I recently was contacted by my a friend of a friend (someone I've never met) who saw my cakes and was enquiring about a cake for her 3 year old twins' birthday party. She would have been my first client whom I had no personal connection to and also the first person I would be charging properly (so far, I have only done cakes for friends and charged for materials only). Her initial email to me asked for a quote for either cupcakes or a cupcake cake with 2 very different and disconnected themes to serve roughly 30 people. I wrote her back with an estimate and after some email exchange and phone conversation she decided to go with a 3 dozen cupcakes split between 2 cupcake cakes. She also had concerns about nut allergies and I assured her that I would not use any nut products, provide a list of ingredients and also repurchase ingredients to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
I drew up 2 sketches, one had 18 cupcakes, a fondant mermaid figurine sitting on a rock (to match the one on her invitation), a starfish, a sand dollar, a crab and 2 shells. And the other had 18 cupcakes a racetrack made of fondant, a Lightning McQueen car and some stars shooting out of the ground with the son's name and age. I quoted $65 for the first one and $55 for the second. I know there aren't any pictures to prove it but I'm super detail oriented and spend a lot of time perfecting my figurines so I knew the mermaid and car would take me a good amount of time. After I emailed off the sketches and quote, she came back saying that she loved the designs but she and her husband had gone over the budget and realised they were well over even without the cakes and therefore would not be moving forward with the order.
Of course I suspect that it was the price that scared her off so my question is...was I way off the mark with this one? I honestly don't feel like the price was too much given that I know how much time I would have put into it and I still feel like I would have underpaid myself. And I also have been reassuring myself that if she thought it was too expensive then she isn't my target clientele but I can't help but second guess myself since it would have been my first "full-price" order.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.