Are your sugar flowers amazing? I guess you could dazzle potential clients by promoting your unique style/work. I would try to find out what she is bringing so you both don't end up displaying identical cake balls or something.

jules5000 Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:55am
post #6 of 32

First of all, you said that the purpose of the event was to help people to get off the ground with their businesses? right? Second of all you felt slighted because she even asked you when this was the purpose of the event. like you were insulted that she would think that you had a problem with it. She did not lie to you. She did not tell you that the girl was just getting started in doing cakes, she said she was just getting started in business. She was up front with you about it and I think that if I were you, I would go there with the attitude that you did last year. You put forth your very best, you are friendly to everyone, including her and you operate your booth just like you did last year. People are going to notice that you have a good product out there, that you are not trying to outdo her. If you were invited a second year that is good, right? you did something right and they want you back. Just keep doing it. You don't know who this girl is and maybe she is someone who is going to stay busy enough without interfering or taking business away from you. In ICES, we all help each other as much as possible. That does not mean you give your business to others unless it is more than you can handle and you have someone you can trust to help you out w/o taking future business from you, but to go with the attitude that you are going to try to outshine her is wrong. She has done nothing to provoke that. Just shine forth with the best of your products and be the same person you were last year protraying and you are still going ot get business. Remember the golden rule also.

BakerzJoy Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 1:00am
post #7 of 32

Thanks for the encouragement gourmetsharon. It's crucial for me to bring my "A" game like I always do.
Not sure why she thought we were different. We seem similar. We both do fondant, fondant pieces, stacked cakes, cupcakes etc. I'm thinking we are WAY more alike than we are different.
I don't do sugar flowers and I don't think she does either.
The only thing that would be a negative for me is if her prices were lower than mine.
We'll find out soon on that though.

SweetSouthernBakery Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 1:07am
post #8 of 32

Well, I didn't realize that OP had posted a question about Cottage Food Laws. I thought that the OP asked what she could do to outshine the competition and said nothing about cottage food laws. But perhaps people read things differently in CA than they do in TN and GA.

@ Bakerz Joy...If I were doing the show (which I most certainly would, you were there first and from what you said received a lot of business from it) then I would go all out and do the best display that you can possibly do, you are in the South after all and isn't outshining the competition what we do best? GourmetSharon is right, you will need your A game, but you know about this in advance so that means that you can prepare for it. So pull out all those tricks your mama and grandmamma taught you and be the best that you can be, all the while being a classy of course.
I would stick with having mini cupcakes there in your best flavors. Cupcakes are very popular and easy to eat. Or you could even go for cake pops.
BTW I loved the Harvest Apple Cake that you did for the Harvest Show (perhaps last years?).
Wow them with whatever you do and good luck.

cakestyles Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 1:16am
post #9 of 32

I don't know...I'm thinking this could be awkward.

How large is this Victorian house? Did you ask how the individual booths will be set up? I mean, do you have to share the kitchen space with this other girl?

I've done bridal shows where obviously I'm not the only cake vendor there, but the venue is always so large that we're pretty spread out from one another.

I'm picturing you and this other girl in the kitchen together with a lot of uncomfortable moments of silence.

I would get the details of booth set up beforehand so you can be completely prepared.

Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

Elcee Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 1:30am
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

Then the host wrote me and said "well I didn't want to offend you so I thought you should know that I am planning on inviting my friend who also does cakes. She is just getting into the business and you both are very different in style on your cakes. Are you okay with this"??




Actually, I think I would have answered the host's original question of "Are you okay with this?" honestly and told her you're not. As a previous vendor at the event, you should have preference. I'm sure they wouldn't have two lia sophia reps or Mary Kay booths.

BakerzJoy Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 1:39am
post #11 of 32

Jules5000...I totally see your point.....here is how I see it.
This is now a competition unfortunately. When someone walks into the room, it will be her products, display cakes and offers that run against my products, display cakes and offers. Being the client that walks in, I would be looking for who's cheaper, who does better work, who's cakes tasted and looked better and what they offered all together in order to seal the deal.
I believe in myself and I surely believe in my work and product and honestly don't really feel insecure about that. What I am worried about is the price range for the same type of work. Also, the fact that I don't know her work besides 60 pictures of cakes on Facebook. She could surprise me and outshine me. (again...competition mode here)
I don't want her to steal my business and I surely don't want to steal hers. My first thoughts were for her. What if someone took her card and then seeing my table afterwards they tossed her card out to replace it with mine. I think that would be cruel to be done to her and even if the tables were turned, it would be cruel to be done to me too.
I am a christian woman and follow the golden rule and preach it to my kids. I want to do what's right and fair for the both of us. I want the best for her and I. God knows I can't handle ALL the business and surely she can't either. We must share and I'm fine with that. I just seem to constantly feel weird when I think about 2 of us in the same place trying to promote the same thing.

