Texan Aunt Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 12:55pm
post #1 of

Currently I am 15 and a freshman in Highschool. I have figured out a way with my parents to sell cakes under the TX Cottage Food Law this summer. I will not be doing custom cake with my business this summer because I do not wish to do so without liability insurance.

I have been decorating for several years and whenever I take cakes to a place that people don't know me so well the number one question is "how old are you?" I am quite certain this will come up in the summer and I would like ya'll's input on how I should answer. I am rather afraid that if I tell people how old I am before they order they might get scared off or if they put a review up or post on Facebook saying how old I am other people who see it might get scared off. Or  should I come up with a good way to dodge the question? So how should I answer this? Thanks!

44 replies
dawnybird Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 2:07pm
post #2 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan Aunt View Post

Currently I am 15 and a freshman in Highschool. I have figured out a way with my parents to sell cakes under the TX Cottage Food Law this summer. I will not be doing custom cake with my business this summer because I do not wish to do so without liability insurance.

I have been decorating for several years and whenever I take cakes to a place that people don't know me so well the number one question is "how old are you?" I am quite certain this will come up in the summer and I would like ya'll's input on how I should answer. I am rather afraid that if I tell people how old I am before they order they might get scared off or if they put a review up or post on Facebook saying how old I am other people who see it might get scared off. Or  should I come up with a good way to dodge the question? So how should I answer this? Thanks!


Own it! Proudly. Say "I'm 15, and I've been decorating cakes for several years. Here are some examples of my work" (show pictures) Why should they care about your age if you can produce the product they want? Good for you and good luck!

-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 2:08pm
post #3 of

so you are just selling undecorated cakes?--you still need insurance--it's not that much--and your insurance agent could break it down into payments too

 

but you could just say, i'm 15 i work with my parents--that should get you out of that one--if they press say yes my parent have taught me well...

 

but understand that there will always be the naysayers--the peeps who are suspect of you no matter the age or any other condition

 

so the best equipment for that is to be confident--that super bouyant Texas attitude i'm here so what a yah gonna do about it--buy my lovely cake or i'm moving on to my next sale type confidence

 

not overtly -- not in your face--but that quiet inner bulldozer i'm doing this whether you are a believer or not because i  believe --

 

;) go for it!

MsGF Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 2:30pm
post #4 of

I think it's odd for people to ask your age, and a bit inappropriate really.  No one ever asks me.  Over the phone people don't know, and when they see you it's a really strange question.  I would say "old enough to know that question is inappropriate and none of your business".  But hey that's just me.  I really don't think it matters anyway, if you do great work.  If I loved your cakes and your work I wouldn't care if you are 15 or 95.

 

Anyway, if you want to tell, like the others said "own it" .  If you were my daughter I would tell you not answer but be polite.  (I'm Canadian  LOL)

 

Ask your parents and family what they think.  They may have some good insight.

 

Good Luck, you are a very talented young lady.

-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 2:53pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsGF View Post

I think it's odd for people to ask your age, and a bit inappropriate really.  No one ever asks me.  Over the phone people don't know, and when they see you it's a really strange question.  I would say "old enough to know that question is inappropriate and none of your business".  But hey that's just me.  I really don't think it matters anyway, if you do great work.  If I loved your cakes and your work I wouldn't care if you are 15 or 95.

 

Anyway, if you want to tell, like the others said "own it" .  If you were my daughter I would tell you not answer but be polite.  (I'm Canadian  LOL)

 

Ask your parents and family what they think.  They may have some good insight.

 

Good Luck, you are a very talented young lady.

 

 

yes it is odd and inappropriate, fresh-- and on one hand it's a way to be condescending to you and on the other it is far too personal even if it is done out of curiousity

 

however even in your post here you led out with your age & rank--lead out with your cakes and business ability--and do it right get your insurance--when you can practice being professional and pleasant your age should fade into the background--you can't market with your age and not expect it to come right back at you

 

you need to market your product in a business like way to receive the respect a business will garner

AZCouture Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 3:35pm
post #6 of

Well, you may have the decorating skills, but are you ready to deal with the business side of it? The nasty freebie seeking refund demanding hags and PayPal reversals, and sleepless Friday nights (when your friends are out), and long Saturdays....I could go on and on. I won't insult your intelligence though, surely you know the many facets of this business. ;) 

costumeczar Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 3:41pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan Aunt View Post

Currently I am 15 and a freshman in Highschool. I have figured out a way with my parents to sell cakes under the TX Cottage Food Law this summer. I will not be doing custom cake with my business this summer because I do not wish to do so without liability insurance.

