Amazon is almost supportive

Hi guys! In a not that long ago blog I shared my excitement about the Amazon Associates program but unfortunately Amazon was not as excited about my desire to be part of it. It's understandable that any business would want to be profitable but the catch that I didn't quite see coming (my bad) was qualifying my recommendations in such a way that yielded a sale for Amazon. Specifically 3 sales needed to result from my links within 180 days of signing on. Of course, I understand this requirement and see why it's a valid one for Amazon to uphold. The point of contention that concerns me and my little small business is that I don't have very much traction behind my work and even less backing up this little blog. The limited audience that does read it (thank you) isn't very likely to make a purchase. At least not yet. The obvious intention with any entrepreneurial endeavor is eventual growth. Considering my primary position as a mother and the lack of overhead capital I'm willing to dump into outpast2... I'm betting on a slower growth rate and I'm okay with that.

Anyways, I've come to the conclusion that I will most likely be let go from the Amazon Associates program but wanted to throw out a last ditch effort to make it work. Below is a link to every piece of equipment I've purchased off of Amazon for outpast2. If you are interested in any of them please use the provided link that would give my small business credit and allow me to play the long game with Amazon. I'm disappointed that Amazon doesn't make it easier to be a part of this program but am still hopeful that we might cultivate and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship down the line when my business is more established. Thanks so much for helping me get there day by day.

This is the Wilton 6-piece round cutting pack. It's one of the basics that every kitchen needs. I use them for fondant, cookies, stenciled work, etc. They are "nesting" for easy storage and I use them pretty much daily.

Also available in leaf:

This is a set of silicone reusable piping bags. It comes with three different sizes and a 6 pack of couplers that are fitted to Wilton standard size tips. They are incredibly easy to maintain and worlds stronger than the one-time use plastic bags.

This is a 16" canvas reusable pastry bag. It's giant and I wanted one mostly because this is the kind of bag most bakeries have. It's very durable long-term.

This is a fondant cutter set that covers more than the basics. It includes 21 sets of decorating tools totaling 68 pieces. Flowers, butterflies, leafs, edging, various fruits, etc. More importantly, it comes with tools for molding, a fondant smoother, and a roller that is the perfect size for most projects requiring fondant details. The downside is having enough room to store everything - it's quite the set.

This is the Wilton 12 count gel-based food coloring set that I first got started with. The best thing about this set is probably the "copper" color that's included as it's kind of a tricky one to mix from primaries.

This is actually the food coloring set I would recommend even more highly than the previous. These colors seem to go a little longer and it comes with a very easy to use color guide for mixing. Very helpful even for the experienced color guesser haha

For anyone wanting to get into decorating this is the money item. It's an industrial cake wheel and it basically does all the work for you. If you're into it, get it. No question.

This little blending set is well worth the investment if you're into baking or kitchen time in general. I use it mostly when I make pies but the uses are endless. High quality, easy to clean, and easy to store.

Cooling racks are one of the least sexy tools used in baking. They usually get in the way, are annoying to clean and there's never enough surface space in the kitchen it seems. Ready to have your mind blown? These guys stack!

This is a really good set of introductory tips. It includes 36 icing tips, 2 bags like ones I've previously backed, and rose nails. Beats piecing a set together by far.

In line with the above is another set that includes larger cupcake decorating tips and an oh-so-important cleaning tool.

These spatulas make all the difference in smoothing out icing. Don't waist your time with the flimsy flat ones that only ever have a plastic black handle. You know what I'm talking about. Your hand will get in the way and they are too weak to make things look clean. These are solid. My only word of advice on them is once you have them, keep the straight part straight. That's essential and hard to mess up.

In addition to the spatulas listed above, get yourself a pointed one for details. I use this primarily for smoothing out drawings but it comes in surprisingly handy for most projects. The decorators at the first bakery I worked at would literally hide the good ones from each other because they are that worth it. Friendships were build on borrowing these things and crumbled from pointed spatula betrayal.

This set is more essential in the chocolate/truffle world than cake decorating but I still find an overlap that makes it worth mentioning.

I use this tool all the time. Saves time and energy when smoothing icing and provides a nice little variety of edges for the classic cake look.

Anyone who makes anything in the kitchen (aside of frozen meals) needs this set of mixing bowls. Clean, easy to store, light weight... I love them. My daughter loves them, too. #toddlerplaytime #mommyslittlehelper

These are the best baking sheets I've ever owned. My husband found them for me and insisted I get them to replace the relics I've had since high school (passed on from my mother). It's almost embarrassing how much I prefer them now that I have them.

These little guys make the first step of baking any cake incredibly easy. They are not dishwasher safe and that was a big turn off for me at first but after having used them non stop upon receiving them, I find that hand washing these babies is well worth the investment for getting perfect cakes out of them every time.

Also available in the 12x18 sheet size:

And the 11x15 sheet size:

And, of course, all of the round sizes:

This is your basic set of square pans. Not going to lie, not as good quality as the above but worth the investment if you're into square things. I haven't needed any others.

Chocolate molds for the beginner. Super versatile.

I got these for a company Christmas party that ordered 300 dessert bites from me and they saved the day as an eatable cookie cup I filled with various goodies. Very easy to use.

Any airbrush machine is going to be a commitment as they aren't cheep and they require a solid cleaning after every use BUT they make all the difference in design. This one comes with all the bells and whistles for a very reasonable price.

One can't airbrush without colors:

These treat bags are the best I've found for individual packaging. I order these a lot haha

My husband got this for me for fun but it actually has a lot of fun characters to play around with and detailed step-by-step instructions that are useful in other projects as well.

So there you have it. If you're looking to get into cake decorating, the above recommendations will absolutely help you sort out some starting points. Even if I don't meet my "sales quota" for Amazon, I do hope this list proves to be useful for you now or in the future. Thanks for checking it out!

The real worker in the cake decorating world.

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