Networking For Learning Purposes

Business By bakeforfun21 Updated 16 Feb 2015 , 2:14pm by Phaedramax

bakeforfun21 Posted 2 Feb 2015 , 5:29pm
post #1 of 21

Does anyone have any suggestions on networking not for business purposes but just to learn? I am still fairly new at this decorating thing. I really want to learn as much as possible but I feel I can only learn so much on YouTube. I really want to work with someone in the business but so far my "walk in and ask them to teach me" approach has not been working. Is there anything else I can do?

20 replies
Marie0616 Posted 2 Feb 2015 , 6:12pm
post #2 of 21


I don't know what your level of experience is, but have you tried Wilton classes? lots of good, basic instruction available there. And my instructor also worked in a bakery, so she had lots of tips as well.

bakeforfun21 Posted 2 Feb 2015 , 6:21pm
post #3 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marie0616 
 


I don't know what your level of experience is, but have you tried Wilton classes? lots of good, basic instruction available there. And my instructor also worked in a bakery, so she had lots of tips as well.

I took one course but it was cancelled unannounced after the first class (they never called to tell us it was cancelled). After that, I was skeptical of taking anymore. I bought all the kits and books and started teaching myself. I have the basics down,except smooth icing with buttercream. I want to learn the more advanced techniques (working with royal icing, shaping, string work, etc).

Pastrybaglady Posted 2 Feb 2015 , 6:42pm
post #4 of 21

A"Walk in and teach me" - this cracked me up :D. People often ask me if they could "help me" or if I would let them watch me, or could I teach their kids... uh, no thank you. Try the classes again, I'm sure they won't ALL be cancelled!

costumeczar Posted 3 Feb 2015 , 4:09am
post #5 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by bakeforfun21 
 

Does anyone have any suggestions on networking not for business purposes but just to learn? I am still fairly new at this decorating thing. I really want to learn as much as possible but I feel I can only learn so much on YouTube. I really want to work with someone in the business but so far my "walk in and ask them to teach me" approach has not been working. Is there anything else I can do?


If you've really been walking into places and asking them to teach you it's no mystery why you're not having any luck. It takes time and effort to teach someone, so offering to learn for free benefits nobody but you. If you asked someone to do private lessons and pay them you'll have more luck. MAYBE, if they don't mind training someone who will probably try to be their competition.

 

If people contact me and ask about lessons I tell them sure, I charge $50 an hour and they have to provide materials. Teaching someone takes time away from other work I have to do, and when people volunteer to be an unpaid intern that's really no better. You have to slow down and train them, so it's unlikely that they'll benefit as much from the free labor as people who are trying to volunteer think they will.

 

I'd try to get some lessons with someone, but you need to expect to pay for their time and experience.

Cakecrazy25 Posted 3 Feb 2015 , 6:29pm
post #7 of 21

ACraftsy.com

Natka81 Posted 3 Feb 2015 , 7:50pm
post #8 of 21

A

Original message sent by Cakecrazy25

Craftsy.com

yes craftsy.com is great. You pay for the class, watch and repeat, rewind or fast forward. It's yours forever. Watch how many times you need. In a period of one year I have got 15 cake decorating classes from craftsy. @costumeczar, your craftsy classes reviews made buy thosE classes.

costumeczar Posted 3 Feb 2015 , 8:25pm
post #9 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Natka81 


yes craftsy.com is great. You pay for the class, watch and repeat, rewind or fast forward. It's yours forever. Watch how many times you need. In a period of one year I have got 15 cake decorating classes from craftsy.
@costumeczar, your craftsy classes reviews made buy thosE classes.


I hope not ALL of them! Some of them are better than others, shall we say...

Natka81 Posted 3 Feb 2015 , 9:13pm
post #10 of 21

Oh, no not all. 

dkltll Posted 3 Feb 2015 , 10:17pm
post #11 of 21

There are also lots of Cake Clubs. Check out ICES for a club near you and you might find a local chapter with great fellowship.

dreamcakes Posted 4 Feb 2015 , 12:34am
post #12 of 21

A

Original message sent by bakeforfun21

Does anyone have any suggestions on networking not for business purposes but just to learn? I am still fairly new at this decorating thing. I really want to learn as much as possible but I feel I can only learn so much on YouTube. I really want to work with someone in the business but so far my "walk in and ask them to teach me" approach has not been working. Is there anything else I can do?

dreamcakes Posted 4 Feb 2015 , 12:40am
post #13 of 21

AI do agree Craftsy.com is a good place to start. Everyone will not have a positive attitude about sharing their skills. I believe if your business is good you wont be threatened by newcomers. There is lots of money in the industry to be made.Helping others will only expand your business, never forget everyone has to crawl before the walk. However, look into your local ICES chapter as another member mentioned. If their members have good fellowship they certainly don't mind sharing skills and techniques. Good Luck!

costumeczar Posted 4 Feb 2015 , 12:42pm
post #14 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by dreamcakes 

 I believe if your business is good you wont be threatened by newcomers. There is lots of money in the industry to be made.Helping others will only expand your business, never forget everyone has to crawl before the walk.

The reason why people don't want to train people for free is this:

 

Too many newcomers= too much supply and not enough demand= lower prices and people haggling on facebook to get a three tiered cake for $50.

 

There isn't that much money to be made in this industry anymore unless you're selling services to new decorators who think there's a lot of money to be made in this industry.

 

Helping others in your own area basically results in you competing against yourself if they decide to take the skills you taught them and start their own business.

