Has Anyone Felt This Way?

Decorating By Christina1207 Updated 7 Nov 2010 , 2:03pm by springlakecake

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Christina1207 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:57pm
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I am fairly new to the whole cake decorating, and right about now I doubt my cakes are even good enough to continue. It could be that I am sick which is bringing on these feelings. But I just don't see how it's even worth spending the money on the tools, fondant and other things. It's not like I have people coming to me to make a cake for them. Oh well just wondering if anyone else has been down in the dumps when first starting out?

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-K8memphis Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:19pm
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icon_biggrin.gif Great observation Christina. I've been doing this for decades and you really put your finger on the pulse of home caking. And I do have people coming to me to do cakes. I turned down one wedding and cake for 'several receptions' this week.

But I did make a cake that looks like a big candy corn for my kid's b-day.

But you got it!. So many people want to encourage bakers to 'go into business'. That line of thinking helped put Mom & Pop bakeries out of business. Wilton saw the potential market and baled on commercial bakers and the rest is history. Then big box store turned up the heat by churning out product like snowflakes in January.

Unless one can satisfy their local regulations it is not worth it to try & be a small gourmet one person business. I think you need to have a lunch counter or a full blown dessert-y type restaurant in order to maintain your "cake habit".

But mind, you've become a business woman and there's much less time or room in your brain for creativity. So you can always make cakes for family and 'just because' and that's where a lot of us are at. Also to take on a challenge and see if we can do a certain design.

So we do need cake toys to do this. But I think the dreams of selling cake to get ahead and etc. are fanned by the fuel of so many people pushing bakers to "go into business'. It's a strange phenomenon to me. It's so unrealistic it's laughable.

Yes it is possible but no it is not as attainable as all those self appointed business consultants make it sound.

Keep this as a sweet hobby or get you a loan and a license and have at it. Middle of the road? Not so much. Unless your locality allows it.

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Ruth0209 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:22pm
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If it's fun for you to make and decorate a cake, then keep doing it. If ultimately it's not any fun, then find another hobby. That said, no one ever starts out being good at this. It takes practice. It can be frustrating for cakes not to turn out as well as you picture them in your head (that's usually still true for me because no cake is perfect), but the process of making the cake should be pleasurable and challenging. If you like the idea of practicing and working at your skills to get better, that's its own reward even if you never get good enough to sell your cakes. For me, while it's nice to make money selling cakes, I take a lot of joy in creating something that brings delight to the recipient.

If you're the type of person who beats yourself up no matter how well you do something, then making cakes won't be any different. Adult learners are notoriously impatient with learning how to do things. Somehow, because we're grown-ups we think we should be able to do everything well after a couple of tries. It's just not going to happen with cake decorating (or anything else that's hard to do).

So, be gentle with yourself. The pics you have posted here look cute. It's a good start.

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Kitagrl Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:24pm
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Just keep practicing! Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone gets discouraged....even the more seasoned decorators get discouraged! Everyone has "bad cake weeks".....

I looked at your photos and I think your cakes are nice! There are some small, easy things you can do to really improve your presentation...such as using thick cake drums wrapped in pretty cake foils instead of tin foil, and taking photographs with a solid background instead of on your table or something (I had to learn all that too...still trying to work on my photography).

You can have the same cake...and then a dark photo on a table and on a tin foil wrapped board....OR on an attractive, well-wrapped, sturdy board in a nice photograph, and people will choose the one on the nice base in the nice photo every time!!!! And it doesn't take advanced talent to wrap a pretty board or set up a cake by a lighted window with a tablecloth backdrop.

Anyway just saying that that might help draw in some customers if you are a business or even just friends if its a hobby. Because your cakes are cute! Love the Batman one...if that one were on a black or red cake drum and taken with a white background...it would blow people away!

Good luck!

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mgigglin Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:34pm
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If you truely do enjoy doing cake then do it for you. I have found that when I do a cake that makes me happy, others will see it and be like.. OMG! I want one! and bam... there you go! I hope that if this is something you truely enjoy that you will find that passion no matter if you have people at your door or not. Happy Baking!!

