Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Prior to the grand entrance of our second child and the craziness that followed shortly thereafter in 2020, I posted a short series of blogs that are addressing specific issues I run into with clients on a regular basis. These are areas that I find myself explaining individually for almost every order, and that’s actually totally okay. While I don’t mind repeating myself, my husband had the awesome thought of turning them into blogs in an effort to be helpful. If you’re a first-time reader and interested enough, here’s where you can find previous blogs. Specifically, "How to order a custom cake", "Let's talk serving sizes", and "Want a bigger cake without all the... cake?". Anyway, my husband’s support is what brings us here today (and everyday that I’m in business really).
So, let’s talk about custom design. For as much as I love the artistic freedom that most of my clients offer me, I refuse to accept it without some basic communication. Upon receiving pretty much any request, I will have questions. One of the most important bits for me to consider is your budget. If you ever have an opening conversation with anyone offering you custom anything who isn’t aware of how much you want to spend, make them aware. I usually try to offer a few different options at different price points for your consideration. The intention is to help you get a feel for what my pricing looks like as well as help you think about what you really want the look of the cake to be. These ideas are always flexible and up for discussion. I want to make sure that you don’t end up with a bill that you are overwhelmed by or a cake that you are underwhelmed by. I can and I will spend 10 hours making details that you and your guests will ultimately eat and still have a good time… but I won’t do it for free. You deserve a cake that you are proud to show off to your guests but I don’t expect you to spend your whole party budget on it. Let’s talk and we’ll find what works best for you. At the end of the day, if I get to make a cake for you then I'm happy.
If you’re a fan of my previous work and believe that I am so talented that I can do no wrong, I’m going to tell you now that I can. Please, even if you’re referencing a cake that has exactly zero to do with your theme but you like it, bring it to my attention and I can talk about what went into that cake. I would much rather take the time to have that communication than sell you a drawing when you expected fondant work but didn’t let me know. If you truly relinquish all design rights to me, I can promise you two things. First, I promise not to take advantage of the freedom when it comes to the price tag. I will still share your final balance with you and what I plan to do prior to making the cake. If I’ve underestimated the time it takes me to do something, that’s on me. I will never surprise you on that front. I know people who have surprised clients and they are no longer in business due to a lack of this level of communication and frankly, I’m not surprised. The second thing that I promise is that if you, for whatever reason, do not want to share at least a range or a limit regarding your budget with me then I will take the lead in suggesting designs that fit best into my baking/decorating schedule. I will do my best to share with you my plans to avoid anything that would make you unhappy, but if you simply don’t have any input with me during the design process then I will not take any sort of complaint from you regarding the look of your cake seriously once it's completed. I don’t say that to be mean or domineering in anyway. I say it to bluntly remind you that if you have zero opinions going into a custom deal then you relinquish the right to have negative opinions about whatever comes of it. It's always better to have more communication than needed vs not enough. I always encourage as much communication as you can stand with me with the intention of providing you with exactly what you want.
This is so important because there’s always a less expensive or more expensive way to do a cake. If you want an image on it, an eatable printed version will always be less expensive than a hand drawn rendition. If you feel like spending more, have it sculpted out of fondant. If you know nothing of the cake world, that’s okay. You don’t have to know how complicated something is to ask about it. Lord knows I look at product outside of my skill set and immediately think that I can do it in an hour and I am wrong every time. Every. Stinking. Time. Please, talk to me. When all is said and done, my only goal is to make something that you love and that includes the level of quality for price paid.
Having said that, if you're reading this and you're like, "Sure, that's great... but I honestly would rather be surprised." Or "I don't have a clear vision of what I want. Just make it pretty!" Or even "I don't have the TIME to go over every detail... I just need something that fits my theme and tastes yummy." I hear you and I get it. I just ask that you tell me THOSE things so I don't bother you trying to get more details. As stated above, I'll give you a clear summary of my plan for your order and the final price that goes along with it prior to it being worked on. My only expectation is that you review it and let me know if you agree or need anything adjusted before the deadline for your order.
Of course, always feel free to contact me for a free custom quote. Even if you're just shopping around to see what the options are, I'd be honored for the opportunity to be considered. The prices for my cakes based off serving sizes are available on my website as a starting point. There is a small price increase for specialty flavors and fillings due to the specialty ingredients. The design of the cake is always priced out separately simply because of how many options there are but I try to give a few disclaimers at the bottom of these pages to help give my clients a starting point on what to expect regarding custom decorations. You can also checkout my gallery for inspiration.
I hope this helps with any uncertainties you may have had going into a custom order. I know many people assume that custom anything is going to be too pricey or too much work or too anything... Not true! "Custom" just means "made for you"! And also "communication". Custom means let's have honest and upfront communication... That's really the main take away I'm aiming for here.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to creating something special just for you for your next celebration! What will it be?!