How Did You Start?

Lounge By anaelisabethlee Updated 5 Sep 2013 , 1:05am by SystemMod2

texas_mom Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 4:09pm
post #31 of 159

Jason_kraft- so true, which is why I stick strictly to family and  a close friend on their birthday.  Anyone that knows me knows I do not do cakes for friends of a friend.

niniel1 Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 4:59pm
post #32 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

As stated above, the typical delineation involves how you advertise. If you make a web site, post flyers, hand out business cards, or just use word of mouth saying that you accept orders from the general public, you have a business, regardless of whether or not you are profitable. If you just make stuff for your family and don't advertise, that's a hobby, even if you get reimbursed for ingredients.

The point where people run into trouble is when word of mouth starts to spread and you start to get requests from your sister's friend's neighbor's co-worker's life coach. You have to be willing to limit yourself to a small circle of family and close friends, unless you are giving the product away for free with no strings attached.

That makes much more sense to me. I do have a blog but I don't accept "orders", it's more just talking about my experiences learning to decorate.

howsweet Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 7:31pm
post #33 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by sixinarow 

Can they even be called cake charities? With a charity, you wouldn't make them pay you for cost of ingredients so you could practice your hobby. I don't know any other hobby that requires other people to pay for the supplies so the hobbyist can participate.

 

I agree with liz. There will be no "educating" on this thread. Interesting how you so need advise from professionals when you can't figure out why your cake is raw in the middle and oozing out filling, yet you totally disregard advise on your *non* business.


I think charity fits ok, but cake subsidy program may get a little more to the heart of it. Some people's businesses should be called Jane Doe's Cake Subsidies, For People Who Want a Lot of Cake, But Just Can't Afford It. And below that it could say, We also welcome people who can afford, but just don't want to pay full price!

 

Or I like this slogan, Too Lazy to Find My Target Customers, Too Clueless to know they exist! So come on down to Jane Doe's Discounted Cakes! Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!

 

Sound harsh? I'll tell you what's harsh - having a potential customer tell me she'll "let" me do her cake for half my quote because she found it for that price at Jane Doe's.

kikiandkyle Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 7:37pm
post #34 of 159

AMost illegal bakers are found out because someone they know reported them. Nobody can report you for giving a cake to a friend but all the health department have to ask is did money change hands, not how much or what it was spent on. At that point its up to the health department to decide whether you're running a business or not.

cjCustmCreation Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 8:37pm
post #35 of 159

WOW!  Such vicious and ugly responses to an innocent question!  She started out by saying she makes for "family and friends" - no mention of advertising, solicitation of business, etc. etc.  That tells me immediately that although her goal may be to set up a business, it's not a business. Geez, louise, guys, pay attention to what's said and don't put your own spin on it. Then someone else spins off that, and someone else off that, and before you know it, that poor, bewildered girl who I'm sure is wishing she never started this thread, is being lambasted for things she's probably not even doing!!!  And you might also want to pay attention to the fact that she lives in the UK, and the laws here in the US and especially the long arm of the IRS have nothing to say about what she does.

 

I can't cook worth a flip, so I have occasionally asked a friend to "pick up the ingredients I need to make her out-of-this-world lasagna the next time she goes to the store" and she delivers it to me in a pan, ready to bake. I reimburse her for the ingredients. Done. She hasn't become a caterer. She doesn't need a business license, or a tax ID, or monthly kitchen inspections.  She didn't solicit the opportunity to put together a pan of lasagna for me. When she asks, I do the same for her when she needs a cake, cupcakes, or whatever. We each have a skill the other doesn't have and we share the benefits of those skills. I will never ever ever become a professional cake decorator --- had my fill of dealing with the public and the pressure that goes along with it. But I love the creativity decorating cakes allows. If a friend or relative gives me carte blanche to unleash my creative nature in a medium I love, it's usually going to happen. 

 

Wages are defined as "payments made for labor or service" to an individual. Paying someone back for an out of pocket expense is not income.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 8:45pm
post #36 of 159

A

Original message sent by cjCustmCreation

Wages are defined as "payments made for labor or service" to an individual. Paying someone back for an out of pocket expense is not income.

Paying someone for a product or service is gross income. If the payment consists of only reimbursement for out of pocket expenses the net income would be zero, but there would still be gross income, and in some cases income tax may still be due depending on deduction rules.

