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Belinda Williamson
08-08-2010, 8:06 PM
I went to a birthday party last night and thought I would share pics of the cake. My friend Diana made the cake. Her boyfriend built the stand for her. I keep telling her she should do this as a "real" job but she doesn't think anyone would buy her cakes! :eek: The roulette wheel would actually spin. Everything was edible.

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bob blakeborough
08-08-2010, 8:46 PM
Wow! That is absolutely incredible! Tell your friend to start considering a new career for sure... I would buy a cake like that!

Belinda Williamson
08-09-2010, 9:03 AM
Bob,

I think lots of people would buy a cake like that. This is the third or fourth masterpiece she has turned out this year. She is amazing! Here we are at the party. Don't we look like we're enjoying cake? :D

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Dan Hintz
08-09-2010, 9:48 AM
My honest assessment:

Her design is top notch. I really love to see cakes with that "extra" touch... the cards (looks like fondant), the chips, the Vegas sign, the moving roulette wheel, etc. I would consider this cake as good as, if not better than, what most typical cake shops put out. However, there are quite a few cake shops that can crank out slightly less-personalized cakes and they're not very expensive. As it stands now, those are the places she would be competing against, which means she'll have a hard row to hoe.

If she were to practice and clean up her execution... straighter lines on the red piping around the roulette wheel, smoother faces to the fondant, sharper and more defined cubes, etc... she would have a real chance at success.

I see entirely too many cakes that look great in the 4x6 pics taken of them from 5 feet away, but when you're standing there looking at it you wonder why the shop bothered to put their name on it for the price they charged. The last competition display I attended I saw cakes from 12 year olds (nooooo kidding) that I would swear were put together by a top cake designer... and a few by adults that would have been better displayed at a gas station opening.

Diane obviously has the design talent, but does she have the speed? I've been told many times I should decorate professionally, and while I enjoy the challenge/fun of doing something like that, I could never get the money I would need to charge due to my slooooow speed. I'll do something for special occasions, but I could never survive with that as my sole source of income. If Diane can keep the speed and clean up her lines, I have faith she could beat out the other less-talented artists in the area.

LOML wanted to take those Wilton beginning decorating courses being held at Michael's... once a week for four weeks, two hours each. Of course, I got sucked into it so she wouldn't have to go alone. Here's what I did during class on week 3:

http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs512.snc3/26903_110314688978540_100000000297965_274933_26829 0_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs492.ash1/26903_110314692311873_100000000297965_274934_79708 65_n.jpg

I ran out of time to do the claws, teeth, whiskers, etc. It also has a slight 3D quality to it, with the spine scales coming up and over, sticking up from the cake, the claws wrap around the edges, etc. I could sell that cake for what, $50? $60 maybe? I spent an hour baking, crumb coating (a poor, single-layer job on a red velvet cake), and prepping the icing, followed by two hours of decorating. That works out to about $20/hr... I could make more than that mowing neighbors' lawns. I stink at it.

I would expect Diane's cake, as shown, to sell for around $300(ish). If she cleaned up her lines and fondant work, I would expect she could get nearly double that with the right client.

What does she do for work now, Belinda?

Belinda Williamson
08-09-2010, 10:13 AM
Dan,

In Diana's defense, some of the piping did some slipping and sagging during transport and set up in our brutal heat Saturday.

All of her cakes are baked fresh, so she baked the cake Friday night and worked all night and most of Saturday on assembly. She realizes she has more time and money in this than she can charge for the cake, she just really enjoys doing it for fun. She charged $150 for this one.

Mike Cruz
08-10-2010, 2:23 PM
Belinda, I know you HAD to think of it. You probably thought it wouldn't get noticed. But IF it did, it would be by a woman, not one of these testosterone laden thugs that hangs out here, buuuuuuutttttt...

Isn't that the same dress in your avatar? :D

Belinda Williamson
08-10-2010, 2:35 PM
Belinda, I know you HAD to think of it. You probably thought it wouldn't get noticed. But IF it did, it would be by a woman, not one of these testosterone laden thugs that hangs out here, buuuuuuutttttt...

Isn't that the same dress in your avatar? :D

Gee, Wally, I have no idea what you're talking about. :p

Why yes, yes it was . . . and how observant of you. I decided to break the dress out of the closet. It's okay though, none of the people at this party were at the Derby Party so I didn't commit a fashion faux pas. :D

Bruce Page
08-10-2010, 3:12 PM
Wow! Your friend Diana is really talented!


Mike, do you have a death wish? :eek::D

Belinda Williamson
08-10-2010, 3:26 PM
Wow! Your friend Diana is really talented!


Mike, do you have a death wish? :eek::D

I think so, too, Bruce (on both counts). Earlier this year she did a cake for a graduating senior baseball player. It was modeled after his favorite park (I can't remember which one) and she even duplicated the advertising signs displayed around the park.

Mike Cruz
08-10-2010, 6:04 PM
Ohhhhhh, and now you changed your avatar..... still the same dress, but a different avatar none the less...:D :D :D

Curt Harms
08-11-2010, 9:26 AM
it may cease to be fun and start to be work. She might be further ahead to take the occasional "commission" and not use it to pay the mortgage. More likely to stay fun that way unless she has a real passion for it.

Belinda Williamson
08-11-2010, 9:41 AM
You're probably right about that Curt.

Paul Brinkmeyer
08-11-2010, 11:24 AM
OR, to find a job and source of income that you really enjoy is some peoples dream.
Could go either way.



it may cease to be fun and start to be work. She might be further ahead to take the occasional "commission" and not use it to pay the mortgage. More likely to stay fun that way unless she has a real passion for it.

Chris Padilla
08-11-2010, 12:04 PM
it may cease to be fun and start to be work. She might be further ahead to take the occasional "commission" and not use it to pay the mortgage. More likely to stay fun that way unless she has a real passion for it.

Bingo! I love woodworking but if I needed to do it to pay the mortgage, the love would turn to hate. If I could do it for extra 'fun' money, that would be fine, too. I envision that upon retiring (~20 years from now), that I could then do ww'ing here and there for some side money.

But, those are cool looking cakes...very nicely done. I love the 4 of a kind in 10s to represent 40...clever.

David Weaver
08-11-2010, 12:16 PM
If someone doesn't like one of her cakes, I'll eat it!

Belinda Williamson
08-11-2010, 6:47 PM
If someone doesn't like one of her cakes, I'll eat it!

And you would love it! That's what Diana has going for her. Not only do her cakes look good, they are delicious. Right now her sales are word of mouth commissions. I think she's really concerned about the business end of things, licensing, inspections. She works nights so it is hard to juggle everything.

Joe Mioux
08-11-2010, 7:41 PM
sounds like she is exactly where she wants to be.....

an occasional cake here and there with some bonus "fun" money.

as we all know, once it becomes real income, the rules change. insurance, board of health, etc.....

btw: great dress.

joe

Belinda Williamson
08-12-2010, 7:39 AM
Thanks Joe!

Dan Hintz
08-12-2010, 7:56 AM
Yeah, the licensing, the inspections, the health code problems... those are major headaches above and beyond a typical business that will keep most out of it. Quite a few try to fly under the radar by baking out of their own kitchen, but that only lasts for so long. You can't build up your business very far by cooking in your own kitchen unless it is purpose built (health code violations abound)... there's nothing like chomping into a moist brownie cake to find cat hair sticking out of it :( Fluffy makes a great companion, but a lousy sous-chef. If Diane doesn't want to go full force, best to stick with friends and friends of friends only...