 

People need to realize that if someone is in business to make a living it doesn't benefit them to train someone to do the same thing in their area because that's not how business works. As a hobby it's fine, you can have a cake club and all get together to have fun, but trying to maintain a profitable business while training everyone in your area how to do what you do doesn't make any sense. The cake industry is totally saturated at this point and it's not going to level off any time soon.

leah_s Posted 4 Feb 2015 , 1:38pm
post #15 of 21

ACostumeczar is SO very correct. There are entirely too many people dabbling and playing at selling cakes, too many working illegally/under the free for the legitimate businesses to be able to make a living. I PAID to go to culinary school. you really think I'm going to tell you everything I learned for free?

I still have people contacting me to tell them all the secrets of running a successful business. Um, no. Not for free.

bakeforfun21 Posted 4 Feb 2015 , 3:06pm
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 


If you've really been walking into places and asking them to teach you it's no mystery why you're not having any luck. It takes time and effort to teach someone, so offering to learn for free benefits nobody but you. If you asked someone to do private lessons and pay them you'll have more luck. MAYBE, if they don't mind training someone who will probably try to be their competition.

 

If people contact me and ask about lessons I tell them sure, I charge $50 an hour and they have to provide materials. Teaching someone takes time away from other work I have to do, and when people volunteer to be an unpaid intern that's really no better. You have to slow down and train them, so it's unlikely that they'll benefit as much from the free labor as people who are trying to volunteer think they will.

 

I'd try to get some lessons with someone, but you need to expect to pay for their time and experience.

I'd be more than willing to pay. I think I made it sound bad. I

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakecrazy25 

Craftsy.com

i looked into that. Is it really as "personal

Quote:

Originally Posted by leah_s 

Costumeczar is SO very correct. There are entirely too many people dabbling and playing at selling cakes, too many working illegally/under the free for the legitimate businesses to be able to make a living. I PAID to go to culinary school. you really think I'm going to tell you everything I learned for free?

I still have people contacting me to tell them all the secrets of running a successful business. Um, no. Not for free.

I can understand that. I'm actually no longer interested in selling cakes. I just like doing it. It relaxes me. I had a quarter life crisis a while back and the only thing that brought me back to my normal self was cake decorating. I tried selling them but it just wasn't enjoyable anymore when I did. (and I'm not a very good business woman) 

Cakecrazy25 Posted 6 Feb 2015 , 3:46pm
post #17 of 21

I'm located in a place where there is a countless amount of internationally well know bakeries that offer classes. They can range from $100-1000 a class. I would suggest you seek out well know businesses and see if they offer classes on some of the skills you are trying to learn. There are also 6 month course classes you can take like at the International Culinary Center. In terms of Craftsy being "personal", I think it does a pretty good job. You can literally ask the teacher whatever you want (within reason). If you're unhappy with the course you can return it within 30 days. Try a free mini class and see how you like it. College students take online courses everyday with great success. But if you really want to reach out and touch somebody, seeking out the well known bakeries may be your best bet or working part time at a bakery. Attend some Bridal/Cake expos and try to network there and get some leads. Best wishes!

bakeforfun21 Posted 6 Feb 2015 , 4:16pm
post #18 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cakecrazy25 
 

I'm located in a place where there is a countless amount of internationally well know bakeries that offer classes. They can range from $100-1000 a class. I would suggest you seek out well know businesses and see if they offer classes on some of the skills you are trying to learn. There are also 6 month course classes you can take like at the International Culinary Center. In terms of Craftsy being "personal", I think it does a pretty good job. You can literally ask the teacher whatever you want (within reason). If you're unhappy with the course you can return it within 30 days. Try a free mini class and see how you like it. College students take online courses everyday with great success. But if you really want to reach out and touch somebody, seeking out the well known bakeries may be your best bet or working part time at a bakery. Attend some Bridal/Cake expos and try to network there and get some leads. Best wishes!

Thank you so much. I never considered networking at cake shows. I was just going for the fun of it.

kakeladi Posted 7 Feb 2015 , 3:50am
post #19 of 21

I haven't read all the replies but I wanted to put in my 2 cents worth on this:

The reason why people don't want to train people for free is this: When I had my shop the insurance would not allow anyone in the decorating area who was not a paid employee.  The cost add an employee covered by insurance it was something like double the hourly wage !

leta Posted 15 Feb 2015 , 8:51am
post #20 of 21

I, for one, would love to have an unpaid intern.  I have had people who help me  out and learn in the process.  I think that's a better way of presenting yourself--what you would like to give, not take.  Offer to do dishes, sweep up, repetitive jobs, bake, etc.  You will learn a ton, don't worry.  My problem is that not many people want to work on Friday nights and Saturdays--especially for free.  

 

At any rate, do NOT make your learning and progression dependent on other people.  I recommend doing some time in wilton classes as well--pay your dues--and find a cake club.  There are people in those clubs who enjoy sharing their expertise and mentoring others.  I think Craftsy and You Tube are a fantastic way to learn--I learned a ton from books--if you can believe it--when I started out.  Then practice practice practice!  No one can keep you from learning and being awesome.

Phaedramax Posted 16 Feb 2015 , 2:14pm
post #21 of 21

Go get a job in a bakery and don't say you are there to learn how to start your own business.Many years ago I worked full time and part time in a cake shop for that reason.I ended up owning my own shop for 35 years and sold it to an employee of 6 years who got a job with me for the same reason.I now teach for Wilton and only willing to do wedding cakes on the side well except for my families birthdays :) Take every cake decorating class you can find and you tube is full of free classes.

Practice,practice,practice on your own.That's my two cents :)

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