Kim icon_smile.gif

ps... feel better soon!!!

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Win Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:47pm
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Hi Cristina, I looked at your gallery and can see how much you have improved since you started. Don't get discouraged. If you enjoy caking, keep doing it. Practice, practice, practice. I'm just a hobby baker myself, but I have a whole room full of cake toys because I love doing it! I consider each cake a new learning experience. Looking at presentation on CC will give you inspiration and tips on how to make each cake a little more refined as you go.

By the wa, I see that you always encourage others to comment on your cakes, but you do not have your comment box turned on. You have to go to your profile page and click on that box to allow comments. Once you do that, I'm sure you will see that you have plenty of people encouraging you on this journey!

Happy caking.

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Franluvsfrosting Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 5:13pm
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I'm not trying to build a business and actually turn down cake I don't want or have time to do. I don't need people to like me or give me good "word of mouth"! Since I'm not trying to build up to a business I don't want to invest oodles of money into buy specialty items I may never use. That said, I have several bins full of cake items (pans, decorating tools, cookie cutters, etc). I do use the majority of them but some I don't. I bought a few things new (like my fabulous turntable that I will not part with!) but most of it was off of Craigslist! I bought a cake "Lot" for $20 and got a set of hex pans, several books and a bunch of tools!

Decide how much you're willing to invest in your hobby and look at garage sales, thrift stores and craigslist for cheap supplies. Anything new I try to use 40% off coupons at the craft stores. Just because it's "only a hobby" doesn't mean it isn't important to you or your family. Mine loves that I do cake (I have four kids) and I look forward to doing their wedding cakes. So I'll keep caking and refining my skills even though at the moment I have absolutely no desire to open a business!

I knit too and while I have a bunch of knitting needles and an ever growing stash of yarn I have no desire to sit at farmer's markets or open an Etsy store to sell stuff. I just enjoy creating. icon_smile.gif

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Christina1207 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:09pm
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Thanks everyone, I guess I was just feeling really down. I do love to bake cakes and decorate. Not really looking to open business I do it for more of a hobby. I get on here and see all of this wonderful cakes and then I look at mine and it's such a huge difference. Just having one of those days.

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Franluvsfrosting Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:14pm
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Wait until you're feeling better. I bet you'll have a more positive outlook. If you enjoy doing it and your recipients like what you're giving them then that's all that matters. Besides, you won't improve if you quit. icon_smile.gif

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Win Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:24pm
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Originally Posted by Christina1207

Thanks everyone, I guess I was just feeling really down. I do love to bake cakes and decorate. Not really looking to open business I do it for more of a hobby. I get on here and see all of this wonderful cakes and then I look at mine and it's such a huge difference. Just having one of those days.

Having one of those days is normal. I think someone might have mentioned how we see the cake one way in our mind's eye, and turns out differently. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse (or worse in our book.) I had one recently that frustrated me so much I finally ripped off all the fondant and simply started over. You are being hard on yourself. You have cute stuff and, should you choose to stick with it, it will only get cuter.

Happy caking, or happy day --and hopefully both!

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carmijok Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 6:39pm
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The nice thing about this site is that you can learn so much from the people on here. If you want to improve, just ask! If there is a look you want to achieve but can't quite get there, then post a question or look on the internet for tutorials and learn. I worked at a bakery for a year, and through observation alone, I learned so much. Then when I started on this site, I learned even more. I too have a long way to go, but I enjoy the journey. And I love the 'stuff'. Yes, I've spent WAY too much, but I just love it! And while I've done cakes for customers, the majority are for friends and family...and I can pick and choose what projects I want to do. At the bakery they were so involved in 'getting it out', that the fun part was lost. When it stops being fun for me, then I'm out.

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indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:44pm
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lots of hobbies are somewhat costly .... golfing, remote control airplanes, photography, hunting, horse riding, video games and others. Heck, if one is REALLY into biking, the cost of a good bicycle can put some of us into shock!! icon_lol.gif I am a speed reader so spending $25 on a hardback book that I will read in less than 2 hours can really add up, too.

