Oh, I did forget to mention, my mom recently revealed to me that of all my cakes, she is most impressed by this one.... REALLY???
Your cakes are beautiful!! When I first started making cakes, I, too was always nervous with anxiety. I only did them for free since I do it just for a hobby. Now if I mess up, I don't get as upset. I no longer stress about it and the cakes seem to come out okay. Not perfect but I just keep practicing. I haven't been taking pictures of any of my cakes lately. Guess I will start back with pictures. Your cakes are awesome so quit the stressing and just start having fun with your cakes!! You are doing a great job.
I've always felt that way too. It's like giving a little piece of yourself away to be judged each time. My husband thinks I'm nuts and need to toughen up but I just can't. It's not quite business is business with this.
Best of luck to you
yes I have cake anxiety -- I have several different varieties as well as a sure cure :)
one form of anxiety is of course because of the pin point accuracy with freshness and (hopefully) beauty - and the whole brick wall of the big event wedding day -- no pressure, right ?> hysterical/maniacal laughter ensuing in the near distance <
then oh yeah sure if the cake blows a gasket oh heck yeah -- sky rocketing blood pressure -- veins standing out like contrails of doom -- hahahahaha --
do/did you ladies chill your cakes before you delivered them? sealed them up in a thick box? with a frozen pot pie or a nice freezer pack for extra insurance? car air conditioning is not reliable not that you don't already have that figured out -- I put my cold boxed cake into my hot car -- no worries -- anyway --
i once had a cascade that very slowly moved like a bashful lava trail consuming flowers and leaves on its way -- I just kept nonchallantly adding more flowers and somehow it worked -- there was the one that almost fell that I heard about later but it didn't fall :) oh my bp is rising as I type...I'm sure there's more...best left forgotten :)
but my last few cakes -- and I'm repeating myself but -- I had to have either emergncy help to complete due to health reasons or planned in advance help after I caught on to my new boundaries -- not my finest hour/s -- but we survive --
then the times on here where several times over the years posters have flat out said to my face once behind my back ish my work sucked so I don't post many cakes and I actually have one I've done recently in three different incarnations and I have started to post a couple times but the anxiety sky rockets and if I don't post -- it's fine no worries -- guess which choice I'm taking hahaha --
then I have one sure fire cure and one good thing to do for yourself to handle anxiety
if you work for someone else and are good/fast enough to carry their wedding dept and get to do the upscale designs, sculptures, etc. you get all the fun and none of the headache -- it's wonderful -- truly truly the way to go --
then there's meditation to help relieve anxiety -- ive just recently started -- I like this link because you have a stopping time mapped out -- you don't have to sit there and wonder how long --
https://www.headspace.com, a gym class for the mind -- there's a free 10 minute 10 day one too! you can just repeat it over and over
best to you and every one of us -- less anxiety more peacefulness!
KStreet2013, I loved your story-- and you have a great perspective. I will try to remember it when I have my next meltdown-- and I know I will have one! I do have to admit I was amazed (and relieved--I know, sick?) that there are many anxiety-ridden bakers out there like me. I was hoping it would eventually go away, but apparently it doesn't. Maybe we should just embrace it-- my husband says that worrying over each cake is actually what makes me strive to do a good job for every client. Good luck to you all!!
I would never wish this anxiety upon anyone, but I'm actually feeling some relief knowing that others have it as bad as I do! There's comfort in company!
I've been selling cakes for almost five years. Most weeks I find myself almost immobilized by anxiety. Some mornings when I wake up and there's a lot on my plate, I actually have to go to the bathroom and vomit. Then I get the most horrible tremors and feel cold all over. I tell myself that it's just in my mind, and that I need to calm down and just take it step by step, but the anxiety is so overwhelming. I fear that my cake will not look right, that it will fall, that it will taste bad, etc.
This all started with a particular customer whom I'll call Wendy :-) She as a new customer had placed a last minute order the week before for a Victoria's Secret cake. I usually make them in two tiers with the little polka dot dog on top, etc. and bows and all that. Then she sent me another cake photo which she said her daughter liked better. It was cute- but just not as decorated as my cakes usually are. So I made that cake. Come Sunday when she picked up her cake I brought it to the door and there was that awful moment of hesitation- you know where you can just SENSE that something is wrong? First she told me that the fondant on the top of the "bag" looked "dirty" and "would I please clean it up?" so I took the cake back inside and cleaned up an edge of the little bag. When they returned to the door I brought the cake and that's when the trouble started. She claimed that it wasn't the design she'd chosen at all, she had no idea where I'd gotten this design from, that there was supposed to be bows and everything else. Um- what? I had everything in writing and I told her so but that I was sorry if she felt disappointed. She got so nasty with me. I'm a very shy person and I nearly melted right on the spot. I calmly said that if she gave me back the cake, I would gladly give her money back. To which she said "I have to have this cake, I have PEOPLE coming over", and I explained that she could not have the cake for free, that it was a perfect cake, just a different design. I can't remember what else she said, it's all messed in there with the shame and embarrassment, but the worse moment was yet to come. As she continued to insult my cake, I gave her back $10 in refund and said I was sorry, but she would have to go. I had made the cake for her at last minute as a favor and I didn't deserve this treatment. To which she said she wouldn't be calling me again. To which I said "That's fine- the next time you do call, I'll be booked" and I slammed my front door!!! I"m still mortified to this moment that I even did that. I can't BELIEVE I did that! I never heard from her again. Ever since then, my anxiety has been terrible. I'm so afraid of it happening again. If I didn't depend on the income, I would completely quit and never look back! I have my regular customers all the time, and more business than I can handle, but this anxiety is absolutely paralyzing me.
