Building Confidence

Decorating By Laetia Updated 7 Jul 2014 , 9:37pm by MBalaska

Laetia Posted 4 Jul 2014 , 9:32pm
post #1 of 11

AHi there! :( I feel bad today. I've said no to my first potential paid order for a cake. A co-worker wanted a cake for his wife 50th birthday. I'm not confident enough. I always think my work is not good enough.

I do make cakes for friends and family for many years now, but only took class 1 year ago. Very new to "really" decorating cake. I don't think my work is worth money! It´s a hobby that I'm passionate about. I know we always are our worst critic, but... How to build confidence and to be proud of my realisations? (I did make more cakes, they are not all in my gallery. Some are characters under copywright, some I feel are just to plain and boring to show!) I dońt know, I feel lost right now. Thanks for "listening"

10 replies
MBalaska Posted 4 Jul 2014 , 10:31pm
post #2 of 11

two thoughts........ do they request your cake because it taste delicious and they can't get anything they like to eat as well as your homemade cake & icing and don't care what it looks like or,


do they like the decorations that you are making.  Even a small bit of piping, fondant, modeling chocolate, cut outs or hand made decorations that you may be making are far superior to that at the local grocery store or bakery.   The cakes in your gallery are nicely done, and attractive in my opinion.


The down side to consider is that they want to get a thousand dollar fancy-pants cake that you will spend a week in labor and a fortune to make and give it to them for pennies. In other words taking advantage of you.

*Only you can calculate the answer based on knowing that person and their intentions.  Also how will it affect your work relationship if they become a disgruntled unhappy complaining "customer".


However taking on a paid job means you are not having fun and being creative for your own pleasurable pastime, it means you are now employed to serve someone's request for payment.  That puts some pressure on you.  If that makes you unhappy or over-stressed then you may elect not to take on the cake job.


If your cakes taste fabulous and they look great, then it doesn't matter how long you have been making them.   Good is good, and conversely awful tasting ugly cakes .......well......some people never improve.

Apti Posted 5 Jul 2014 , 7:17am
post #3 of 11

Ditto to MBalaska.

Laetia Posted 5 Jul 2014 , 11:35am
post #4 of 11

AThanks to both of you. Actually this co-worker tasted a lots of my baking over time (co-workers make such great guinea-pig when it comes to testing new receipe!) and he aslo saw pictures of pretty much all my cakes. He said to me that he think it's always tasting good and beautifull. He also knows the cost of a cake like that. He said he'd rather give a lot of money to me than to a stranger. Even though he would have pay the full price for this cake, I know that for the amount of time I would have put into that cake, it would not be profitable. I do need to improve a lot on speed!

I guess I'm just not ready for that. Taking orders is too stressfull for me right now. It kills the fun of doing it! And I sure dont want to kill it. You are right. I was right when I say no ( even though I feel so bad about it!) I need to work on myself... Thanks again Laetia

cazza1 Posted 5 Jul 2014 , 11:53am
post #5 of 11

Laetia, don't feel bad because you said 'NO".  I have been doing this for forever and am confident that I am good enough to sell my cakes but it does not interest me.  I know that it would only add stress to something that I enjoy doing and take the fun away.  And besides I can earn enough in my day job that I don't want to ruin the pleasure.  You may reach a point where you want to sell cakes and that is great, but you may also never want to sell them and that is also great.  Just make sure that whatever you decide you decide for yourself.  You will get badgered by people because your cakes taste good and look good but don't let them pressure you in to selling if you don't feel ready or feel that you would be slaving away for very little result.

MBalaska Posted 5 Jul 2014 , 6:50pm
post #6 of 11

Now you can feel good and enjoy your pleasurable hobby. Your co-worker can now go to the local business owner who makes decorated specialty cakes for a living and get the cake he needs (and pay full price).


The hobby baker is happy, the business owner baker is happy.........all is well with the world.

Apti Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 7:14pm
post #7 of 11

Laetia~~You did well and there is no need to feel bad in any way.  Your co-worker sounds like a lovely person and deserves a sincere thank you for the huge compliment of wishing to "give a lot of money to me rather than to a stranger."


Often the greatest compliment to hobby cake decorators is for friends/family/co-workers/strangers to say "This is worthy of being sold in a custom bakery!"  When you think about it, that IS the biggest compliment that can be received. 


When you (and I, and other hobby cake decorators) hear that phrase "You ought to sell these!", just say "Thank you.  I put a lot of love into these hobby cakes!"  (Don't need to tell them you also put in 7 to 30 hours and tons of money.)


Unless someone lives with you and actually sees the entire process, there is no way they could ever understand.


thinking about the design

researching the design

practicing the design

purchasing all the needed elements/ingredients online or at different stores

finding all the tools needed to complete the cake (pans, bake even strips, flower nails, parchment, cake boards, x-acto knives, cutters, piping tips, spatulas, etc.)

cleaning the kitchen and work area

preparing all the ingredients and supplies necessary for each step

making space in the refrigerator/freezer to accommodate the cakes as they are being prepared





crumb coating




finishing the cake board to compliment the design

agonizing over a tiny little design flaw or bulge that nobody but another obsessed hobby baker would notice


and....doing all of this in a specific, compressed time frame so the cake will be as tasty as possible.

MimiFix Posted 6 Jul 2014 , 8:08pm
post #8 of 11
Originally Posted by MBalaska 

Now you can feel good and enjoy your pleasurable hobby. Your co-worker can now go to the local business owner who makes decorated specialty cakes for a living and get the cake he needs (and pay full price).


The hobby baker is happy, the business owner baker is happy.........all is well with the world.


I agree. Since when did selling cakes become the automatic next step for a baking/decorating hobby?

CraftyCassie Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 4:02am
post #9 of 11

AI looked at your cakes and they are awesome! I really like the race car!

Keep practicing! There's always something about my cakes I don't like. I'm no professional but my friends and family keep wanting them. I've done a couple for complete strangers and they've been happy with them. We are our own worst critics.

Would you be willing to make a small cake just for him and his wife? This might help you build confidence. Whatever you decide to do, keep creating!!!!!

Laetia Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 9:15pm
post #10 of 11

AThanks again to all of you for the good words and advices. It made me realise that it is not only a confidence problem. I think I just dont really want to sell my cake after all.

I dont [B]need[/B] to do it just to please others. I have to take decisions that makes [B]me[/B] feel happy! ... I'm talking to myself right now...

You all helped me a lot

Laetia, the happy hobbyist

MBalaska Posted 7 Jul 2014 , 9:37pm
post #11 of 11

Glad to hear it Laetia.:party:


I know I don't want to attempt to make a business out of this fun and interesting pastime of Cakes, Cookies, Candies, Chocolates, Pies, Breads, Pizza, Pastries etc.  {any more than I want to make a living making and selling my homemade chicken pot pies, Hungarian Goulosh, or macaroni and cheese.}


I still believe that most of the successful business 'cakers' are genuinely sharp minded 'business'  people who just happen to make cakes.  And they'd probably be successful with any business that they owned.  Power to them!!



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