How Do You Know If You're Good Enough?

Decorating By mystsparkle Updated 17 Aug 2011 , 5:47am by mariacakestoo

mystsparkle Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 6:16pm
post #1 of 23

I would love to hear some opinions on this one! I love baking and recently i got into actually decorating cakes...fondant...buttercream..royal icing..all that jazz. My question is, how do you know when you're 'good enough' for people to want to pay for your cakes? (obviously after you get a license..etc..) I posted my first 2 tier cake/first time making fondant animals/first time laying fondant on a cake..etc. If you can, take a look, tell me what you think..are people going to pay, and if not, how long do you keep practicing?
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2125067

22 replies
Norasmom Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 6:31pm
post #2 of 23

Your cake is good enough! You did a great job. When people see your cakes and start asking how much you charge, if you can make them one, e.t.c., then you know that you are doing something right. In the beginning it's trial and error as well. Not all cakes are perfect, but each time each one will get better! .

lilcakebaker Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 6:34pm
post #3 of 23

I figured I was good enough when out of the clear blue I had a friend ask me to make a cake for her chids 10th birthday. I had only done a few cakes before that and gave them away to friends etc, however I posted them on my facebook page and it grew from there.

Now, I have only been decorating for a few months and have a long way to go in my skills but with each cake I learn something new. Since I am completely self taught I learn by trial and error!!

Your cakes look good to me icon_smile.gif

ljchevygirl Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 6:37pm
post #4 of 23

I totally agree with Norasmom. Your cake looked great. Keep practicing and let people see what you can do and they will want you to make cakes for them.

fedra Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 6:40pm
post #5 of 23

It's like that movie saying goes: if you build it they will come (or in this cake bake/decorate it).
Once people start asking you to make this or that cake or offering to pay you for this or that cake, then you know that you've gotten to a higher than beginners level and can consider selling your cakes. You will practice for a LONG time before you get to a Proffessional level. If you can afford it, offer to bring the cake to parties to show people your skills. Some advice from someone who is still practicing: do not go crazy and buy every cake decorating gadget available until you know that your cakes are good enough to sell and from the looks of it, you'll be there sooner than later. HTH
Fedra

leah_s Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 6:52pm
post #6 of 23

When people agree to pay you for what you do, you're good enough.

tiptop57 Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 6:55pm
post #7 of 23

Yes your cakes are well done, but let's look at it this way - - - how long does it take you to create a cake. If you are spending hours and hours decorating them then averaging out the cost you can't pay yourself a fair wage well then I'd wait until you get the speed after you.

carmijok Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 6:56pm
post #8 of 23

I would offer to make cakes for friends and family to start at no charge...with the understanding from them that it is just to get in the practice and build a portfolio.

While the picture of your cake is cute and you obviously have a talent, (love your animals), take the time to develop different techniques, fool-proof recipes, and style. The worst thing that could happen would be to get an order for something you were not technically prepared to do and have a caketastrophe. That could ruin your chances for future work down the road!

So, if you've got the desire and your picture shows that yes, you have the talent ...why not get in lots of practice on cake designs that you want to do and let your friends and family be the joyful recipients of your work for now? Trust me, when people at events see your work and start asking prices, you'll be better prepared to tell them what they are worth. thumbs_up.gif

mariacakestoo Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 7:28pm
post #9 of 23

Looks great! However, the edges look really rounded. You are going to have designs without all those decorations on the edges, and you won't want that much roundyness. Make sure your cakes look just as pretty with no deocrations on them, as they do when covered up with pieces of decorations. Great job for your first time!

crisseyann Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 7:41pm
post #10 of 23

Personally, I like the rounded edges on your cake. Not every cake looks best with sharp, crisp corners. Keep it up, you're doing great!

mariacakestoo Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 7:50pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisseyann

Personally, I like the rounded edges on your cake. Not every cake looks best with sharp, crisp corners. Keep it up, you're doing great!


A certain roundy isn't always desirable. My advice is very appropriate.

kisamarie Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 7:55pm
post #12 of 23

Your cake is adorable! I think that for me, if I have confidence in my own teqnique and ability that others will have confidence in me as well. I have been making cakes for 15 yrs and am just now wanting to actually sell my cakes. I also know that I have alot to learn still and some of the more delicate decorating skills and abilities will only come with more time and practice. I think you should sell to family and friends and then build by word of mouth. Your talents and confidence will only then increase over time. Good Luck to you!!!

ufo9978 Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 8:14pm
post #13 of 23

I agree with previous few comments. When people pay for your work then you are good. there are some people here on cc who are in business for 30+ years so obviously don't compare yourself with them just yet. I am in the same position as you are. I made cakes for friends and family and then somebody asked me to make a cake for them. I am developing my techniques, I try not to bite on more than I can chew. I only agree on making cakes where I am sure I can do it. I work on new techniques with spare batter in my free time.

mystsparkle Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 8:56pm
post #14 of 23

thank you thank you thank you! I appreciate all the input! I think I will do the friends/family for no charge (or maybe for ingredient charge only?) that way I can get some more practice in, and be able to learn new techniques.

