Sunday, January 1, 2012
Fortunately for me I jumped in feet first entering the Oklahoma State Sugar Arts Show in 2008, a few months in to my new career. This enabled me to meet many experienced, talented and in some cases famous cake artists who were more than willing to give the advice I so desperately needed.
On the subject of pricing they were unanimous. DO NOT UNDER VALUE YOUR WORK! Your time and talent is marketable or you wouldn't be in the business. The best way to determine if you are offering competitive pricing is to check other bakers in your area. And I am not referring to the big box stores! I'm talking about small personal bakeries and home bakers. Some may post their base prices on their websites or in their stores. Others may provide base prices over the phone. The few that feel that you are "trying to steal all their business away" will require a visit under the guise of a potential customer. Daughters, nieces, younger sisters make good pawns for this task. Arm them with a list of questions, a date months in the future and a wedding cake photo. Encourage them to take a friend that will be "in the wedding party" to ease any nervousness during the recon. I know this sounds very sneaky and underhanded but if you are very rural and there are only a handful of bakers in your area it may be the only way to get the information you need.
I was educated on under valuing my work when I made my first magazine. They photographed my cake in New York and then requested that I send in specific information for the publication. I penned the required background info, inspiration for the design and price per serving. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from a Brides Magazine editor to discuss my pricing! She explained that they research the market areas for the cakes included in their magazine and that my pricing was 1/3 of the going rate for my area! She further explained that under cutting would hurt me as well as the two other Texas bakers included in the issue. I took her advice to heart and allowed her to adjust the number. Shortly after that I did the area audit as she suggested and found that I was in fact too low. I charge a competitive price and I'm always totally up front when asked because in the end it can only help me and my fellow bakers. If they do not know and under value their work, they are under cutting me and losing money they deserve so it's a lose lose situating. Given the information most will choose to price competitively.
I found a blog site on a Cakes We Bake forum that explains this beautifully. Jen Montalto posted this link to Stacey's Sweet Shop. It's a great read and so very true! http://staceyssweetshop.blogspot.com/2011/08/howd-you-arrive-at-that-number.html?spref=fb
Monday, May 9, 2011
1921-2011. I recreated their logo using a reverse butter cream technique and "blinged" the cake up with edible glitter and handmade gum paste rotary accents.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Friday, October 15, 2010
These are a few pictures of the huge sugar showpiece I helped build at the Oklahoma State Fair. The finished dimensions were 28’X30’ and included a multi-storied haunted house, Frank and his bride at their wedding in the graveyard, haunted tree full of bats, spiders, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, a mummy, witch, ghosts, Jack Skellington, and much, much more…all made of tons of cake, butter cream, and fondant!