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Crying.... - Page 2

post #16 of 32

Everyone has to start somewhere! I agree with the first poster's comments and the comment about the zebra print. Make sure the board looks professional too, uncovered cardboard is not acceptable to a paying customer. 

 

My first tiered cake was awful:

 

But practice and you'll get better! This was my last tiered cake (after 3 years of learning) and I still found aspects of it challenging:

 

I still have imperfections but I know my standards now and feel comfortable agreeing to do cakes for paying customers. Thankfully the first cake was for my now ex-boyfriend! 

post #17 of 32
You'll... what? I need to know!icon_biggrin.gif

Your wedding cake is just stunning.
post #18 of 32
It was 'you'll never walk alone' one word on each side. Liverpool football clubs slogan. Awful lol!

Thanks icon_smile.gif
post #19 of 32

Either way, smashing result yesterday - YNWA;-D

post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great advice. I really started because I enjoy the creativity of it all. I was being asked to make cakes for a while but only charging for supplies. I started worrying that I was putting too much effort into something that didn't benefit me so I decided to charge for the cakes. This customer was a friend of a friend. She had seen the birthday cakes I had made for my friend and asked about me. I had never met her before which was a first for me. Also in our original agreement, she said she would be picking the cakes up at 4, then day of she called and told me she needed to pick up at 10:30am so I was super rushed. This was all supposed to be a fun side job for a stay at home mommy but this wad not fun at all so I think I will go back to doing it for fun.... By the way, this is the cake she saw that caused her to request infor about me. As you can see, totally different style.....400
post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 
400
She also saw this cake in August. Both of which I did for free for a friend. As you can see, my technique was no where near perfect. But they tasted great! Which, ironically was her main reason for calling originally. She said that she remembered the cakes being cute but more importantly tasting amazing.
post #22 of 32

In my view, those cakes are nicer than what I could find around here from the large big box stores. Certainly not perfect, but I am sure they are delicious!

 

I think those cake shows on tv create unrealistic expectations for the average joe, who has likely never thought of ordering a custom cake...sees Carlos or Duff whip one out in a half hour and figures that anyone can do that. I wish they would display how much each cake cost, and the actual time it took to make it in that giant professional bakery!

 

I know what it feels like to bite off more than you can chew, and be in a time crunch.  You had a lot of stuff going on there...two cakes at once, buttercream, fondant, modelling figurines, designing from scratch without the benefit of meeting the customer and explaining your limitations. 

 

You've received some wonderful advice here and I KNOW that you'll do better on your next cake.  Please post your cakes as you progress! Go back to doing cakes for loved ones at cost, and ask for honest critiques from them! 

post #23 of 32

Personally I think it is a waste of time asking family or friends to critique your cakes.  They generally have no idea and are quite often the ones telling people that they should be selling their cakes when they are nowhere near professional enough to be doing it well.  You are far better off posting them here on CC but look up the 'Peer Review'  thread and post them in there.

post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazza1 View Post

Personally I think it is a waste of time asking family or friends to critique your cakes.  They generally have no idea and are quite often the ones telling people that they should be selling their cakes when they are nowhere near professional enough to be doing it well.  You are far better off posting them here on CC but look up the 'Peer Review'  thread and post them in there.


 



Not my wife!! ha ha! sometimes I try to sneak cakes out without her seeing them lol ......maybe I should get her to start her own review thread........
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazza1 View Post

Personally I think it is a waste of time asking family or friends to critique your cakes.  They generally have no idea and are quite often the ones telling people that they should be selling their cakes when they are nowhere near professional enough to be doing it well.  You are far better off posting them here on CC but look up the 'Peer Review'  thread and post them in there.
Oh indeed! For the most par, friends and family are the WORST possible people to ask for feedback, unless they are directly involved in the business as well. They don't want to harsh your mellow. It's easier for most people to say "that's adorable", and move on without having been "rude" or nitpicky. But that rude and nitpicky commentary is anything but, when it's coming from those in the know, and it's exactly what one needs to advance in their field.
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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Birthday Cakes
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #26 of 32

The monkey cake is adorable!!! I think it is so cute!!! The cupcakes are pretty too!!  I know plenty of kids who would have been thrilled to have that cute monkey cake!!

post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

Oh indeed! For the most par, friends and family are the WORST possible people to ask for feedback, unless they are directly involved in the business as well. They don't want to harsh your mellow. It's easier for most people to say "that's adorable", and move on without having been "rude" or nitpicky. But that rude and nitpicky commentary is anything but, when it's coming from those in the know, and it's exactly what one needs to advance in their field.

My family is not at all sweet to me, and full of great bakers so I know I'm getting solid advice! icon_lol.gif

I guess the idea was to get feedback from those who you will eventually sell to. Regional tastes differ, and while one always wants to do their very best, the threshold for what's considered professional here is much lower than say, Toronto or New York.
post #28 of 32
Another bit of advice I would add is to research online other cakes similar to what you are trying to do as it can help you to visualize what you plan to create. Sometimes bloggers will even post how they created a particular effect which is very helpful if it is new to you. When I design cakes for customers, I often gather ideas from a few different cakes to come up with my design. The internet is a great resource! Good luck and I agree with the others not to give up and to make sure that you are charging enough when you are ready. Bargain shoppers are never happy!
post #29 of 32

Crying.......cake disasters.......you'll never walk alone that's for sure.

I visualize in my mind Old style Lambeth,

Yet my hand still pipes like Old Katherine Hepburn

so I make it a point for everything to taste as good as possible. 

Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something
Reply
Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something
Reply
post #30 of 32

You said she had arranged to pick up the cake at 4pm and day of changed the time to 10.30.  I'm all for keeping the customer happy, but if it means you have to rush to finish the job, you can say sorry can't do that.  We are usually fully booked every Saturday with all kinds of cakes and we always arrange either pick up or delivery times with the clients.  Every Saturday and I do mean EVERY Saturday we have somebody either ring up or show up 5-6 hours early for their cake.  If we are able to move their time forward we do, but if we can't they get a polite but firm reminder of the time they specified for pick up and we rearrange their pick up time and the cake is moved up the ladder if possible.  If it's just not possible we say no - in the nicest possible way of course, keep it light and friendly, give a simply explanation of what still has to happen in order to finish their cake, and that it is not possible to do in the time they want it done.

 

Customer service and managing customer expectations is a huge part your job once you start selling to the general public, but they can be pushy critters, you need to learn how to put your friendly but firm self on when dealing with them - don't let them push you around, and don't let them see the whites of your eyes.

 

Hang in there and keep working on your skills.

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