How You Started

Decorating By Sarah-Beth Updated 2 Sep 2010 , 1:35am by thefancyladygourmet

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Sarah-Beth Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 3:08am
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Hi everyone!! As you can see I am very very wet behind the ears when it comes to cakes!! I want to start my own cake shop and was thinking about starting small at home. I have already looked into getting a home commercial kitchen and my second kitchen has almost everything I need. I would love to hear how everyone started out. I am sure everyone has a story on here. Plus any pointers on how to start and what to do and not would be great.

15 replies
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JenniferMI Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 3:17am
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I started at 13 with a foil Wilton decorating pan/kit. I taught myself with Wilton yearbooks....

My advice..... practice, practice.

Practice makes perfect. Also, look for quality classes/teachers.

Jennifer icon_smile.gif

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Sarah-Beth Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 3:30am
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Wow 13 I am way behind!!! I practice everyday right now!! My family is sooo sick of cake they don't even want to look at one *lol*

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dorie67 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 3:49am
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Hi Sarah-Beth, I was asked to make a surprise wedding cake, I had never done anything like that before but after much prodding, I decided to give it a try, the cake turned out o.k for having no training. I decided to take classes on cake decorating and am still in love with it.

As far as all the cakes from your practicing, give them to friends, co-workers,neighbors, or you could donate them to a local shelter. princess.gif

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adventuregal Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:12am
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Hi! icon_smile.gif
I don't even remember right when I first got interested. I'm 22 years old now and I think it was around the time I was 18-I think I just surfed the internet and my obsession grew from there! I remember one of the first videos being a "make your own wedding cake" kind of thing-and I was hooked! I have been learning for four years and now am doing it professionally out of a commercial kitchen.
The enjoyment for me has never gone away-even though now I do it full time for work. icon_smile.gif

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Colliegirl Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:29am
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I started about 8 years ago. I was asked to do a wedding cake for friends. I'd no experience at all in decorating cakes but thought...Huh, how hard could it be????...... Fools rush in where angels dare to tread... and so my caking began.

I am still working from home and would love a kitchen aide and steel bench tops, huge racks and a huge oven and fridge, but that's going to have to come may be a few years down the track now...

It is very challenging and I love learning new techniques etc. and would love to do some classes to learn better ways of doing things...... so happily humming along I go!

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kkbritt8 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:44am
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CC is definitely a wealth of great information. There's a thread on about every subject imaginable and many hours/days/weeks/months of reading ahead of you.

Definitely learn the why's and how's of baking as a foundation. If you don't understand how or why things are happening, you won't know how to avoid or fix the problems when they occur.

Definitely practice! Once people learn that you're trying to hone your skills in cake decorating and would like to make cakes for them for "practice," you'll be surprised at how many different occasions land on your doorstep giving you opportunities to try new things. That's they key - try new things whenever you can and never leave "cake land" (as another CC'er put it).

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AileenGP Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:28am
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I think I held my first piping bag when I was 6... My aunt was making RI petunias for my other aunt's wedding cake and I kept bugging her to let me try and she let me. I don't remember how "successful" I was since that was 22 years ago, but I do remember her being very patient and teaching me about making sure there were no air bubbles in the bag and to twist the end so nothing comes out of the wrong end...

I remember decorating my first tiered cake 12 for my grandparent's 50th anniversary party. I was very ambitious and piped cornelli lace and made my first gumpaste orchid. I don't even remember how they turned out.

I loved baking and cooking and was always at her side whenever she was making a cake (especially since my mom doesn't bake at all) but we didn't make cakes that often so I never got regular practice. I still helped decorate here and there whenever my aunt had a cake to do over the years, but never really stayed in "cake land"

And now.. since stumbling onto CC last February, it has reignited my passion for cakes again and opened me up to a world of techniques I didn't know I'm seriously saving up so I can hopefully open a cake studio in the next 2 years...I love CC!!

Ditto on the advice to practice practice practice! Not only on the decorating but also on the baking techniques itself, from mixing the batter properly to leveling cakes. Also, I've also tried to focus on a new decorating technique with each cake I make in order to challenge myself as well as build on my skills. I also try to have cleaner overall workmanship and hone my existing techniques each time.

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mpetty Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:47am
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by JenniferMI

Also, look for quality classes/teachers.