I have been decorating for several years and whenever I take cakes to a place that people don't know me so well the number one question is "how old are you?" I am quite certain this will come up in the summer and I would like ya'll's input on how I should answer. I am rather afraid that if I tell people how old I am before they order they might get scared off or if they put a review up or post on Facebook saying how old I am other people who see it might get scared off. Or  should I come up with a good way to dodge the question? So how should I answer this? Thanks!

Don't dodge the question, just do good work and impress people with your work. Most people fall all over themselves to talk about how talented this or that young person is, like they discovered you. If your cakes are good and you act professionally you won't give anyone anything to complain about.

 

Make sure to get the insurance before you sell anything. Your parents might be able to get something under their homeowner's policy since you'll be working from home. The car that you deliver cakes in will also have to be insured like a business vehicle or you won't be covered if you're in an accident while you're delivering. Ask your insurance agent about all of this just to be on the safe side.

Bluehue Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 3:54pm
post #8 of

Lolll - you dont know how to dodge the question if potential customers might ask your age - but you are willing to tell the 1254865231452157854 members and lurkers on here  -

 

 

Nowadays with the multi media at our fingertips - i am sure if someone wanted to know you age - they could surely find it.

Plus i am sure that many would know you as Mr & Mrs daughter - so i am guessing that many would know your age - yes?

I think telling people your only 15 would be the least of your concerns.....

 

Wouldnt you still be at school?

If so - how would you find the time to create cakes and study .....

I agree with AZCouture.... re  you working when your friends re out.

At 15 - enjoy being a teenager - doing what teenagers do - thats what being a teenager is all about.

 

I am wondering - if you have to come on here and ask every member and lurker for their input as to handle such a question - then perhaps you are not quite ready to deal with what the outside/adult world can throw at you ..................... just yet.

 

Bluehue

costumeczar Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 5:16pm
post #9 of

I don't know, I wouldn't say that every teenager is a slacking baby who wants to go out and party with their friends. Some are more than willing to work at a business and accomplish something more than shopping at the mall.

 

Asking on here about how to respond to a question like that isn't a bad thing to do, it doesn't mean that she isn't ready to sell cakes. It sounds like she's thought about the issue of insurance and the cottage food law, which is more than a lot of the adults on here have done before they sell cakesicon_rolleyes.gif

 

To the OP: If you were my kid and you wanted to start a business and were good at it, I'd say go right ahead and work hard at it. Just make sure that you're doing it legally and you have all of your ducks in a row. Be prepared to deal with a bunch of idiots in the general public, but know that most people are normal and won't give you a hard time. And you'll also be ahead of your peers if you're able to start and operate a business while you're still in high school. If someone asks how old you are, tell them "I'm 15, and I hope that you enjoy your cake."

jason_kraft Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 5:26pm

ADefinitely be honest about your age, while mentioning that you are partnering with your parents in this business.

If I was a customer of a business owned by someone who looks like a minor and I placed an order that involved signing a contract, I would ask how old they were since a contract is not legally binding if signed by a minor.

Texan Aunt Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 5:49pm

Okay thanks! I think I will just tell ‘em like it is, and yeah, people probably could figure it out if they looked long enough on the internet. For those of you who are worried about my ability to run a business thank you for your concern, but I can assure there is no way my parents would let me do this unless they were sure I could handle it and had thought through it; before they gave their permission, I put together a start up plan and budget, advertisement plan, and a two page business proposition. As to dealing with the public, I have NO problem putting my foot down with customers. I am prepared to handle the financial side of things as well because my dad is a CPA and works as an expenditure manager so he can aid me with anything I need for filing taxes, keeping track of expense, etc,…

 