cakestyles Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 1:47am
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerzJoy

I just seem to constantly feel weird when I think about 2 of us in the same place trying to promote the same thing.




I would too if I were put in this position.

I would talk to the event coordinator about this and express to her your feelings on this uncomfortable situation that she's putting you in.

I don't think the two of you should be in the same area of the house, that just wouldn't sit well with me at all and I think it would make it awkward for the potential clients as well.

On the other hand, this could end up working out for the two of you. It's nice to have someone to refer clients to when you are booked and vice versa.

BakerzJoy Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 1:48am
post #13 of 32

Wow thanks sweetsouthernbakery......lots of great encouragement. Thank you so much.
Cakestyles...I agree it is akward and I did ask her about the setup. She didn't respond to me yet through email. The house is not that large. I was thinking about the same senario.....could we both be in the same area with silent moments....LOL.
ELCEE.... I also though the same thing. The host does candles, could you imagine 2 candle people? She probably wouldn't.
I kinda don't know if I should say too much due to the fact that she may ask me to back out. I'm not sure I want to do this. Awkward position!!

gourmetsharon Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 2:07am
post #14 of 32

Yes she has put you in a bad position as well as her friend. Do what you can with it. I am sure you will rise to the occasion. And you might start looking for other networking opportunities for the future.

You might think of something very "holiday" that you can sell for people's parties. People are very visual and something like a cupcake tree or towerthat people will just need to have!

lutie Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 2:11am
post #15 of 32

Please do not fear what you do not know...tell her EXACTLY how you feel. People want the truth; not the conversation that is PC. I would want you to tell me how you felt...If she does not ask you to stay, then it was not meant for you to be there...do not try to "outshine" someone; just be the very best you can be...you have no control over anyone, but yourself.

BakerzJoy Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 2:19am
post #16 of 32

Ok, I just messaged her exactly how I feel and it felt really good to say the least. We'll see where this goes. Thanks everyone for the great words you have given. Hopefully this will turn out great!!

jules5000 Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 2:22am
post #17 of 32

bakerzjoy, You do what you feel best doing in this situation. From the facts you shared earlier this lady was upfront with you and if she gets back with you by phone or via email, hear her out or read what she says and ask the Lord what to do. I would still say the same thing and others also agreed. You go to this event and be the best you can be. Your light will shine forth and there are going to be customers drawn to you and there are going to be customers drawn to her. If you are acting like and treating other people like Christ would want you to, I do not believe for a minute that you are not going to be blessed by it. He rewards us with blessings that we sometimes don't even know are blessings at the time. She just might be the person that God wants you to meet. It doesn't matter if you are better or she is better. Maybe God wants you in her life for a reason. If we ask for Wisdom we will be given wisdom. That is what God's word says.

BakerzJoy Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 12:06pm
post #18 of 32

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and encouragement. To my amazement and shock....she has written me this morning and told me that she understood my point and therefore would not bring this girl on to the team.
She stated that she wouldn't want to have another company like her's ( she does candles) there as her competition either. I think what she did was place herself in my shoes and didn't like what she saw.
I was happy to hear this...now It's like it's supposed to be....all of us supporting each other and not turning into a competition.
I am relieved!! Wheewww.....

Jennifer353 Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 1:24pm
post #19 of 32

Brilliant, thats great news for you icon_smile.gif It didn't sound like the type of group where people doing the same business should be.

Now you just have to focus on shining for you and your potential/customers and not put energy into worrying about how the situation with the other lady might work. Good luck with the event!

Spuddysmom Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 2:36pm
post #20 of 32

Nice to hear of a good resolution!

cakestyles Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 3:24pm
post #21 of 32

That's great! I'm happy you decided to express your feelings to her and that she was so understanding.

