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post #16 of 22
I am in COMPLETE agreement with the previous posters on $25 being WAY too low. I do have to say that I'm kind of disappointed that you won't be doing the stand-up versions anymore. That would have been sweet. But I am excited to see the end product either way, I'm sure you'll do great.
post #17 of 22
Just a thought... Any chance you could shape the gumpaste or fondant figures with bamboo skewers or toothpicks inside? Then they might be sturdy enough to stand. I haven't tried this, so I don't know. You'd certainly have to let the customer know as one wouldn't want to bite into the support. Some people do try to eat the decorations.

Also, I have a book called Debbie Brown's Magical Cakes. She talks about modeling figures from fondant and she uses something she calls sugar sticks for support. To make 10 - 20 sugar sticks she kneads 1/4 tsp CMC or gum tragacanth and 1 tsp of royal icing together until they form a paste. She rolls this out and cuts out strips of various lenghts or forms sausage shapes. Then she lets these sticks dry 4 -8 hours. Again, I haven't tried this, and 10-20 sticks from this tiny amount sounds strange, but she uses these or dried, uncooked spaghetti. The pictures of her figures are really wonderful.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Calejo

I am in COMPLETE agreement with the previous posters on $25 being WAY too low. I do have to say that I'm kind of disappointed that you won't be doing the stand-up versions anymore. That would have been sweet. But I am excited to see the end product either way, I'm sure you'll do great.

Hi Everybody! icon_wink.gif
Thank you all for your replies!!
I was basically using the $25 figure, because I am sure that is what he is only expecting to pay. That is not what I would normally charge. I am trying so hard to stick to my guns so that I don't get taken advantage of. But sometimes I feel like if I can at least get more practice, then maybe one day, I will be top notch!!! I was thinking of asking at least $40 for each cake, which still may be too low. If I quote that, though, I think he will probably have a coronary. And if I quoted the $150-$200 that one of you mentioned (sorry I am really tired right now) I think I would have to resucitate him. LOL

Kay, I think it is absolutely correct that decorators charge according to their ability. And that is what I have been doing. All the cakes I did last year, I did for nothing. I figured my skills weren't up to par and each cake was a learning experience. Now that I feel a little more confident in my ability, I feel I am justified in being able to charge for my cakes.

Calejo, I must have been a little unclear in my post. Sorry!!icon_rolleyes.gif
I didn't say that I wasn't going to do the 'stand up' figures....I just meant that I don't feel very confident that my figures would stand properly. The more research I do and all the fabulous suggestions I receive here have opened my eyes to all sorts of possibilities.

Ya'll are so very sweet to respond so kindly!!! icon_biggrin.gif
Thank you all!!!
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi Itsacake!
That book sounds great!! I haven't had the extra funds to buy the fancy books (just the MBN and Wilton's yearbooks) I go to the book store and look at them, but feel guilty if I stand there and study I just depend on whatever info I can find on the internet, mostly.
All of the ideas you mentioned sound great! I always tell the people that I make my cakes for that even though everything is made out of some sort of icing, they may not want to try and eat it. LOL I just made a cake for my hubby that had fondant 'rocks' on them. I told my neighbor that they were icing but that he might not want to eat them cause they would probably be a little too tough. He picked one up and ate it!! ha ha It was still chewy, so he didn't break a tooth.

Thank you for suggesting that book! I will have to check it out!
Leslie icon_smile.gif
post #20 of 22
Ok I have to say something too, If you are goingt o charge $25-$40 then that is how much work you should put into it. I know we tend to undercut ourselves because especially in the beggining we don't think our experiance is good enough to charge how much we should.
For $25 I would do a basic cake, make a medium sized BCT of Jaimaca then use royal icing or white chocolate to make a small net and use 2 plactic people for the badminton players. Take a piece of thin wire and attach a small blob from royal icing and let dry. Then take the wire and attach it to one of the players and it should arch up and down in a way that it looks like the birdie is suspended.

I am sure that i didn't make any sense to anyone but me icon_biggrin.gif but if yo give away to much and they ever want you to do a cake for them again, you will NEVER be able to get what you are worth from them and you will be undercut every time!!!!

Good Luck with the cake
post #21 of 22

I really think sgirvan is correct. You can't spend hours and hours and then charge like you just whipped something up. (I learned this spending too much time trying to write perfect itineraries as a travel agent.) You owe it to yourself to put the proper amount of effort into what you are selling--be it trips, cakes, or whataever. Not only that, if everyone thinks their cakes are not good enough (and your pictures look really good!) and undersells themselves, it brings prices down for everyone.

Madonna doens't get a lot of money for concerts because she is stupendous, she gets it because she is well marketed. We need to educate people as to what cakes are worth--do some marketing, in other words. I'd rather give cakes away and avoid the stress of having to live up to a sale, than sell for less than what a cake is worth (Does that make sense to anyone?)

For example, I did a 4 foot long cake this year and was standing at the party with two friends who were telling me I ought to sell my cakes. This one happened to be a gift to a very good friend and was a replica of a local private airport with the proper runway markings and a model of the control tower (I'll get the picture up soon.) It was made to serve aobut 120 people. I said I'd like to sell cakes, but what did they think people would pay for something like this. One said $200.00 and the other said $275.00. I thought "heck this took me a week and my husband and another friend helped for several hours at the end Also the ingredients cost about $200.00 (It was covered in marzipan and fondant.) It absolutely wouldn't be worth it to do these kinds of things if that was all I could charge. Just them my husband came by and told me another friend who is a caterer walked by the cake and remarked. "Well, there is an $800.00 cake!" $800.00 is just what I had decided I would have had to charge, if this wasn't a gift! This made me realize that we just have to educate the rest of the world.

OK, I'll get off my soap box now. Sorry to have written a rant, but I really needed to vent!
post #22 of 22
itsacake: I could not have said it better myself. But I am still a newbie here, so you do not have to take my word for it. I am still new to decorating also but I feel that I had the advantage of growing up and watching my mom making cakes and putting herself through college with two kids. So I may be new but I do have a wealth of knowledge (from memory).

I can also understand about pricing and giving someone a coronary...I live in a small town and when someone asked me to do a wedding cake from the Wilton yearbook "Lady Windermere" I priced it at $225.00, which I know is extremely cheap but I thought that since I am new that sounds about fair. The mother about fell over and started rifling through the book trying to find a cheaper cake. So i do know where you are coming from. You just have to get these people to understand that the type of cake that they are asking for is not something that they can get from the local market, otherwise they would!

So they should expect to pay for your services and talents!

Sorry to ramble, but I do get worked up on these issues! icon_redface.gif
Decorating is my PASSION!!

Decorating is my PASSION!!

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