BTW don't mistake a discussion among people who hold strong opinions with "ugly" or "vicious" behavior. OP didn't seem to have an issue with the responses.

jennicake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 8:56pm
post #37 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Paying someone for a product or service is gross income. If the payment consists of only reimbursement for out of pocket expenses the net income would be zero, but there would still be gross income, and in some cases income tax may still be due depending on deduction rules.
 

 

Ok, now I'm curious.  Covering cost of ingredients seems to be a big deal (I'm not arguing that point, just making an observation).  What if person A went to person B's house and made them a cake using whatever was in person B's house?  

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:01pm
post #38 of 159

A

Original message sent by jennicake

Ok, now I'm curious.  Covering cost of ingredients seems to be a big deal (I'm not arguing that point, just making an observation).  What if person A went to person B's house and made them a cake using whatever was in person B's house?  

This will usually fall under an exemption for personal chefs that states you do not need a license/health inspection/etc. if you only prepare food in the customer's kitchen.

jennicake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:05pm
post #39 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennicake 

Ok, now I'm curious.  Covering cost of ingredients seems to be a big deal (I'm not arguing that point, just making an observation).  What if person A went to person B's house and made them a cake using whatever was in person B's house?  

This will usually fall under an exemption for personal chefs that states you do not need a license/health inspection/etc. if you only prepare food in the customer's kitchen.

Right, but if you are a hobby baker do you still fall under that exemption? 

hislilbaker89 Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:06pm
post #40 of 159

AMy coworker asked me to maker her granddaughters bday cake and I told her no but I would come to her house to make it and show her how I did it. She declined lol too much for her I guess..

jennicake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:07pm
post #41 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by hislilbaker89 

My coworker asked me to maker her granddaughters bday cake and I told her no but I would come to her house to make it and show her how I did it. She declined lol too much for her I guess..

Too bad.  It's the cleanup that I hate the most.  I'd love to go to a friend's house, bake (using their ingredients and not my own!) and then have them clean up afterwards too :p

kikiandkyle Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:07pm
post #42 of 159

A

Original message sent by cjCustmCreation

WOW!  Such vicious and ugly responses to an innocent question!  She started out by saying she makes for "family and friends" - no mention of advertising, solicitation of business, etc. etc.  That tells me immediately that although her goal may be to set up a business, it's not a business. Geez, louise, guys, pay attention to what's said and don't put your own spin on it. Then someone else spins off that, and someone else off that, and before you know it, that poor, bewildered girl who I'm sure is wishing she never started this thread, is being lambasted for things she's probably not even doing!!!  And you might also want to pay attention to the fact that she lives in the UK, and the laws here in the US and especially the long arm of the IRS have nothing to say about what she does.

I can't cook worth a flip, so I have occasionally asked a friend to "pick up the ingredients I need to make her out-of-this-world lasagna the next time she goes to the store" and she delivers it to me in a pan, ready to bake. I reimburse her for the ingredients. Done. She hasn't become a caterer. She doesn't need a business license, or a tax ID, or monthly kitchen inspections.  She didn't solicit the opportunity to put together a pan of lasagna for me. When she asks, I do the same for her when she needs a cake, cupcakes, or whatever. We each have a skill the other doesn't have and we share the benefits of those skills. I will never ever ever become a professional cake decorator --- had my fill of dealing with the public and the pressure that goes along with it. But I love the creativity decorating cakes allows. If a [I]friend or relative[/I] gives me carte blanche to unleash my creative nature in a medium I love, it's usually going to happen. 

Wages are defined as "payments made for labor or service" to an individual. Paying someone back for an out of pocket expense is not income.

It's important to give detailed information on threads like this because while the OP may be in the UK, it can be viewed by anyone in the world, and the last thing anyone wants to do is give a response that can be misinterpreted by someone who doesn't realize that the info is pertinent to one country only.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:10pm
post #43 of 159

A

Original message sent by jennicake

Right, but if you are a hobby baker do you still fall under that exemption? 

I don't see why you wouldn't be, but unless 100% of your work is done in the customer's kitchen it would not apply.

