O.K It's a pretty long story so I'll try to keep it short. I've decorated cakes for years....won ribbons, done 100's of wedding cakes. I'm proud of my work and I love what I do. Up until recently I worked for other bakery's, I just started promoting myself and have a storefront location. I'm very happy to be finally on my own.
I've worked for four different people over the years and the last person I worked for helped inspire me to finally work for myself. Let me clarify she wasn't encouraging just completely unethical and downright the worst boss I've ever had. She felt like every idea, recipe, and accomplishment belonged to her. She used the idea that since I was an employee of her ( 10 hours a week!) That I was under her covering and belonged to her. So when someone would refer a bride to the bakery because of me she wouldn't tell me. She also did ALL the design appointments even though I was the one doing the cakes. She would also take credit for cakes I did giving people the impression SHE DID IT! I also found out that the photo album she showed brides at the design appointments had almost 80% pictures copied from the internet. She never clarified or gave anyone else credit. She also had pictures that she stole from others on her website and facebook page.
When I finally quit I copied a few pictures off her facebook of cakes that I had done and loved and put them in my personal facebook page...I didn't put them on my website or on my facebook business page. Anyway when she found out I had added those pictures to my personal album she called me and asked me to delete them! I later found out from her partner that she threaten to sue me if I didn't. ugh! Overall she is a yucky and despicable person and I've very happy to be away from her. She is the type of person that will do anything she can to build herself up at all costs.
One last note she uses my buttercream recipe and changed a few minor things and uses it on all her cakes and cupcakes.( her original frosting is pretty bad) talk about a kick in the stomach I asked her to stop using it and she threaten to get a lawyer to keep using it. Who does that? I'm pretty much moving on since we are in the same business I don't feel right spreading gossip about her even though she would love to say anything hurtful about me. I will just focus on what I do and the people I serve.
I would try to be bigger and better than her. She has serious issues. If she starts talking bad about you to clients it will turn the clients off and she will lose business. I don't appreciate doing business with people who talk badly of others. I believe it is shallow and very unprofessional. I believe in being kind. Obviously her greatest talent has now left and opened her own business, people will notice that all her awesome cakes that she took credit for aren't so awesome anymore. Her business will be hurt in the long run and it will only benefit you when people see where the talent really is.
So be angry, but let it go and don't let her mean and unprofessional behavior reflect on you, you are better and more talented, and will be more successful in the end. People don't like back stabbers.
Congrats on opening your own business. I wish you every happiness and great success. You have the talent.
Good Luck, and remember, you ARE a better person then her.
awww thank you for encouraging me. I've kept it all bottled up and talked to very few people about this. 1. my husband and 2. my best friend. I feel safe posting it here since no one here really knows me or my former employer.
You don't need to delete the pictures. A former employee of mine has cakes that we did together and lists them as such in the description (ie "Kory carved and buttercreamed this one, I did the rest") and I think that's perfectly appropriate. At least "I made this cake while working at XYZ bakery".
As far as the recipes go, you can't really allow her to use it while you're there (and establish it with her customer base) then yank it once you leave. If you ever don't want someone knowing/using your tricks of the trade, you need to not show them in the first place.
Good luck and congrats of your solo venture!!
I agree with mrsGF. I am a hobby baker but the president of a completely different type of business. The world is a small small place and what goes around comes around. Sometimes it's not right away but before you know it, your professional behavior and good work will bring people your way. And you'll find out that XYZ bakery has gotten their just desserts! Congrats on your business and best of luck!
buttercreammgt~~It's good that you have talked about it with your husband and best friend because you can trust them. CC is also a great place to vent because all of us "get it".
I agree with KoryAK that you it isn't necessary to delete the photos, just indicate that these cakes were decorated and/or carved by you while working for a former employer, "XYZ Bakery". I also agree that there is nothing you can do about the buttercream recipe. Even copyright laws state that a listing of ingredients only (with no written instructions) can be taken from a book and listed online with no penalties.
I suggest that if anyone asks why you no longer work at XYZ Bakery, you simply state, "It was time to establish my own business." If anyone should say they "heard this or that from the owner of XYZ Bakery", just smile and say, ""It was time to establish my own business."
If she took the photos with her camera, the photos belong to her.
If she took the photos with her camera, the photos belong to her.
That would make sense. Hadn't thought of that.
True. But you could still use them with full credit like we suggest people with "inspiration albums" do. it would be best if the OP had her own photos of the cakes.
She used the idea that since I was an employee of her ( 10 hours a week!) That I was under her covering and belonged to her.
It is not an idea, it is the Law. Under the 1976 Copyright Act as amended (title 17 of the United States Code), when a work is created in a fixed form, it's copyright is the property of the person who created the work. The exception to that principle is where the person is an employee. When it is a work made in the course of employment, then the employer, and not the employee, holds the copyright.
I copied a few pictures off her facebook of cakes that I had done and loved and put them in my personal facebook page
According to the Law, she is within her legal right to tell you to take them down. She owns the copyright to the cake, the photographic rights also, and the actual photos that you copied ...
I'm so glad you have friends on cake central to vent to but you need to let go of it or it will grow inside of you like a cancer. Be bigger than her (which won't take much effort - right?), let it go, start building your own portfolio and wait for it, wait for it..............soon, you'll hear that she got what's coming to her and be careful what you say to your customers about her because you never know who your or her friends are............never!
Even if it is her right to own the pictures I never in a million years would have thought she would not share them with me. Thats why I felt all she wanted to do was give herself credit and never let anyone else know I had a hand in creating the cakes. Everyone else I've worked for gladly shares with the public when I've made an accomplishment or done a good job on a cake. Just because it's in her right to own the pictures and even the cake she should give credit where credit is due. I think she misused her power as the owner and because of it I no longer will have anything to do with her.
auzzi is right. You have been paid for that work and it is not yours. You should take them down. If you don't, you may find yourself in small claims court.
If you are now on your own, I'm sure you will have new pictures.
The buttercream is also hers to keep. Again, she paid you and you shared.
From a business standpoint, you need to move on and forget about it. Business is business. It is not emotional.
On the other hand, those bakeries that employed you gave you a wealth of information about the business. You got an education from them on how to and how not to run a business. You are using those skills now in your own business and they can't stop you. It's a win-win for both parties.
Since you were an employee in this employed-at-will relationship, your "credit" or pat on the back for doing a good job on a cake came in the form of a paycheck. It's her name on the building and I don't believe she misused her power as owner. Afterall, owners don't need to divulge that they employ anyone to the general public much less acknowledge each and every employee that may have contributed to the final product.
No credit is dueyou were paid for your work. I've never purchased any product that was required to list all the workers that had a hand in the manufacturing. That's just the way it is and it's easier to accept when it's your name on the building when you're the one writing the paychecks!