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Is anyone decorating from home and making money?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Hi! I just found this site and I'm wondering if there are any decorators working from home. I have a culinary degree and have worked for several years as a decorator at bakeries, but we're moving out of state and I want to start making cakes from home for money. Eventually I want to have my own shop, but I can't afford that right now. I'm trying to generate some money so I can move in the direction of getting a shop. I can bake, set-up and decorate a cake but that is where my expertise ends! I would love to hear from other decorators how they got their start. Do you consider this income and therefore pay taxes, and if so, how and how much? Is there some type of computer program that I can get that will help me? Do you have some type of insurance to protect you if someone were to get sick? I truly have no idea where to start and would love and appreciate all the help and advice you might have! Thank you!
MDM
post #2 of 55
You'll find all types of decorators here. Some do it as a hobby and others do it for money, some from home and some have shops. The place to start would be to contact the City that you are moving to and ask what thier requirements are for home bakers. Some cities are linient and others just wont allow it. After you have this information you can decided weather or not you want to make it legal right off the bat of try flying under the radar untill you can start a shop.

As far as insurance and taxes it is just like any other business, well thats if you legal, if your not legal then your just taking that risk.
post #3 of 55
Thread Starter 
(I know this shows how lame I am that I'm able to post a question, read the reply and re-post in such a short amount of time but I haven't gotten off the site yet! I'm having so much fun!!!)

Okay, I realize I'm playing both sides of the fence here but... my ultimate goal is to have a legitimate bakery. We're moving somewhere that doesn't allow a cake shop to be run out of your home. I don't know how to get started without doing it illegally. That's not the ideal situation but I don't have the money to start any other way.

Any suggestions on how to get started would be put to good use!

MDM
post #4 of 55
Hi FlourChick! and Welcome to CakeCentral.com!

Here are some resources that you may find helpful:

A WEDDING CAKE WORKBOOK by Delora McAnn

Some really good Cake Decorating Business articles by Earlene Moore

Only available in UK (not sure if it applies to US)
Starting a Cake Decorating Business from Home

Only available in UK (not sure if it applies to US)
How to Make Money in Cake Decorating: Owning and Operating a Successful Business in Your Home

I hope that helps! icon_biggrin.gif

birthday.gif Jackie

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birthday.gif Jackie

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post #5 of 55
Get your cakes out there! If you go to a dinner party bring a cake. If there is an occasion , bring a cake. First one you do it complimentary then start charging... If your husband/boyfriend/significant other works in an office elect yourself thier official birthday cake baker, anytime there is a birthday in an office everyone does the same thing, they pitch in and get a cake, now they can get it from you. Make business cards and pass them out.

The only thing you are limited to with not being legal is mass advertising! because then the chances of getting caought are big!!!
post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zabrip

The only thing you are limited to with not being legal is mass advertising! because then the chances of getting caought are big!!!



I would have to strongly disagree here. Charging your friends and family is one thing, but I would not suggest making and passing out business cards, because then you are advertising your self as a legitimate business. This is called FRAUD. and can even carry a prison sentence. Think I am joking? You wouldn't be the first or last housewife to be sentenced.

GET LEGIT FIRST!

Doing it any other way is not only unethical, but VERY illegal.
I have heard the ridiculous argument that "you are only a simple house wife, so its not like the government is going to go after you or anything, they have better things to do"

Don't count on it. judge.gif
Suppose the government does decide to conduct an investigation and fine you. Are you ready to take responsibility for your actions and pay the fines? These fines are going to be hefty, regardless of what state you live in.

I am not trying to make anyone as paranoid as I am icon_eek.gif
But just because you don't get caught doing something wrong, doesn't make it any less wrong.

OK, I am done (for now) with my 2 cents! icon_biggrin.gif

birthday.gif Jackie

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birthday.gif Jackie

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post #7 of 55
You know a really great way to make some money and really learn the industry would be to first work in that environment. I would get a job in a nice bakery and just learn the tricks of the trade and make money at the same time. Once you have your savings and your business knowledge you can open up your own shop and feel more confortable about moving in that direction. This will also give you a good insight into the prices and also the vendors that are available in the area! I actualy wish that I could do that myself.
post #8 of 55
Thread Starter 
I am paranoid about running an illegal business-and I don't want to do that which is why I'm looking for ways that other people have gotten started. I already have the practical experience. I have a culinary degree and I also have an organizational management degree. Every job I've ever had has been in food-my first job was at a pizza place. I've primarily worked in restaurants and bakeries, but I've also taught baking and pastry classes for a culinary school and have decorated wedding cakes for years. That's what my problem is... I'm sick of working for other people!!! I know I can do this, I just don't know how to get started, and I need to generate some money to finance getting started. I guess that's what I find so frustrating-I don't know where to start.
post #9 of 55
Usually the legal obstacle to operating a cake business in your home is health concerns. The government wants to protect citizens from health risks from food made in potentially unsanitary conditions, not stored properly, not handled appropriately, etc. It is usually not the case that you can't run a business out of your home (subject to zoning, parking considerations, etc.), but that you can't sell food prepared in your home.

