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Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Year Later...Biz Highlights!

I'm not sure when to say my business actually started- was it when me and my big sis started our passion for baking and cake decorating with our obsession of the Cake Boss in 2010/2011 and we started receiving orders? Was it when I quit my full-time job in Marketing to perfect my talents as a Baketress and grow my business? Or was it when all of my paperwork went through with the state and my LLC was officially registered?  I have been a Baketress since 2010, but somewhere along the lines I took a leap of faith and became The Cake Baketress. It has been such an adventure, and many of you remember my post about leaving my comfortable cubicle for my home-based baking business, if not, feel free to read back- From Fluorescent Lights to Cakes. If you are in a season of indecision, or have just taken a huge risk, well maybe you can relate!
My cubicle decorated for my birthday. The office sheep
(a longrunning prank) made his way over to my desk to celebrate!
I cannot believe it's been a year...June 17, 2011 was my last official day working in my position as Marketing Representative of Community Sponsorships and Events in the Phoenix-Metro Area for a national healthcare organization. In many ways it is part of my identity and the way God wired me to network and promote the things I believe in, so this job was a natural fit and a lot of fun for me. It was very strange leaving something I did not hate, to do something I love. I knew it was a risk and all the time people ask me, "do you regret leaving?"- it does not take me long to answer, "not for one second do I regret it". Despite the financial challenges of a start-up company, without taking out any loans, and without any guarantee of a salary, I would absolutely never turn back and erase the time I've had being stretched and sewing many dollars, cents, time and sweat into the success of my business. The US Small Business Association says on average, it takes about $30,000 to start up a company. This is of the more conservative numbers I've heard, but it does give you an idea of the financial commitment- it's no pocket change for the average person in their mid to late twenties!

On a positive, $$ saving note, I am very thankful that according to a state law that passed, literally, a month after leaving my full time job, and a week after contacting several commercial kitchen rental spaces, the State of Arizona passed the Cottage Industry Food Law, allowing bakers to run their business right from home. The law outlines safe practices and business musts if you are to operate a home based baking business. Before this law existed, many cake decorators ran their business unofficially and illegally out of their homes. I was not about to risk doing that, so it would have significantly raised my overhead to pay rent to operate out of a commercial kitchen. Instead of paying rent, I am able to invest in supplies, equipment, education, advertising, whatever I think will better my business!

Many of you have asked me if I can see myself opening up a shop- I would love to someday! Until then, I count it a blessing that I can run my business from home. I do not believe in coincidences and was shocked when this law passed before I had made any commitments to a lease, but after I had started investigating the cost and logistics. God's timing is always perfect, and I am so thankful for the doors He has opened. That being said, when I feel comfortable making that commitment to a lease, I would love to have my own cake showroom and even professional kitchen space. I am in no hurry though and will do what many cake decorators have done before me- build their portfolio and their clientele and wait for the right moment for that kind of growth. I have had the privelege of meeting some local talented cake decorators who are at the same phase of their business, and some who were where I am a few years ago, and are now experiencing major growth having their own local shop. I cannot wait to be where they are, but also listen with ears wide open to the stories of hard work it took to get there. I have seen a few local cake spots open with the sparkle of a new toy, and close down not long after with the disillusionment of a heart break- I do not envy their position, but even they are faced with the choice to continue fighting for their success!
Wedding Dessert Shots!

Hopefully you are still paying attention, and I have not bored you with my recap, because I want YOUR help with this next part! I am so thankful for all the business YOU have brought me- telling your sister's friend's coworker's neighbor's daughter, about my cakes. Thus far I have not invested in advertising, so all of my business has been from word-of-mouth, networking and Facebook. I have made cakes based on themes I have never heard of and have had so much fun doing so. With my strong base of specialty cakes building however, I am even more eager to build my portfolio of wedding cakes/ cupcakes/ cake pops and cookies (say that 3 times fast). This is where I need your help spreading the word! I have EXCELLENT pricing when it comes to the competition, because I need more wedding business. So thank you, and I hope you participate with me in helping spread the word about my wedding cakes. I have had the privilege recently of creating a cake for a styled wedding photoshoot with other vendors around to valley to showcase our businesses, and I cannot wait to show you the pictures! Until then, feel free to check out my photos on Weddings album on Facebook if you would like to see some of the cakes/desserts I have done.

Thank you all for your support over the last year, I could not have done any of this without your encouragement and belief in me and your referrals! I am so unbelievably blessed to be doing what I love and with the best clients ever!


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