BarbaraM0809 Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 4:25am
post #1 of

Hello all...First off, I'm not coming in looking for a fight so please don't jump on me icon_smile.gif After a lot of thinking I've decided to stop selling cakes for now and practice my decorating until I can be financially sound and have my skill high enough to warrant opening my own shop...After the last verbal pistol whipping I got I sat and thought about it for awhile and although I think I do a pretty decent job considering I've only been doing this since January, I'm nowhere near where you guys are...seriously you guys are FABULOUS icon_biggrin.gif And also since I can't bake in my home I have to go to my grammas and it's such a chore to drive to her house, go in the back door to my "changing room" where she leaves me a fresh pair of scrubs and crocs, change my clothes, socks, and shoes so I don't bring in dog hair and slap on a hair net. Scrub up and get my gloves, Bake my cakes, let them cool, wrap and leave for decorating the next day. Clean up and Go back to my changing room, switch clothes and go home and come back the next day and do it all again icon_sad.gif And it breaks my 4-year old daughters heart that she can't go and "watch me work" (I let her watch me at home cooking and help with simple prep icon_smile.gif ). So anywho, I just wanted to say that I love this site and all the advice I've gotten on here from everyone and the inspiration and hope that when I post my practice cakes I'll get some input to let me know if I'm on the right track icon_wink.gif And now a couple of questions, How long did it take you all to go from hobby baker to selling? And where can I find those foam cake dummies? Again sorry for the long rambling message I sorta felt like I was breaking up with someone lol icon_lol.gif Have a blessed day!

18 replies
scp1127 Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 7:35am
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Hi Barbara,

I guess my input would be that you don't have to be a great decorator to start. There are different price points. We have talked in pm's about scratch baking. I am a baker more than I am a decorator. I only do work that is within my skill level. But people want the taste of my cakes and are willing to work within my boundaries.

So maybe consider keeping your name out there and do cakes you feel comfortable decorating, but advertise homestyle scratch cakes too. Then only do the ones where you can stick to your prices and feel like it's worth the time.

So consider just slowing down and keeping your name out there. There is more to the baking and food industry than decorated cakes. work on your decorating while you earn a little money.

est of luck and I'm sure you will find your niche because you are so determined and you certainly don't let things ruffle your feathers.

Susan

QTCakes1 Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 2:50pm
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Great prices and not bad shipping either for dummy cakes is www.**********.com It's a blocked site so I have to spell it out like that.

QTCakes1 Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 2:53pm
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I'm sorry, that's www.**********.com

jamawoops Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 5:50pm
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I've been a hobby baker for the last 8-9 years and I know for sure my skills aren't up to par with most of the people here on CC, but I do it because I enjoy it. I used to make my cakes as gifts for family and friends, but I recently started charging for the cost of supplies as it gets to be rather expensive making cakes. However the amount of cakes I've "sold" since I started can be counted on one hand lol! I'm not in it for the money, but one day I'd like to start my own cake shop. Till then I'll charge for supplies as needed and keep on learning.

Personally I think that you should keep at it. The people who order your cakes know what you are capable of. They also know that they have a choice to choose you or go somewhere else. All the stuff you have to go through to make a cake really sucks, but if making cakes is important enough for you to go through all that then I say go for it! We only get better as we go along, so why shouldn't you get paid for it if people are willing to pay you?

As for the cake dummies, I used a place I heard about from CC called Guildcraft Furniture. Their prices were pretty reasonable and I got my order in one day (they're in PA and I'm in OH), but I just looked at the place QT mentioned and their prices were a bit better.

Good luck with everything and don't let some nay sayers from CC stop you from doing what you dream of doing, especially if it makes you happy! Take care!!

BarbaraM0809 Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 6:09pm
post #6 of

Thanks guys! I just decided to do little things on the weekends. Right now it's just too much to try to squeeze in during the week cause I'm in school all day during the week and work at night 10pm to 6am lol...it'll get better after I graduate in May...even though it's crazy that I'm going to have a degree in Criminal Justice and no interest in doing anything with it now lol...and thanks Susan I look forward to expanding my knowledge in all areas of baking and decorating icon_smile.gif

AZCouture Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 6:26pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraM0809

Thanks guys! I just decided to do little things on the weekends. Right now it's just too much to try to squeeze in during the week cause I'm in school all day during the week and work at night 10pm to 6am lol...it'll get better after I graduate in May...even though it's crazy that I'm going to have a degree in Criminal Justice and no interest in doing anything with it now lol...and thanks Susan I look forward to expanding my knowledge in all areas of baking and decorating icon_smile.gif


Personally, I'd pursue that degree and get a steady guaranteed income. Keep the caking for a hobby. icon_wink.gif

leah_s Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 2:39pm
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www.**********.com is a great company for dummies. I think all of mine have been purchased from them. I started out selling and built my decorating skills as I went. Now that I'm not selling decorated cakes, I couldn't be happier.

rosech Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 3:44pm
post #9 of

If I were in yo shoes I wd not take a break because I am not seasoned. I learn as I go and charge enough to keep me doing it. Because I love doing it. The hassle u go thru to bake is what would make me slow down. Slow down, not stop.

