Stressing Over Cake For Family Member

Decorating By PinkStarz82 Updated 23 Aug 2011 , 4:05pm by nana2me

PinkStarz82 Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 2:22am
post #1 of 8

I will be creating a baptism cake for my niece in a few weeks. What started out as a "simple elegant design" has turned into, for lack of a better term, "overly busy". My sister wants everything completely covered in fondant, gelatin bubbles,gelatin butterflies, pink and white chocolate crosses, bubble baby blocks etc etc.. I'm going to almost be embarassed to present this "masterpiece". I know that the customer is always right but I want to gag every time I think about it.
Should I just shut my mouth and proceed or should I step up and tell her my opinions?
I'm not charging her for the cake, which would be a minimum $250-$300 since it will be more than large enough to feed 75+ persons. But my reputation is on the line and I'm just so frustrated with her continual add-ons! If this was a paying customer I probably would have turned the job down in all honesty, not to mention it was just an assumption on her part that I would do this for her for free in the first place. Ugh sorry for the vent! I'm just really frustrated
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7 replies
VentureSister Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 2:45am
post #2 of 8

Just my opinion- If you are doing the cake for free, then it is your design.
My family gets whatever design I decide. They never complain. Of course, they know if they want a free cake- they get what they get get which is usually whatever new technique I am dying to try. I usually ask what flavors they want and sometimes let them choose a theme, but the design and execution is my call.
(bitch or get difficult about it and "no cake for you").

step0nmi Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 3:07am
post #3 of 8

i agree with VentureSister...you gotta get yourself a back bone (as Indydebi would say!) but if you're trying to be nice you could tell her something like "lets keep with one theme, i'm afraid that if i put all this on it will fall off the cake and/or be too heavy" you're the designer and you need to tell the customer what's best whether it's free or not!

caymancake Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 3:25am
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

i agree with VentureSister...you gotta get yourself a back bone (as Indydebi would say!) but if you're trying to be nice you could tell her something like "lets keep with one theme, i'm afraid that if i put all this on it will fall off the cake and/or be too heavy" you're the designer and you need to tell the customer what's best whether it's free or not!



thumbs_up.gif agree 100%! As long as you have an idea of the theme, I think you should have creative license. Just say, this is a really special way for me to gift my niece, thank you for giving me an idea of what you'd like to see and I'm looking forward to creating a cake that reflects that in a simple, elegant way!

What I also do is I enclose an invoice for what the cake would have cost if I had charged and then put "given in love and affection" on the bottom where the balance is due. I think it's important for family and friends to know how much my "gift" is worth - I find it prevents those extravagant expectations with future freebies and really helps them appreciate my gesture! Hope that helps!

PinkStarz82 Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 3:32am
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by caymancake

Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

i agree with VentureSister...you gotta get yourself a back bone (as Indydebi would say!) but if you're trying to be nice you could tell her something like "lets keep with one theme, i'm afraid that if i put all this on it will fall off the cake and/or be too heavy" you're the designer and you need to tell the customer what's best whether it's free or not!


thumbs_up.gif agree 100%! As long as you have an idea of the theme, I think you should have creative license. Just say, this is a really special way for me to gift my niece, thank you for giving me an idea of what you'd like to see and I'm looking forward to creating a cake that reflects that in a simple, elegant way!

What I also do is I enclose an invoice for what the cake would have cost if I had charged and then put "given in love and affection" on the bottom where the balance is due. I think it's important for family and friends to know how much my "gift" is worth - I find it prevents those extravagant expectations with future freebies and really helps them appreciate my gesture! Hope that helps!




Thank you so much everyone!! I was afraid that I was being snotty and stuck up! I think I'll have the discussion with her over the weekend and just tell her I think personally it will be "too much of a good thing" and if she gets uppity, I'll point out that she can just as easily find someone else to do it for her and pay for it out of her own pocket (instead of mine).
I very much like the idea of the invoice as well I'm sure that would cause her to have a mild heart attack lol. thumbs_up.gif

TexasSugar Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 1:57pm
post #6 of 8

Did you offer to do the cake? Or did she ask you? I have a policy, if I offer, then it is free and you get to give me a theme to work off of. If you ask me, you pay, and you have a say in the cake since you are paying for it.

Even in this case, if she asked you to do it, and you agreed, then I do think she has some room for say. But as the caker you can always steer her in the right direction. It's all about how you do it.

Have you ever got out with a party theme in mind and just bought a bunch of things and different stores to get home and be like, umm what am I going to do with all of this, and does it really all go together? It sounds like that is what she is doing. She keeps seeing or thinking of some new cute thing to add, and isn't considering the whole package. Sit down with her and have options for her. Ask her if she had to pick, which items she really wants on the cake. Put two or three of the element together, then mix them up, until ya'll find a combination you are happy with.

indydebi Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 3:42pm
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkStarz82

I know that the customer is always right....



First, whoever told you that big lie never worked in customer contact! icon_lol.gif

Second, if she's not paying for it, then she's not a customer. icon_twisted.gif

Third, I always gave the wedding cake as a gift to all of my nieces/nephews, if they wanted it. My speech included, "The cake is free. But if I start to get a bridezilla attitude, then YOU get a full price invoice." I also warned them that my bridezilla clause covered spouses, mothers, MOH's, sisters, and anyone else who tried to get in my face about the cake.

Fortunately, I have a great family who never took advantage and always had good appreciation for the gift they were getting! thumbs_up.gif

nana2me Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 4:05pm
post #8 of 8

For my family, I do my cakes for free but some of my family pays for ingredients but I do have one family member that takes total advantage (even wants me to buy a specialty pan-which I cannot afford right now-and make the cake). I know that I have kind of dug myself into this hole and have to get a back bone to tell her that I can't make it unless she buys the pan for me. I love family but they do take advantage of a good thing if you let them. Just be strong, if they really appreciate everything you are doing for them, they will listen, take your advice, and still love you.

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