So if you're doing cakes for the enjoyment, then don't worry about doing it as a business. Just luv the creativity and the fun you're having. Yes, initially there is a cost investment, just like with any of the hobbies listed above but if you enjoy doing it and it's not taking the rent money to do it then just have a good time! And like with any hobby, we will make bad buying choices at the beginning and then we'll start to weed out our 'collection' as we become better informed about what we'll really need and use. It's a natural progression.

(I'm not a golf person at ALL and I am amazed and appalled at what some of these people spend to chase a stupid little ball around a big grassy yard! but to those who just love it, it's worth every dime! thumbs_up.gif )

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KayMc Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 11:45pm
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You're not alone. I see these gorgeous cakes here, and know I'm not in the same league. I am jealous, but the fact of the matter is that I currently do NOT have the time to spend practicing all of my skills. So, just enjoy the cakes you're doing, and have fun! The more you do, the better you'll be.

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cheatize Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 7:09am
post #14 of 20

Some days, my cakes are like my hair. It has a plan, it won't detour from its plan. It's better to go with its plan than try to force my own on it.

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Love2BakeCakes Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 8:05am
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I have been baking cakes under my Grandma's wing since I was a little girl, and she baked all of her cakes from scratch. I know I must have baked hundreds of cakes before I finally got that ONE that turned out just right. I quit everyday ... because I couldn't get it as easily as my Grandma did ... just to be back at it the next day/weekend.

(NOTHING BUT RESPECT TO ALL THE DECORATORS) ~ But decorating, I have been at it for about 3 years. Now I know I do not have the experience that a lot of the decorators on this site have, but in my eyes I am just as good, and have the same passion and determination to put out a good product as they do. They just have years of practice over me; but I am practicing/studying if not everyday, then as often as I can ... even if I am just reading up on caking.

If it is in your heart, don't give up on it. Put it down for a little while and come back to it later. Even the more experienced decorators were new to the game at one point.

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mtotowayesu Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 8:56am
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yeah! the only thing with those who encourage you to go into business is that they have never purchased a single cake from you. They always ask why can't you charge the same price as gorcery store cakes?

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lchristi27 Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 11:05am
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You cant charge the same, because your ingredient pricing is more expensive. For example, they get everything for the bakery at cost, you pay retail.

And dont get discouraged, this "hobby" of mine has cost much more than any amount I'll ever make doing cakes. My hubby used to get mad at me and tell me to quit when I'd get upset about how a cake turned out etc. Telling me to quit, but what he didnt understand is that it was MY relaxation, my time. I finally had to explain to him that it was the same as him going to a movie.

Keep at it, and if it isnt your thing, you will figure it out sooner or later.

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springlakecake Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 12:54pm
post #18 of 20

I guess I didn't see if you actually liked doing it or not. If you don't enjoy it, then no, don't spend any more money on it. If you do enjoy it, then just keep working at it. I sort of laugh when I go back to my first cakes. Even though I think I had some natural talent for it, I have come miles and miles from my cakes 4-5 years ago. I have really learned a lot just trying new things.

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Lemmers Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 1:51pm
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I know how you feel- I'm still new to all this and have only so far done 2 cakes, both of which are noweher near the standard of the other ladies and gents we all admire daily.

However, I love doing it and learn something new from these forums everyday, and have bags of ideas. It is just the cost that stops me (well, that and my 16 month old baby girl hanging off my leg, snot nosed and undernourished). But this is where Christmas and Birthdays are handy- for example, I'll be the recipient of a brand new airbrush machine this December 25th, courtesy of DH, and I cannot WAIT to put it to use icon_smile.gif

If you love it, keep at it- just build up your collection piece by piece and you'll soon find you have to build a new kitchen to store it all!!

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springlakecake Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 2:03pm
post #20 of 20

If you love it, keep at it- just build up your collection piece by piece and you'll soon find you have to build a new kitchen to store it all!!

yeah, that is what happened to me! Literally!

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