Hi fellow bakers. I wanted to get some different perspectives on something that came up today. A lady contacted me to make a birthday cake for her two year old daughter. She first asked for a Minnie Mouse cake. I told her I don't do licensed characters blah blah blah... She understands and asks me if I can put her daughter's face on the cake. I tell her I cannot do a portrait quality but more of a cartoon of a little girl with her daughter's hair and face shape. She sends me a picture of a very sweet and shy little girl. I draw a cute picture trying to capture her sweetness. I send it to her and she sends me a picture she drew and could I use hers instead. She basically copied my picture except she made the expression kinda goofy and cross eyed. I wish I could post the two pictures but I wouldn't want this post to ever get back to her.
I realize this is business and I should just give her what she wants, but I just don't want to. So I guess I'm asking you all to help me feel better about it.
@Pastrybaglady this is the kind of situation that keeps me from even attempting a business. I'm stumped. Does a two year old know the difference or would they enjoy the comic cartoonish version? Is this a person who will order many cakes from you in the future and bring in profit for you $$$$$ or just a one-off that you'll never see again. Having seen your decorating skills I certainly have confidence in your ability to make something pretty and fun without it being insulting to the child. I mean really.........just one look at your polar bear cake and I know that there's no way you'd make an ugly cake for anyone. I'm just no help at all here, but as always wishing you the best.
"I'm afraid that my skills can't do justice to your daughter's beauty."
Seriously, a mother wants to clown up her own child by making her cross-eyed on a cake? Whhaaaat? And you know mom's friends are gonna look at that hot mess (done professionaly by you) and say, "What was that cake decorator thinking/smoking?"
Leah_s is right. If you don't confess to the mom that the child looks cross-eyed to you then the guests will, and you know exactly what the mom is going to do..........she'll blame it on the awful decorator she chose............you and your business takes it on the chin and mom's at that party will avoid booking their child's cake with you. Just come right out with it and who knows, she may say that it's a family joke and she does this all the time to get attention. You don't know until you ask.
A@MBalaska: Thanks as always for your support :) and your thoughts.
@leah_s: You're too funny! I don't think the cross eyed thing was intentional I just think she's not a great artist. I think she looked at the simplicity of my design and decided she could do it as well and then be able to say she designed it? I don't know her so I have no idea what her motivations are.
@DeniseNH: Interesting idea that cross-eyed could be a family joke, but it's not blatantly cross-eyed, I think it's just an unskilled hand.
So what I did was send her an e-mail saying I could not guarantee an exact match to her or anyone else's work because I can only do what [B]I[/B] can do and that is usually what people pay me for. I told her if she wants an exact replica she could still find another baker but I would try my best and I just wanted to set her expectation realistically. So if she accepts that I will try to soften the weirdness I see in her drawing and hopefully still produce something she will be happy with and I can live with.
Thanks for all your input!
ASo funny, she wrote me back with "Oh it doesn't really matter, do what you feel is best...I trust in your professional".
So why not just go with my drawing in the first place? Well, at least I don't have to dread it now! Woohoo!
:D Silly, huh? They just want to be acknowledged, that's pretty much all.
cannot wait to see your delightful cake. ( smiles )