Jennifer icon_smile.gif

She's too humble to blow her own horn, but you don't need to look any further than Jennifer herself for a great teacher - she has some terrific DVD's!

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Sarah-Beth Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:19pm
post #10 of 16

Thanks for sharing everyone!! I love all the info and stories!! Jennifer your cakes are amazing where do I get your dvd's?

I did take a class at hobby lobby from wilton and was very disappointed what a waste of money. My teacher had only be doing cakes for 1 year and didn't know anything about cakes unless it was a wilton product. In fact she toke the wilton book read it word for word then told us to do it. For goodness sake I was already doing that on my own!! And I asked her about cake supply stores in my area and she said she couldn't tell me anything about that b/c it was a wilton class. You know I didn't even go to the last class I was so let down. thanks for all the info!

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michel30014 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:35pm
post #11 of 16

I"ve never been to any classes, but my mom was sort of my teacher. My mom had always made and decorated our cakes when we were young. I"m 42 now, but I finally decided to do it on my own at the age of 26 right after getting married. I had already had my first child at 22 and was loving being a wife and mother.

My mom fueled my love decorating and design by buying me my first kit of stuff - bags, tips, colors, etc. But, I had always used an aluminum foil covered board like she had always done. After making cakes, off and on for about 10 years not really practicing the way I should have to improve. I finally got truly serious about 4 years ago. Again, my mom helped me out. She bought me a standing mixer and more colors, tips, etc for a birthday/Christmas combo present and off I went.

I have improved and since I found CC earlier this year, my skills have improved even more.

Just practice, practice, practice. And, DON"T GIVE UP! I almost did but I loved designing and decorating and it's my niche now.

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SuzyNoQ Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:37pm
post #12 of 16

I started when my now 5 year old daughter had her first birthday, I bought some premade roses from a bakery (the grocery store my sister used to do things like that for staff) and for a couple of years I only made my kid's cakes and then my dh talked me into a cake for his aunt's b-day and since then I do them any chance I get.
I am compleatly self taught from vidios online, shows and practacing.

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allaboutcakeuk Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:42pm
post #13 of 16

I started over a year ago as I was unwell and had to give up my normal job. decided I needed to keep myself occupied and wanted to do something creative for once in my life which I had always put on hold. So I took a course - the PME first stage diploma. Only intended to do the one and see what I thought. lol after one class I was hooked and ended up signing up for all three with the royal icing, sugar flowers etc. Finished last one in July this year. At first I just did little cakes for friends/family then after I became hooked took the plunge and set up from home. Would love to have a shop - well we all need a little dream icon_smile.gif So much on this website its amazing and so glad i found it. Practice is definitely the way to go. I'm not sure we ever stop learning as always something new around the corner icon_smile.gif Enjoy your cake making

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Yum2010 Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 5:56pm
post #14 of 16

I started caking about 4 years ago. I always loved to bake and I loved art, like painting, sculpting, etc. It's funny because I remember the day "the beast" was unleashed. I was standing in the grocery store checkout line looking at the tabloids and they had this little pocket sized cake decorating booklet. It was titled "cake decorating made simple" or something like that so I picked it up and thumbed through the pages. The designs in it were really cute and ameteur so I decided to give it a try. I picked a cake out of the book and followed the directions and I've been literally obsessed ever since. I also taught myself everthing using the wilton yearbooks and you tube videos and online tutorials. I took a cake decorating class from a local bakery probably about 6 months into my "self training" The class was fun and taught me some good basics about baking and safe food handling, but the truth is, I still use all of my self taught methods. Guess old habits die hard. LOL! Plus, nothing beats good ole "trial and error"!

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mpetty Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 1:13am
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by Sarah-Beth

Thanks for sharing everyone!! I love all the info and stories!! Jennifer your cakes are amazing where do I get your dvd's?

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thefancyladygourmet Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 1:35am
post #16 of 16

i baked when i was younger with my mom for fun and stuff and never thought i wanted to do it for a living althought in highschool i made homemade fudge my friends loved so much i went to college for fashion design that was always my dream but when i had to take a break for money reasons i started making cakes and cupcakes to occupy my time and started bringing it into my coworkers and started getting order. I started teaching myself decorating techniques and using my backround in art to help me i started my business a year and a half ago and now i have found my true calling I'm still learning and teaching myself new things but i love my job and thats something thats very important to me lol

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