Anyways, thank you to anyone who managed to read through that entire story! And thank you all for sharing your own experiences with anxiety. I hope that I can get through it, and I hope the best for you all as well.
Oh! lisatipperoo--That was not a pleasant experience!!! And I can see how it would stick with you. I hate conflict and it always bothers me when I lose my temper, even if it was warranted. But honestly, from your description, I think you handled it well and were probably absolutely pushed to your breaking point. And you were right to make her pay for a cake she was taking with her. This may or may not help, but you know there are probably people all over your city who won't do business with her-- if she treated you that way, she is likely treating many people like that. I doubt you were singled out.
Its always awful to have clients who aren't happy with what you present them with -- but then again, it sounds like you have many, many more who ARE happy.
i think this has been posted before but it's worth repeating -- if the link doesn't work it's about a lady asking a bakery clerk to write' happy birthday Mandy' on a cake for her -- it took a while and the lady just took it finally, said thank you and went to check out --
then she looked down at the cake and saw the writing was as a kindergartner might print and off center -- she was fine with that, it wasn't a big deal she thought -- just continued on her way -- come to find out -- she had mistakenly asked a bakery helper who has autism to write on her cake --one who usually does not write on cakes-- so the shopper made the day for that thrilled bakery employee -- lovely lovely story
there's a balance to everything somewhere
@lisatipperoo What an awful experience, but you realize she was trying to get as much off that cake as possible, right? It had nothing to do with your skill or ability, she was just a bully using made up complaints and insults to get you to give her more money off this cake. Good on you for only giving up $10. Always beware of the last minute order from someone you have no experience dealing with, so often they end up going badly.
then regarding anxiety in general -- one way to help relieve it is to imagine the joy of the recipient -- cakes are fun -- I've told this story before so I'm gonna repeat though --
I had made what I thought was the worst cake wreck of all time -- my emotions were below bottom and the voices in my head were working overtime confirming my worst fears -- so I was setting up at the venue my back was to a few early guests -- I was facing the cake, if you could call it that -- and sure enough the guests back there had started tittering in the background, whispering --
i thought 'oh god, hear it comes' I thought 'i hope they have the courtesy not to laugh out loud' -- a tear or two had made its way down to my chin and i was horrified and I vowed not to fully break down till I made my escape and was out of sight --
their muffled voices wafted over after a few and I heard them saying how beautiful the cake was -- what? and I was shocked happily shocked and eventually relieved -- dodged a bullet -- and that moment in time gave me great ammo against the voices and the fears and the anxiety --
not a complete cure but a realization that peeps expect cakes to be cool and pretty so don't mess with their expectations -- unless you're being judged in a competition it doesn't especially matter if something isn't exactly just right -- it's a celebration about something else -- you're a cog in the wheel -- just do the best you can with what you have and be assured you are contributing in a worthwhile and appreciated way -- it's not about you
Yep same here. I have almost gotten away from paid cakes. I get much more enjoyment out of donating a cake for a good cause, magazines, and collabs. The anxiety is just too much. Plus you worry and worry and then you usually don't hear back from people 80% of the time as to if the cake was good, if they liked it, did it hold up well. It's just too much.
I guess it's good that I don't do paid cakes! I am a total disaster without feedback! I'm almost ready to stop making cakes altogether because the last cake didn't get eaten at all and as my daughter says: "No one eats cake anymore!" There were two small pieces of the GO WARRIORS cake eaten at the Pasta Dinner! All that stress and work for nothing! I would have felt so much better if they had eaten it!
p632 - that's why I'm liking cupcakes better and better all the time... All the yumminess and if they are not eaten, super easy to take and eat later.
Just wanted to add.....since I've neglected to previously.....everyone's work is SO WONDERFUL! We should all be proud of our works even if we don't get recognition for it. I know dozens of people who would NEVER in a million years have the patience to even attempt what we've accomplished! Which explains why we are all so confused as to why all the anxiety, right? LOL Happy caking!
I think that we all suffer with anxiety over our cakes from time to time. Some of us more than others. I know I certainly used to (I am on a caking hiatus at the moment, reflecting on past mistakes, and figuring out how to improve my business) and it's definitely something I want to improve upon. The stress from anxiety can make our job unbearable at times...loosing sleep, eventually getting to the point of being sick! But, we need to remember that even though we (majority of us) got into this business b/c of our passion for it, at the end of the day it's still a business-to make $- and our work does not define us.