I am only selling cakes during the summer as, keeeping good grades in highschool and running a business are not conducive to sanity. The cakes that I make, I have  predetermined their flavors, decorations, and prices; they are available 8 inches, 6 inches, and cupcakes in increments of one dozen. The easiest way for me to be legal under the Cottage Food Law is to have people pick up at my house and pay me then ,unless it is a larger order in which case I will then require an advance payment. If I wish to do this again, I will just tell people that I am not taking orders, during the school year. I want to sell cakes this summer because 1) there is nothing I like better than cake decorating 2) I want the experience of running a business and working for people other than close friends and family 3) I won’t drive my family up the walls with tons of cakeicon_biggrin.gif  and instead I’ll get paid to make the cakes. Again thanks for your input!

Bluehue Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 5:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

I don't know, I wouldn't say that every teenager is a slacking baby who wants to go out and party with their friends. Some are more than willing to work at a business and accomplish something more than shopping at the mall.

True - but isnt 15 when your meant to be enjoying being a teenager... and everything that goes with being 15.

I understand where you are coming from and what your saying costumeczar -  imo i just think 15 - 16 - 17 year olds would have enough on their plate with schooling and exams...and just being a teenager in general.

 

Asking on here about how to respond to a question like that isn't a bad thing to do,

No, i dont think i said it was a bad thing... did i?... *shrug*

answer it honestly - "i am 15" - simple as that.

 

 

  it doesn't mean that she isn't ready to sell cakes. true, but is being 15 ready to handle every thing else that goes with selling cakes....or IS mum and dad going to have to step up to the plate... big differnce when a 15 year old has mum and dad to pick up the slack...then doing it on ones own....    It sounds like she's thought about the issue of insurance and the cottage food law, which is more than a lot of the adults on here have done before they sell cakesicon_rolleyes.gif

True again -  However,  i believe that you can have an old head on young shoulders - but i dont believe that you can have a mature head on young shoulders.... and the OP's question shows that straight off the bat to me...... and to kick start this whole process the OP requires Mum and Dad so as *kick start the process*....

But then - if Mum and Dad are ready to kick start this adventure - then all good and well.....

I will sit the rest of this one out -

I raised and got my family through the teen years and all that goes with it..... so i have no idea why i am wondering about someone in a far away land and their 15 year old daughter.......or son.... i'm not sure what gender the OP is - not that it matters...

 

 

Been there - done that....and survived...icon_smile.gif

 

Blue pours a glass of wine....and toddles off to watch from the sidelines   icon_smile.gif

 

Blue.

 

To the OP: If you were my kid and you wanted to start a business and were good at it, I'd say go right ahead and work hard at it. Just make sure that you're doing it legally and you have all of your ducks in a row. Be prepared to deal with a bunch of idiots in the general public, but know that most people are normal and won't give you a hard time. And you'll also be ahead of your peers if you're able to start and operate a business while you're still in high school. If someone asks how old you are, tell them "I'm 15, and I hope that you enjoy your cake."

-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 6:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan Aunt View Post

Okay thanks! I think I will just tell ‘em like it is, and yeah, people probably could figure it out if they looked long enough on the internet. For those of you who are worried about my ability to run a business thank you for your concern, but I can assure there is no way my parents would let me do this unless they were sure I could handle it and had thought through it; before they gave their permission, I put together a start up plan and budget, advertisement plan, and a two page business proposition. As to dealing with the public, I have NO problem putting my foot down with customers. I am prepared to handle the financial side of things as well because my dad is a CPA and works as an expenditure manager so he can aid me with anything I need for filing taxes, keeping track of expense, etc,…

 

I am only selling cakes during the summer as, keeeping good grades in highschool and running a business are not conducive to sanity. The cakes that I make, I have  predetermined their flavors, decorations, and prices; they are available 8 inches, 6 inches, and cupcakes in increments of one dozen. The easiest way for me to be legal under the Cottage Food Law is to have people pick up at my house and pay me then ,unless it is a larger order in which case I will then require an advance payment. If I wish to do this again, I will just tell people that I am not taking orders, during the school year. I want to sell cakes this summer because 1) there is nothing I like better than cake decorating 2) I want the experience of running a business and working for people other than close friends and family 3) I won’t drive my family up the walls with tons of cakeicon_biggrin.gif  and instead I’ll get paid to make the cakes. Again thanks for your input!

