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Frustrated and Discourage

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Not sure if this is the right forum to post this, but I've been feeling frustrated and discourage in the cake decorating venture I have started, and I needed to get some advice from fellow cake decorators. I haven't done a cake in about a month or so now, and I've been doing little projects here and there just to keep the skills fresh. Each time I receive an inquiry about a cake, it is usually too much for them, and that in itself frustrates me the most because people be asking for Cake Boss type cakes but want to get it on a Wal-mart budget. icon_mad.gif I try to bend as much as I can, but I can only bend so far. Also, doing projects just to keep fresh can get expense because I'm using supplies and materials where I'm not getting compensated for. I realize that this is one of the many challenges of this business, but it gets a little discouraging. icon_cry.gif

My question to all of you is how do you keep yourself encouraged and busy during your slow periods without going into the poor house and throwing in the towel on your dreams?

Thanks icon_biggrin.gif
Two Stirs & A Lick Dessert Studio
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Two Stirs & A Lick Dessert Studio
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post #2 of 7
First of all, don't do cakes at a loss. Stick to your price points. Not everyone is going to like it, but people have to learn they can't buy a Cadillac with a KIA budget. If you are having problems getting orders, make a few cakes for people and put them in places where people can see your work, like teacher's lounges, doctor's offices, banks, or your church. Word will start to get around. I was told by a prominent business man that it is unrealistic to expect a profit before you have been in a full year and to prepare myself for that, just because of your initial investments.
Cakes are my canvas and icing is my medium.
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Cakes are my canvas and icing is my medium.
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post #3 of 7
Looking at your website, your pricing is really low on the sheet cakes, as if you're trying to compete with Walmart. $1.10 per serving? what is your cost per serving? You're not going to beat Walmart's price on sheet cakes and you shouldn't try.

Instead, focus on the things that make your cakes special...custom, handmade, unique, designed just for the customer, the centerpiece of the event, and so on. They need to know that the product you turn out is so far superior to Walmart that it's worth paying custom cake prices. If you're selling sheet cakes for $1.10 a serving, you'll go broke and you won't ever have anyone ordering the kinds of cakes you actually want to do.

Also, if you want to practice but don't have orders, look into one of the charities like Icing Smiles.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Ladies for your suggestions. Both of you have given me a lot to think about. I never started this adveture to think I was going to get rich over night but at the same time I didn't think most people would try to take advantage of me just because I'm a home baker.

I did the church thing and found that they don't pan out that good because once they get the free cake they expect everything after that should be discounted to free%. But yet they are willing to pay groceries stores for their product and complain about it later. I just shake my head.

I said I was going to look into IcingSmiles. I guess I need to be about instead of thinking about.

Again, thanks. I need to revisit why I like doing this and reflame the passion. thumbs_up.gif
Two Stirs & A Lick Dessert Studio
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Two Stirs & A Lick Dessert Studio
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post #5 of 7
I know it takes time, energy and patience to get your caking business started- definitely don't budge on your proces- you will be sorry you did- sorry while you are in the midst of making the discounted a cake and for some time after. Start thinking like the movie- Field of Dream- "build it and they will come".

In the meantime- to keep your skills up- 1) IcingSmiles is a GREAT organization- you will feel fantastic and humbled after you donate your cakes icon_smile.gif 2) Maybe you could get a part-time job at a bakery or with another caker- just to keep your skills up?

Good Luck and keep us updated on your progress-

Mo
post #6 of 7
I didn't think most people would try to take advantage of me just because I'm a home baker. Image
post #7 of 7
Keep your creative skills up and build your portfolio at the same time by using cake dummies and low-cost, premade icings, fondant etc.

In the meanwhile, to feed the kitty, maybe offer pretty (not designer) & delicious dessert type options at a less-than-custom price for the average consumer while still making a decent profit for yourself. No way can you come out ahead charging so little per serving

I remember a Cake Boss episode where Buddy told his crew to get busy with the 'regular' offerings because they were the 'bread and butter' of the store. icon_smile.gif

It's been working for me icon_biggrin.gif
In my opinion, cake should be at the base of the Food Pyramid.
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In my opinion, cake should be at the base of the Food Pyramid.
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