QTCakes1 Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 4:20pm
post #22 of 32

I'm glad it wokred out for you, but I do have one busines comment to make. If she was going to be there, she WOULD hae been your compeition, and YES, it would have been your job to OUTSHINE HER! It's business and all this caring and sharing some expressed you should have had for your competition is a little sily. I didn't say slam your competition's name, I said OUTSHINE her. There is nothing wrong with that. I would have had a stellar display cake and some minis, cause though they are a PIA, they really impress people.

Cre8cake Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 2:00am
post #23 of 32

I just joined Cake Central but have had a home cake business for 28 years. I do agree with Jason, as I had that happen to me. I have a state business license and a local merchant license. Please check your local ordinances. I used to display my business cards with the Wedding cakes I did and a catering company got upset and reported me to the health department. I had to shut down for a few years. I moved to a different city that didn't allow cottage industry then, but does now.

Also be careful about how you advertise. I don't know the law your city but in mine, I'm okay if I don't actively advertise as a commercial business, which requires health inspections etc. No ads (unless it's within a local group I'm a member off: church, club etc), no handing out business cards or having them on display. I can hand out cards if someone asks me for one. At craft shows, I have a small banner and flyers with pricing and general information but no address.

I hope your event goes well for you.

jules5000 Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 7:08pm
post #24 of 32

Well, I am glad that all worked out well. I believe that you did hand the situation to God and he took care of it. Your only concern now will be shining your brightest and best. Have your A game there just as if you would if competition were there and you will be blessed.

enchantedcreations Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 8:00pm
post #25 of 32

This has been a very interesting post. I guess I view this situation quite differently than the majority. I would have gone and introduced myself to the other baker/caker. I would have told her I looked forward to the event and our working not together per se but show casing our unique styles. I see nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. I stand by what I bake, decorate, price and NOW sell (Jason,this is for you..... Fla. Cottage Food Act). I think it keeps us on our toes and will only keep us aware of what is going on around us. I think it's a great tool to know your competition and to network with them. Who knows, you may become great friends and may need each other know the road........

Allie06 Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 8:32pm
post #26 of 32

Wow, this was awful...You used your senority to push some one out of your spotlight. Congratulations, you win customers by default.

gourmetsharon Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 8:50pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allie06

Wow, this was awful...You used your senority to push some one out of your spotlight. Congratulations, you win customers by default.




Wow, that was awful.

She didn't bully anyone which by your sarcastic tone is what you are implying. This is a home show in an intimate setting not a big wedding show. It's called loyalty when a group of vendors work together. The lady was wrong to ask another too similiar vendor. She asked OP first and must have asked her back since they liked her last year. It was an afterthought to even consider her friend.

gourmetsharon Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 8:53pm
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by enchantedcreations

This has been a very interesting post. I guess I view this situation quite differently than the majority. I would have gone and introduced myself to the other baker/caker. I would have told her I looked forward to the event and our working not together per se but show casing our unique styles. I see nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. I stand by what I bake, decorate, price and NOW sell (Jason,this is for you..... Fla. Cottage Food Act). I think it keeps us on our toes and will only keep us aware of what is going on around us. I think it's a great tool to know your competition and to network with them. Who knows, you may become great friends and may need each other know the road........




Thank you for a different point of view that is informative and not accusatory.

We don't all have to agree and it's nice to see others different views.

enchantedcreations Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 9:05pm
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by gourmetsharon

Quote:
Originally Posted by enchantedcreations

This has been a very interesting post. I guess I view this situation quite differently than the majority. I would have gone and introduced myself to the other baker/caker. I would have told her I looked forward to the event and our working not together per se but show casing our unique styles. I see nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. I stand by what I bake, decorate, price and NOW sell (Jason,this is for you..... Fla. Cottage Food Act). I think it keeps us on our toes and will only keep us aware of what is going on around us. I think it's a great tool to know your competition and to network with them. Who knows, you may become great friends and may need each other know the road........



Thank you for a different point of view that is informative and not accusatory.

We don't all have to agree and it's nice to see others different views.




Thank you Groumetsharon......I appreciate that. icon_rolleyes.gif
Amy

ChilliPepper Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 9:09pm
post #30 of 32

I think you will do just great if you go and show your talents.

And if I see one more query, thread etc., being hijacked by the 'so far up themselves' legal police I think I will SSSSSSSSSSSSSCCCCCCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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