 

 

awesome, munchkin (may i call you munchkin?)

 

please come and dish about how it all went and/or

 

if something comes up you can be sure we will all have great and varied opinions for you to pick from icon_lol.gif

costumeczar Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 6:15pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue View Post
 

When you say "been here done that and survived"... It's the survived part that gets you the award, haha! 

 

Not all teenagers are built equally, my son for example...he has no desire to go do typical teenaged activities, he's just never had any interest. I wanted to hang out with my friends  on the weekends but he doesn't get into that. My daughter is much more social but she's only 14 so I haven't had to deal with the teen "hanging out" kind of stuff with her yet. *shudder*  We'll see if I survive that.

 

On the OP's last post she seems to have it figured out, doesn't intend for this to interfere with grades etc and also has parental support. All checks in the plus column.

costumeczar Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 6:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

Definitely be honest about your age, while mentioning that you are partnering with your parents in this business.

If I was a customer of a business owned by someone who looks like a minor and I placed an order that involved signing a contract, I would ask how old they were since a contract is not legally binding if signed by a minor.

Ah, good point! Something else to involve the parents in.

-K8memphis Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 6:26pm

oh dear i feel a word of advice coming on already

 

stick to your menu and pricing--which i commend you for in the first place

 

peeps will want to get it thier way -- shoots a big one inthe whole sanity thing huh

 

they can get it their way at burger king

 

'i only need 16 cupcakes--can't you break a dozen for me if i already buy one dozen???? pleeeease???'

 

'i can sell 12 or 24 or how about 36 and you can freeze the rest ;)"

 

srsly--try to keep it as well organized as you have it written out--

 

you cannot please everyone and don't let them bait you or play you

 

bravo for a great summer project

 

and man it's not even april yet--how terribly type a you are--in a good way i'm sure ;)

Bluehue Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 6:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

When you say "been here done that and survived"... It's the survived part that gets you the award, haha! 

Blue puts her wine down and toddles back into frame....

Yes, i look at Mr 30+ now and think - arghhh it wasn't that bad you being 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - Bwawaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

 

 

 

Not all teenagers are built equally, my son for example...he has no desire to go do typical teenaged activities, he's just never had any interest. I wanted to hang out with my friends  on the weekends but he doesn't get into that. My daughter is much more social but she's only 14 so I haven't had to deal with the teen "hanging out" kind of stuff with her yet. *shudder*  We'll see if I survive that.

There is a badge with your name on it ................waiting for you at the end of the tunnel...icon_wink.gif

 

On the OP's last post she seems to have it figured out, doesn't intend for this to interfere with grades etc and also has parental support. All checks in the plus column.

I just read the next post by Jason........ Add another column to the page... lolll

 

Blue choofs back to sideline and picks up glass.........sip.

 

jason_kraft Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 6:50pm

A

Original message sent by Texan Aunt

I put together a start up plan and budget, advertisement plan, and a two page business proposition. As to dealing with the public, I have NO problem putting my foot down with customers. I am prepared to handle the financial side of things as well because my dad is a CPA and works as an expenditure manager so he can aid me with anything I need for filing taxes, keeping track of expense, etc,…

I've done some recruiting and interviewing for my company's leadership development program, and candidates with a history of entrepreneurship (especially on the business side) have a huge advantage. You are already well ahead of the vast majority of your peers (not to mention most adults), if you can learn the financial side now and continue to develop your business skills through college you will be in a very strong position when applying for a job in just about any business-related field.

costumeczar Posted 29 Mar 2013 , 7:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue View Post
 

oh., you know we'll be able to lure you back in...Unless it's really good wine.icon_wink.gif

Texan Aunt Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 12:12am

K8Memphis, Oooh munchkinicon_surprised.gif HELP! Yes I've heard I have type A overload before actually and also that I'm just slightly stubborn, good thing I guess with pushy customers. Thanks for your advice and encouragement.