This also only applies to the food safety/health dept aspect (licensing and inspection), there are still issues with economics, accounting, and liability.

hislilbaker89 Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:11pm
post #44 of 159

AI had every intention of cleaning my mess up plus show her some decorating tips and tricks but she didn't want to pay for the ingredients and cake topper. It was going to be two tiers. Here's a pick I did it before when I worked at walmart. [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3088254/width/200/height/400[/IMG][quote name="jennicake" url="/t/762749/how-did-you-start/30#post_7436199"]Too bad.  It's the cleanup that I hate the most.  I'd love to go to a friend's house, bake (using their ingredients and not my own!) and then have them clean up afterwards too :p [/quote]

AZCouture Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:19pm
post #45 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjCustmCreation 

WOW!  Such vicious and ugly responses to an innocent question! 

For real? Can you please point out where people have responded viciously and ugly? Seriously, because I see honest helpful stuff being discussed here. 

cjCustmCreation Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:28pm
post #46 of 159

The title of the topic was "How did you get started?"  Several people very kindly provided an answer to anaelizabethlee's curious question.  Interesting answers, by the way. I like to know stuff like that too. 

 

But sixinarow took the thread off into a very different direction with her diatribe on getting paid for ingredients. She didn't ask for advice about whether she should or shouldn't, if it was legal or not. She wanted to know how very different people, in very different situations, with very different goals, got their start.

 

And yes, Jason, I do believe that offering snarky, demeaning suggestions for business names is vicious and ugly. Perhaps my definition differs from yours. 

 

People who decorate cakes for family and friends are not taking business away from professional decorators. Most of the time the people they are made for would have made do with a box mix cake, still in the pan, with store-bought icing on it.  There is nothing wrong with using their hobby to make others happy (and make themselves happy in the process). 

sixinarow Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 9:55pm
post #47 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjCustmCreation 

The title of the topic was "How did you get started?"  Several people very kindly provided an answer to anaelizabethlee's curious question.  Interesting answers, by the way. I like to know stuff like that too. 

 

But sixinarow took the thread off into a very different direction with her diatribe on getting paid for ingredients. She didn't ask for advice about whether she should or shouldn't, if it was legal or not. She wanted to know how very different people, in very different situations, with very different goals, got their start.

 

And yes, Jason, I do believe that offering snarky, demeaning suggestions for business names is vicious and ugly. Perhaps my definition differs from yours. 

 

People who decorate cakes for family and friends are not taking business away from professional decorators. Most of the time the people they are made for would have made do with a box mix cake, still in the pan, with store-bought icing on it.  There is nothing wrong with using their hobby to make others happy (and make themselves happy in the process). 

Bless your heart, since your reading comprehension skills are a little challenged, let me clarify for you. She asked how she could practice WITHOUT selling cakes..

Her words:

Since my thread yesterday I have been told I am "selling" which makes me nervous of breaking laws etc - so my question is, how do you get your experience??

 

I offered several suggestions on how to practice (dummies, piping on pans with cheap practice frosting) as well as offering information as to why it is not a good idea if she wants to have a reputable business in the future.

If you don't want someone else's opinion, perhaps you shouldn't post on a public forum. There's this fantastic little feature called the "private message" that is made just for that...private messages. 

 

Surprisingly, there are some people who post questions and actually don't know that what they are doing is wrong or illegal and would actually like to bake and sell legally. Hopefully, some of those people actually read this thread and got a little bit more informed.  

 

For the rest of you..well, I guess you'll keep doing what you're doing, if you're like the OP, that means covering up raw cake with buttercream and serving it to unsuspecting (non) clients....dig in kiddies, don't worry, the stomach cramps will only last a couple days.

 

AZCouture Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 10:05pm
post #48 of 159

Some of the best information and advice comes from people who, in some people's interpretations, go off topic. 

 

How did I start? I paid attention to threads like these and listened to people who had successful established businesses, took note of what to do for contracts, what not to say to clients, learned to price appropriately, made lots of practice cakes for family (never for sale), made dummies, practiced photography, gave myself practice scenarios to see how I would react to situations, etc., etc.

 

Then I sold cake.