All the best.

petiterouge42 Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 4:48pm

It's funny you mention the criminal justice, because I graduated in 2007 with a bachelors in criminal justice, and worked in semi-related fields for the last 4 1/2 years with cake decorating as a hobby (in Las Vegas, so I couldn't legally sell without baking from a commercial kitchen). I really did not like the field I was working in- so I moved to VA where it was less start up costs to running a bakery, and I could do it from my home. Now I am paying off student loans, and have no desire to go back into that field. I wish I had known then what I know now! icon_smile.gif Best of luck to you.

Bridgette1129 Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 5:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by petiterouge42

It's funny you mention the criminal justice, because I graduated in 2007 with a bachelors in criminal justice, and worked in semi-related fields for the last 4 1/2 years with cake decorating as a hobby (in Las Vegas, so I couldn't legally sell without baking from a commercial kitchen). I really did not like the field I was working in- so I moved to VA where it was less start up costs to running a bakery, and I could do it from my home. Now I am paying off student loans, and have no desire to go back into that field. I wish I had known then what I know now! icon_smile.gif Best of luck to you.




Great story. And best of luck to the OP as well! Love your bowling cake!

Bakingangel Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 9:02pm

Barbara, I'm so sorry that your previous post went badly for you. I was following it and couldn't believe how "tackie" some people were. But, this I do know for sure, your decorating skills are quite good! Please don't let anyone, anywhere ever discourage you. What helped me the most when I started out was getting Sharon Zambito's dvds and Jennifer Dontz' dvds. I have them all and consider it the best investment I ever made. They range around $25-$35, but they are worth it. You can watch them over and over. These two women are great teachers in this field. Their methods will get you to the professional level you desire. Please pm me your address, I would like to buy you one of their dvds. You have my utmost respect for your hard work and dedication. Please take any mean spirited criticisms on this cite with a grain of salt. In time you'll see it's always the same people, and they are obviously the ones with a greater problem. God bless you and your little girl.

BarbaraM0809 Posted 31 Mar 2012 , 10:10pm

Guys seriously I almost started crying when I read these messages....this is the support that I love to see here. And I wished I had done my internship my first semester instead of waiting until that last so I would have realized that while this sounded good on paper in reality I am far too thin skinned in some ways to be a detective (like having to sit across from a convicted pedophile and take notes for the detective during his interview and resist the urge to stab him in the eye with my pen or process evidence from a domestic abuse call from a girl I went to high school with) But I'm rambling, again, thank you for being supportive and for the compliments on my cakes BTW the bowling cakes were my favorites too thumbs_up.gif Well, I need to get off the internet and finish cleaning before my little girl comes home lol...

scp1127 Posted 1 Apr 2012 , 5:41am

Back when I was in college, I always said that my dream jobs were to be a college literature professor or a pastry chef, but I didn't want to box myself into one career. I double majored in accounting and economics. Now 25 years later I own a bakery and spend my nights with my youngest daughter working on homework together, many times an AP lit or comp paper. Somehow I got what I wanted.

luckylibra Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 12:01am

I understand your struggle but perhaps you just have not gotten into the right part of the criminal justice "business" I have been in the criminal justice field for over 20 years as a juvenile probation officer and find baking and decorating as a great way to relax and unwind from the day. I feel like I have the best of both worlds, a recession proof job that allows me to, help keep the community safe, help people willing to make changes (I have been working with juvenile's this entire time) and still enjoy my free time doing something creative and totally unrelated. I am a single mom so I am in no way ready to take the risks of running my own business as my sole income. While I was getting my graduate degree in business I realized most businesses do not make a profit for the first several years and there is no way right now I can take that risk. If my husband were still alive and I could rely on his income, it would be another story but I think I would still miss the interaction with the criminal justice system and making a difference. Best of luck to you