Jason_Kraft, thanks for all the information especially about minors and contracts I was unaware of that ,though I am not using contracts right now since I am doing small cakes,  that will be very useful in the future.

CostumeCzar and BlueHue you guys are cracking me up and giving me some useful advice too!

When I get my website & Facebook page up in the next month, I can let ya'll know and I'd appreciate any critiques on them.Thanks!

kyliecake Posted 4 Apr 2013 , 1:21pm

Go for it girl.  I commend you on starting up your business at a young age.  It's better to do something you love and get paid for doing it rather than flipping burgers.  You sound wise and mature and i am sure your parents are very proud of you.  Don't listen to the negative stuff.  Have fun and keep us informed.

Dani1081 Posted 4 Apr 2013 , 1:51pm

Texan Aunt - you GO sweetie!  What a great summer job - you are going to do something you love, be your own boss, get experience running a company with all of what that entails, etc.  That's amazing for someone your age - I will look for you to have your own TV show in a few years! :)  And to the people concerned about contracts,  not sure a contract is really a necessity with a 6" or 8" cake, or a dozen cupcakes for that matter.  Now if she starts filling larger orders, then it could be an issue. But this chick seems to be starting in a sensible place with smaller cakes, planning to learn along the way. I'd almost bet she has a plan for that too, when it happens.   Again - BRAVO! Good Luck!

JJGITA76 Posted 4 Apr 2013 , 2:16pm

ATexan aunt You are one amazing young lady:)

manddi Posted 4 Apr 2013 , 2:33pm

AI must say Texan aunt, I'm quite impressed! I wish you good luck in all your endeavors! :)

TheSugarLab Posted 5 Apr 2013 , 4:59am

Like everyone else, I would answer the question up front! I actually get that question every now and then. I started a year ago and I'm 23. I am partnered with my mom but it's primarily me. Most people are shocked when I say how young I am and then are proud that I went for my dream! Congrats on starting your business! It seems like you have thought this over. :D Good skills (it's what my family says instead of good luck... if you're relying on luck then you're in trouble. ;) )

 

Ali

Annabakescakes Posted 5 Apr 2013 , 5:31am

AI had my first paid cake at 14 and my first wedding cake at 15, but I had already proven myself and they actually came to me! I am totally impressed, looks like you have your head on right... Can't wait to see if you have talent!!

kikiandkyle Posted 5 Apr 2013 , 5:53am

This might be a totally moot point, I don't know anything about the subject, but are there child labor laws to be considered? 

manddi Posted 5 Apr 2013 , 9:34am

AYou can work at 15 with parental permission I believe

JWinslow Posted 5 Apr 2013 , 8:57pm

You've gotten a lot a good information here.  Own your age - your only 15 once.  It would've been nice if my daughter was as motivated at fifteen.  Take all in, especially what appears to be negative - These posts come from experience and should provoke questions.  Some may not be applicable now but they will be if you continue in this business.  Have a blast this summer and don't forget to stay young :)

 

Jeanne

lorieleann Posted 5 Apr 2013 , 11:35pm

I think you have a great plan and actually a pretty unique marketing strategy--your age and story can really benefit you.  Especially if you frame your shop as a "limited time only, young entrepreneur business experience." I know that if I had the chance to support a motivated teenager in a business venture, I sure am going to give it a shot. In a sea of home bakers you need a hook to attract business...and people (at least those who aren't looking for a custom designed cake) are going to want to buy and support your efforts.  After you get the first few orders out the door, you might even want to contact local news to see if they are interested in your story.  It really is a good angle. 

 

I personally had a bit unorthodox teenage years because I was showing horses at a national level.  I started my own business grooming, cleaning stalls, and exercising horses at my stable when I was 14 and worked for trainers throughout my teen years ( While some of the girls at my stable came from great means, I had to work to get paid in trade for the majority of my high-level training).  It was a massive commitment (time and money) and a total lifestyle for our family and yes, I didn't have that typical teenage story...but it's pretty awesome being something other than typical.  I learned so much and being that responsible teenager (with a fierce competitive spirit) and it shaped who I am now in really positive ways.  

 

But this is only for a summer...and what a great summer it will be for you and your business! 

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%