Annabakescakes Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 10:32pm
post #49 of 159

I got my experience by volunteering to do free cakes for every event I went to. KY doesn't have a cottage food law, you HAVE to work out of a commercial kitchen. I have 4 kids, 2 brothers, a nephew, both my brothers had numerous girlfriends over the years, school functions, friends baby and wedding showers, then wedding cakes, and their children's birthday cakes. Neighbors, their kids... I got invited to a lot of parties when I was doing free cakes! (Not so much now, lol!)  I am very lucky I had the restrictions I did, because I was all butt-hurt I had to have a license, and I thought I was ready to start selling when my cakes looked like this

 

 

BAHAHAHAHAA!!!! That Wonder Woman CMTHU!!! 

 

BUT, since I had to fix my credit, save $10,000, buy a house, buy equipment, build a bakery, and get licensed, once I finally got started, my cakes looked like this 

annakat444 Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 10:39pm
post #50 of 159

My first cake was my daughter's first birthday cake and smash cake. I've been addicted ever since. I hope one day I'll be good enough to do really elaborate fancy wedding cakes. But teaching myself everything and staying at home with my two girls it seems like I'll never find the time!

howsweet Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 10:48pm
post #51 of 159

I did mean to reply to the OP but got side tracked with the other discussion. I don't think I can speak to the legal issue, but I started out by making cakes for free. Made about 3 free cakes. Made one dummy. Then I undercharged for the next 5-6 and then I raised my prices. I was using Earlene's chart and then switched to Wilton's which was also a jump in my prices. These are several of those first 10-11 cakes and I'm posting them to point out that if you are determined and take enough time, you can make a high quality product early on. I work much faster now, thank goodness. I did purchase lots of supplies. As you can see I had an edible printer from the beginning. I made the guitar using an Ace of Cakes video. Now I charge $1650 for a similar cake. And I had Debbie Brown books.

 

I was of a mind set that I positively wasn't going to fail. The way I see it  is you either do it right or why bother - not much in between.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjCustmCreation 

The title of the topic was "How did you get started?"  Several people very kindly provided an answer to anaelizabethlee's curious question.  Interesting answers, by the way. I like to know stuff like that too. 

 

But sixinarow took the thread off into a very different direction with her diatribe on getting paid for ingredients. She didn't ask for advice about whether she should or shouldn't, if it was legal or not. She wanted to know how very different people, in very different situations, with very different goals, got their start.

 

And yes, Jason, I do believe that offering snarky, demeaning suggestions for business names is vicious and ugly. Perhaps my definition differs from yours. 

 

People who decorate cakes for family and friends are not taking business away from professional decorators. Most of the time the people they are made for would have made do with a box mix cake, still in the pan, with store-bought icing on it.  There is nothing wrong with using their hobby to make others happy (and make themselves happy in the process). 

They don't apply to you, right? So who are they demeaning? I would love to know who you thought was being demeaned and who I was so vicious to?

howsweet Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 10:52pm
post #52 of 159

Did someone say vicious and ugly? This cake is from last week- just wanted to show it off again icon_lol.gif

 

jennicake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:06pm
post #53 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

Did someone say vicious and ugly? This cake is from last week- just wanted to show it off again icon_lol.gif

 

That's horrifying.  And the definition of vicious and ugly!  Thank you for my nightmares tonight

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:06pm
post #54 of 159

"sixinarow," since you seem to be so free with giving legal advice:

 

In what state did you pass your bar exam?

 

While I am neither an attorney, nor do I play one on television, it is my understanding that handing out legal advice without either a license to practice law, or a very clear disclaimer that you're not an attorney, constitutes practicing law without a license.

 

Regardless of whether money changes hands.

 

Now, as I said privately to somebody whom you drove to the brink of leaving the forum permanently, what you said is no different from saying that if I use my subscriber discount at the Hollywood Bowl box office to treat my best friend and his family to tickets to John Williams Night at the Bowl, and he reimburses me for exactly what I paid for the tickets, I'm guilty not only of scalping, but of stealing business that rightfully belongs to Ticketmaster.

 

And to get back to the topic, I'm neither a professional cake decorator, nor a professional baker, and neither do I play either one on television. But as an amateur, I got my start as a child, baking a cake from a recipe that used to be on the Bisquick box, purely for the sake of trying my hand with a piping bag. Then, about a quarter of a century ago, when microwave cake mixes were all the rage, I baked and decorated three of those tiny little things for myself, and my colleagues where I was working at the time (NOT where I'm working NOW!), to celebrate finally (or so I thought) completing a project that had been dumped in my lap: I decorated one white microwave cake as the application's icon, and two chocolate ones as the application's initial screen.