I agree with the rounded edges (i was glad I had items to cover them up hehe), But i'll keep watching youtube videos, and reading posts on here on how to make straight ones too, because i'm sure people will request those in the future!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my post!icon_smile.gif I love this site..I lurk on here so much hehe it's addicting!!

jenmat Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 9:31pm
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

When people agree to pay you for what you do, you're good enough.




I am going to add an addendum to this one (but VERY respectfully to Leahs)
When people agree to pay you for what you do, AND you are able to produce a consistently good product, then you're good enough.

Consistency is key, just because you can produce a good cake once, doesn't mean you can do it all day every day (not saying that you can't, just speaking to the situation.)

BUT, your cake is of course adorable, and you do have good vision. Keep at it, you're on the right track!

mariacakestoo Posted 15 Aug 2011 , 9:43pm
post #16 of 23

And if you add dummy cakes to your gallery when you make them, make sure your real work matches the quality. There was quite 'the scandal' here recently revolving around that.

crisseyann Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 12:26am
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariacakestoo

Quote:
Originally Posted by crisseyann

Personally, I like the rounded edges on your cake. Not every cake looks best with sharp, crisp corners. Keep it up, you're doing great!

A certain roundy isn't always desirable. My advice is very appropriate.




And I never said it wasn't.

Jess155 Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 2:04am
post #18 of 23

According to your website you're already charging.

Vanessa7 Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 2:37am
post #19 of 23

Just a word of advice, you might not want to advertise on the internet that you are selling cakes if you are not legal yet.

mystsparkle Posted 16 Aug 2011 , 11:15am
post #20 of 23

oh no, i just set up a facebook to actually put up my pictures of cakes i've done in the past (or cupcakes) the 'past clients' are just friends or family who i haven't charged anything..i just put prices to have up on how much it would actually had cost (my cost plus small profit) no one has actually paid me anything...just trying to set up something to have ready, if i ever actually decide to start a real legit business. All but maybe 2 of the 'likes' on my page are just friends/family who liked it from my actual facebook page. icon_smile.gif

kisamarie Posted 17 Aug 2011 , 2:51am
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariacakestoo

And if you add dummy cakes to your gallery when you make them, make sure your real work matches the quality. There was quite 'the scandal' here recently revolving around that.




I've often wondered about this on this site. I have seen alot of exceptional cakes that were cakes and some that were dummies. I also want to note that there are companies out there that "rent" fake wedding cakes, made from dummies, for your special day. They design them just as they would your real cake and charge almost as much for doing it. One such company has been featured on NBC's Today show. I wonder if this was addressed when the "scandel" was brought up on CC. Maybe you would know mariacakestoo?

Coral3 Posted 17 Aug 2011 , 3:16am
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystsparkle

thank you thank you thank you! I appreciate all the input! I think I will do the friends/family for no charge (or maybe for ingredient charge only?) that way I can get some more practice in, and be able to learn new techniques.




Better to charge nothing at all than to establish 'false' prices by only charging for ingredients. While you may explain to a customer that you are only charging cost price while you get practice, all they hear is 'cheap cake'...then they tell their friends & family how much you charge...and before you know it - hey presto!...you're 'Cheap Cake Lady'! Which will make it harder for you when you eventually want to start charging properly for your work.

mariacakestoo Posted 17 Aug 2011 , 5:47am
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by kisamarie

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariacakestoo

And if you add dummy cakes to your gallery when you make them, make sure your real work matches the quality. There was quite 'the scandal' here recently revolving around that.



I've often wondered about this on this site. I have seen alot of exceptional cakes that were cakes and some that were dummies. I also want to note that there are companies out there that "rent" fake wedding cakes, made from dummies, for your special day. They design them just as they would your real cake and charge almost as much for doing it. One such company has been featured on NBC's Today show. I wonder if this was addressed when the "scandel" was brought up on CC. Maybe you would know mariacakestoo?


Personally I wish the business of renting dummies would go away. Thankfully I'm not in a big town so that isn't a concern here. What I'm talking about was a decorator who most likely made a sale because of some (great) dummy work, and when the actual cake was delivered, it was far from good or great. We all tell people to practice and use dummies for their portfolios, which is great, but if your real product isn't shiny smooth like a dummy, it's kind of deceptive.

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