So ... try to find another place you can prepare it. Can you rent the use of a licensed kitchen during its non-peak hours? Is there a restaurant, school, caterer, church, day care facility, some other place that already has a qualifying kitchen that would be willing to have you bake and decorate cakes there?

You may also need to qualify as a food handler in your state, but with your background that should be a piece of cake. (Decorated, of course.)

Here children are not allowed to bring homemade treats to share with classmates at school -- and this has been in effect at least a quarter of a century. Pot lucks held in public buildings for events open to the public must consist entirely of packaged food -- nothing made in homes. Given this strong view about protecting the public and minimizing liability, it is not surprising that my state does not license homes for food preparation. It doesn't mean that individuals can't be independent decorators, but it does mean that getting started by doing it at home isn't a legal option.
The Cake Pan Lady
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The Cake Pan Lady
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post #10 of 55
Does any one have a sample agreement or proposal that she could possibly get ideas from if using something like a church kitchen is an option?
post #11 of 55
Thread Starter 
Finding an alternate kitchen is a great idea. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by all the details that I know I have to take care of that I lose my ability to think of good solutions. Have any of you ever rented space for that reason, and how did it work for you? If someone does have a sample agreement that I could look at that would really be helpful. I really appreciate everyone's help in brainstorming for me!
post #12 of 55
Quote:
Quote:

business cards, because then you are advertising your self as a legitimate business. This is called FRAUD. and can even carry a prison sentence.



How is it Fraud..

Fraud is to Deceit someone she is not deceiting anyone she does cakes she just may not be licenced to do it out of her home. But that is not fraud.
Victoria Cargill - Ladycake
Ladycake@pacbell.net
www.Ladycakes.com

"I'd Like To Help You Out -------- Which Way Did You Come In???"
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Victoria Cargill - Ladycake
Ladycake@pacbell.net
www.Ladycakes.com

"I'd Like To Help You Out -------- Which Way Did You Come In???"
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post #13 of 55
Quote:
Quote:

How is it Fraud..

Fraud is to Deceit someone she is not deceiting anyone she does cakes she just may not be licenced to do it out of her home. But that is not fraud.



If she were making the cakes out of her home without a license. And advertised herself as a legitimate business, that would be fraud.

Handing someone a business card is advertising yourself as a business, unless it said right on the card, "not licensed" or something to that effect.

That is where the deceit would come in, even though her intentions where pure.

birthday.gif Jackie

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birthday.gif Jackie

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post #14 of 55
I disagree....


A business card is made for all kinds of things now days.. You see kids that mow lawns that have there own business cards and they are not licensed and you dont see them be arrested and sent to jail for that ...

I dont see anything wrong with her handing cards out to people she knows when she is at a party or such..


I have never heard of someone going to jail for this.. Now I have heard that they will get you for Copy Written cakes that you sell for a profit.. But I would hope to god that our law enforcement have better things to do in life then to look for someone that is handing out a business card saying that she dose cakes to send her to Jail..


Is there a law that you have seen that says that its a fraud and that she will go to jail.. ??? I would like to see it if there is such a thing..

I have been decorating cakes for 6 years now and have never heard of that with the business cards... I have heard about doing cakes out of your home and doing copy written cakes for a profit that you could get in trouble for them ..

I hope you dont take this wrong I would just like to see this if its a true fact...
Victoria Cargill - Ladycake
Ladycake@pacbell.net
www.Ladycakes.com

"I'd Like To Help You Out -------- Which Way Did You Come In???"
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Victoria Cargill - Ladycake
Ladycake@pacbell.net
www.Ladycakes.com

"I'd Like To Help You Out -------- Which Way Did You Come In???"
Reply
post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladycake

.. You see kids that mow lawns that have there own business cards and they are not licensed and you dont see them be arrested and sent to jail for that ...

I have never heard of someone going to jail for this..



Hi Victoria,

Allow me to clarify, I did not mean to say that she will be arrested for handing out business cards.

However, just imagine a "worst-case" scenario, where she ends up making a cake for someone she handed her card too, and god forbid, they end up getting sick. If the "injuried parties" decide to investigate her business, or sue her, thats where it would come into play. By itself it is probably harmless. Like you said, kids that mow lawns create business cards for themselves. I guess its a risk that is really up to the person handing them out.

I am generally a paranoid person, so I wouldn't do it, and I suppose by that measure: my way of looking at it probably isn't the way everyone else does. icon_smile.gif

birthday.gif Jackie

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birthday.gif Jackie

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