 

Then, a few years ago, when my mom became too old to do much of anything in the kitchen, I took over baking cookies, just to avoid seeing bowls of butter set out to soften, only to stay there until they went rancid. From there, I expanded into experimental cookies (reimagining the old, long-discontinued BC "Vienna Dream Bars" box mix as my own, slightly healthier, "Innsbruck Dream Bars,"), and cakes (baking and decorating my own 49th birthday cake), and finally an experimental cake (my strawberry marble, based on a description I'd put in a work of fiction), and then the use of edible printing (outsourced to the local cake supply) for a cake I baked (without accepting any reimbursement) for an awards lunch at the museum where I spend most of my Saturdays docenting.

 

I just keep plugging along, making cakes and cookies for myself, family, and friends. I'm not interested in taking commissions for profit, and the one time I accepted reimbursement for ingredients (and an unsolicited tip) from friends and colleagues, I also made it clear that I was never undertaking that project (the "wood display type" cookies) again unless I had plenty of help with it, and that Donald Trump could not pay me enough to induce me to put myself and my family through that ordeal again!

 

Oh, and when I make Christmas cookies for family, friends, and neighbors, I include a small card describing each type of cookie, and also include the complete recipes for those that are not out of a published cookbook.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:14pm
post #55 of 159

A

Original message sent by hbquikcomjamesl

" In what state did you pass your bar exam?

While I am neither an attorney, nor do I play one on television, it is [I]my understanding[/I] that handing out legal advice without either a license to practice law, or a [I]very clear[/I] disclaimer that you're not an attorney, constitutes practicing law without a license.

Regardless of whether money changes hands.

Would this apply to the advice you've offered on copyright infringement?

Honestly that's stretching tootle a point. Lots of people here offer advice on legal areas. No one confuses them with being a lawyer.

howsweet Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:15pm
post #56 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennicake 

That's horrifying.  And the definition of vicious and ugly!  Thank you for my nightmares tonight


 One of my daughters says Evil Dead is scary and nothing scares that one. The people who ordered it were horror film buffs and since they picked, Evil Dead...I'm just saying no, thank you to ever seeing it! icon_biggrin.gif It was no fun to have her in the house at 3 am either!

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:16pm
post #57 of 159

A

Original message sent by hbquikcomjamesl

While I am neither an attorney, nor do I play one on television, it is [I]my understanding[/I] that handing out legal advice without either a license to practice law, or a [I]very clear[/I] disclaimer that you're not an attorney, constitutes practicing law without a license.

While it is illegal in some jurisdictions to give legal advice without being an attorney or posting a disclaimer, responding to legal questions posted online is specifically considered legal information, not legal advice, and therefore neither passing the bar nor including a disclaimer would be necessary.

http://hirealawyer.findlaw.com/do-you-need-a-lawyer/what-is-legal-advice.html

howsweet Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:18pm
post #58 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts 


Would this apply to the advice you've offered on copyright infringement?

Honestly that's stretching tootle a point. Lots of people here offer advice on legal areas. No one confuses them with being a lawyer.


I agree wholeheartedly with Delicious Desserts.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:19pm
post #59 of 159

A

Original message sent by hbquikcomjamesl

"if I use my subscriber discount at the Hollywood Bowl box office to treat my best friend and his family to tickets to John Williams Night at the Bowl, and he reimburses me for [I]exactly[/I] what I paid for the tickets, I'm guilty not only of scalping, but of stealing business that rightfully belongs to Ticketmaster.

Bad analogy. You should know that.

Would you feel the same if she was only reimbursed for the medical supplies she used to perform surgery?

Also not a good analogy. But in some ways, it's closer.

I wish I could find a truly good analogy for something that could be a hobby but also requires certification, regulation, & could potentially harm someone.

Now I'm not a lawyer, but are there any restrictions on using your discount? Is it transferable?

howsweet Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:25pm
post #60 of 159

I just have a couple of questions...what does tootle mean -- I hope it's not anything like twerking (a word I now know thanks to Miley Cyrus).  And who'd have ever thought Donald Trump would get dragged into this? Or Miley Cyrus?

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%