Jess155 Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 2:03pm

I too have a major in Criminology with a minor in Psychology. I spent 2 years as a Corrections Officer. Then I had a baby. That absolutely chaged my priorities and my idea of "fun" no longer included dealing with drunks and fighters. I thought Criminology was cool, and I enjoyed the schoolwork, but it was depressing day after day. I felt like I was the inmate! Now I have 4 kids, and I homeschool them and we're adopting more from Ethiopia. If you would've asked me 10 years ago, I NEVER would've thought I would do this. But my kids are waaay more important than cakes or working outside the home. I'm blessed in a way I never thought possible. Enjoy your daughter. You only get one chance to raise her.

inspiredbymom Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 2:56pm

BarbaraMo809: Don't let others derail you. You should see my first cakes. I posted them so I can grow from there. I am definitely not up to the standards of most of them here, but I am having fun and the people who have requested me to bake for them know that I am still learning. I work full time and am trying to start an online store. The cakes are a side job! I also do a Market in the summer. I have 4 kids on top of that. I feel your pain. Sometimes my DH and I work on projects until 2 am or later! Also, don't let other discourage you. Everybody started with first run cakes. Now, I will also recommend what Bakingangel said. I too own Sharon Zambito and Jennifer Dontz's DVD's. Every one of them! My DH even bought me some last Christmas. (luv ya hun!) However, it is not just the DVD's that are fantastic, THEY are fantastic people! If it was not for the both of them, my first wedding cake would not have happened. Sharon helped me with the icing through email and Jennifer helped me with the set up instructions (it was her design) AND called me and talked to me about her chocolate fondant and pearls on the cake. How many Pros would do that? Sharon and Jennifer, along with the support of my DH and kids have helped me grow little by little. Oh, and as a little note, if you go on Sharon's blog, she shared her first cakes with her fans last year. I don't remember what month. But, it shows that she didn't just jump in knowing it all. Also, if you watch her DVD's you can see that she also explains new techniques that she has learned and now does them over what she did a few years ago. We should never stop learning. If we did, it would get boring! icon_smile.gif Best of luck to you.

petiterouge42 Posted 3 Apr 2012 , 3:30pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylibra

I understand your struggle but perhaps you just have not gotten into the right part of the criminal justice "business" I have been in the criminal justice field for over 20 years as a juvenile probation officer and find baking and decorating as a great way to relax and unwind from the day. I feel like I have the best of both worlds, a recession proof job that allows me to, help keep the community safe, help people willing to make changes (I have been working with juvenile's this entire time) and still enjoy my free time doing something creative and totally unrelated. I am a single mom so I am in no way ready to take the risks of running my own business as my sole income. While I was getting my graduate degree in business I realized most businesses do not make a profit for the first several years and there is no way right now I can take that risk. If my husband were still alive and I could rely on his income, it would be another story but I think I would still miss the interaction with the criminal justice system and making a difference. Best of luck to you




Sometimes no part of the criminal justice system in "right" for a person. I lived in Las Vegas where crime is rampant, but we were not recession proof- they pulled hiring freezes, promotional freezes, wage freezes, and that lasted for two years before I left, and there was going to be more to come- layoffs, furlough days for those that got the "privilege" of keeping their jobs as we were told weekly. I worked at the Clark County Detention Center, but have done sit-a-longs in many departments.

Most areas of criminial justice are stressful jobs, and some people enjoy that- some people don't; I wanted to be a crime scene investigator, but after seeing day in and day out other people's hurt and misery- it does begin to creep into your home life.

Sorry that had nothing to do with cakes, except my motivation to move back to the east coast to pursue cake decorating as a business. As it turns out I do have tough enough skin to work in the criminal justice field, but I also know it would never make me truly happy. I prefer feeling good about myself when I finish a job, not grimy and relieved to walk out of a detention center. Making the switch for me has been the best thing in my life thus far. It is a struggle at times, but I feel fulfilled at the end of the day. icon_smile.gif

BarbaraM0809 Posted 4 Apr 2012 , 10:35am

I agree I thought I would love to be a CI and I love the school work for the most part, my professor does do "real life" lectures with true crime scene videos and photos and sometimes they would get to me. But the breaking point for me was my internship with CI. After getting in there and doing what they do would leave me so angry and sad and "grimy" at the end of the day I just couldn't see myself doing that as a career. And the only other options around here is the county jail or federal prison...who know what I'll do after graduation in May icon_biggrin.gif But right now it's 5:30am and I'm just getting home from work and really need a shower before I gotta get my little one up for daycare...Have a blessed day everyone and thanks again for the support!
Oh and I'm doing another car cake this weekend for my uncle wish me luck!!!!! icon_eek.gif

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