I'm just doing a bit of research and would be grateful for any replies.
I am thinking of starting a gumpaste flower business (I'm in the UK), and I just wanted to ask you lovely bakers a question.....
Those of you who would consider buying or who do buy gumpaste flowers, what gumpaste flowers do you regularly purchase or would like to be available to purchase from someone?
Many thanks for your help!
AI purchased everything. Www.avalondeco.com
Also e-bay UK had many sellers... some better than others!
I personally make my own and I know a lot of the UK girls do.
I cant imagine ordering something so fragile through Royal Mail, so your packaging and delivery service would be a huge consideration.
Would you be catering for professionals or hobby bakers?
I think you would have to price fairly highly to make the time (making, drying, assembling, dusting etc) worth your while?
I sell them on Etsy but I don't ship them outside of the US, mainly because of customs. I've had packages get stuck in customs warehouses that are very humid and they just melted from the air. I've figured out how to package things so that they don't break so that isn't an issue, but the shipping times are. I don't know what the mail in the EU is like, I assume that you still have to go through customs if you're shipping to countries in the EU but outside the UK? Some countries are worse than others, too. Canadian customs has a reputation for being slow and forget Italy and Spain. if a package gets stuck in there you can kiss it goodbye for the next month.
The premade flowers that you can get from the larger companies are pretty crudely made as far as details go, they're very assembly-line. The issue with selling gumpaste for any decent profit is that you have to scale down the detail to make it profitable. The flowers that I sell are fairly basic in terms of being "standard" types of flowers (roses, peonies etc) but they're nicer than the ones that you get in bulk. I still make the petals thicker than I do when I'm making ones for my own cakes, since the sturdier they are the less likely they are to break in transit.
You're not going to make a ton of money selling gumpaste online, but if you figure out what ships well and what doesn't you can make a little. Being able to customize the flowers as far as color and style goes is a good selling point, so do a little homework to figure out what works and what people are buying and see how it goes.