Growing Pains

Alan Thicke was one of the coolest, corniest dads on television. But that’s not what this post is about…

So y’all remember this business course i just finished? Well one of the bigger takeaways for me was stretching past my own boundaries. I make alcohol-infused bundt cakes. the end. I was not terribly interested in making anything else or changing anything about what i was making, i just needed to know how to build my business. Well lo and behold, these women pushed and prodded me like a stubborn goat to open my mind to doing more in effort to increase my sales. Most of them are decorators, cake makers who specialize in poof, sparkles, swirls and colors. The end of the spectrum i have no desire to be on… But they made me think. My cakes were pretty just the way they were, but they were simple. I like simple. You liked simple. Why should i change that? Because we can always do better.

There is a way to do something, and there is a way to do something better. Ask any athlete. There’s a reason why they started in their sport (they were fast or strong or agile) and there’s a reason why they continually practice their craft. Because they can get better. You may think you are great at what you do, but guess what? There’s a little bit more you can do. Try this: raise your hands over your head. Far as you can. Wiggle your fingers. Now, reach a little bit further. Little more… Reach! Good job! Now tell me, when i said raise them as far as you can, why was there still more that you were able reach after that? Because you could. You didn’t realize it initially, but when you tried, you did. Now you feel that little eh in your elbow or shoulder? With extension comes pain. That tendon or ligament wasn’t used to doing that little extra, so it’s telling you about it. That’s what happens.

When my son was 2, he was about 3 feet tall. No lie. At least once a month, he would tell me his legs were owey, and rub his shins. I’d kiss my hands, massage his legs and tell him it’s because he was becoming a big boy. Then i would privately sigh and re-figure the monthly budget to buy him more shoes and pants… Growing pains. At 7 years old and almost 5 feet tall, he’s one of the many reasons i have to expand my scope. He’s costing me a fortune! Growing pains.

Here’s the thing, I like simple, i’m a minimalist. I don’t want to spend hours making your cake. I use boxed mix because it’s perfection simplified. I don’t have to measure and sift and mix and all that. Lazy much? Yes and no, but mainly because I don’t have, nor want to charge you for, hours to spend making your cake. I would rather use that time creating an original flavor combination on top of that base. Decorating? Um, not really. You don’t buy my cakes because they’re Pintresty or IG-worthy, you buy them because they taste good. Pretty is a bonus feature. BUT… I’m trying to do more. I fully understand that food has to look good to get your interest (the exception is Jamaican food. it’s not cute by any means, but damn if it’s not ridiculously good!). I too am a visual eater. That’s why i make sure my ladies look nice every time you see them. But yes, i can do more. Like this one:

Ok, so maybe I did A LOT more with this one. My client provided me her Crown Royal Salted Caramel (limited edition flavor she’d been waiting to try), so i wanted to do a little more for her. I had made a caramel mousse for our Thanksgiving dinner, so i swirled some of that on. And dropped an Apple Jack Sipp in the middle to fill up the space… It was very messy. But so i understand, it was “amazeballs!!!”

And then recently, this one:

Not as fussy, but a lot of work. My client simply asked for a strawberry and chocolate cake with rum. He’s one of my most frequent and supportive clients, so i went a bit extra for him, adding jumbo strawberries dipped in handmade chocolate ganache and a generous amount of Bacardi 151 stirred into the fudgey batter. The extra time and ingredients in this cake – seeing how Bacardi no longer even makes 151 – pushed it from $35 to $75. If you want a $75 cake, i will gladly make you one…

BTW — I will be making a very limited number of Pure White Hennessy cakes this summer to be priced at $75. If you already know you want one of these darlings, i’d suggest you get your order and deposit in right away. Yes i said DEPOSIT. I’ll let you know when stock is in hand.

So i say all that to say this, if you want more, i will give you more. Let me know what you have in mind and we’ll work together to make that as close to a reality as possible, while maintaining the integrity of my cakes of course (bottles, pipettes, carved cakes, fondant, sugar images, poofy stuff and unicorns are giant NOPEs). Setting up on rented stands with your fruit? I gotchu, boo. (See, stretching… I’m even renting out my stands now!)

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