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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Getting Serious

Oh my! What am I getting myself into?

I've been having a great time making pretty cupcakes, playing with packaging, taking pictures, looking at pictures of bakeries I like (like the ones shown above)…doing all the fun parts of starting and having a cupcake & cookie business but, I've decided it's time to get on with it and start making some real plans to try to turn my dreams into reality.

Here's some of the steps I've taken since my last post…

•I talked with a connection at work about having a booth at a community event in mid-July. I think this will be a good place to show the community what I do and this event draws the kind of people I think will be interested in my cookies and cupcakes. It might be a good way to test the market. However, this is an outdoor event and in prior years the weather has always been bad. I'm worried about how my cupcakes and cookies will hold up if it's really hot. I have no idea, how many cookies and cupcakes I should plan to bring. I don't know how I'm going to set up my booth, but I know I need to get some signs and things made for it. I'm going to be gone next weekend and the weekend after that I'm going to be really busy so I don't know when I'm going to work on getting ready for this. I need to order some of the specialty items I want to use to make some of the things I want to make. I need to firm up my prices. I should get new business cards made (the ones I have now are more "etsy oriented"). What am I thinking?

• I talked with my realtor friend this week about finding a kitchen/bakery space. This friend has great business sense, knows a lot about the community and has a great sense of style. She seemed very supportive of my idea to start this business. I really value her opinion so I was glad she didn't laugh at me and tell me I'm a nutcase/dreamer! She had a few really good ideas about places that might work for me. Ohhhhh mannnnn… talking locations makes this all seem very real and a bit overwhelming. Therefore…I started working on my business plan again and really trying to crunch the numbers. I'm not sure what my expense are going to be yet but I'm thinking I'm going to have to make and sell somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 cupcakes or 100 cookies a day for this to work. I have a few other ideas about how to bring in income including "make your own cupcake parties", but still…Can it be done? Can I get that many cupcakes/cookies made? (theoretically I can) Can I sell that many a day, especially if I decide not to have a store-front right away?
Will people around here pay $1.50-$3.00 for a cupcake? Once I start showing my stuff at local events will I get many orders? If I do will I be able to handle them while I'm still working full time? Will I know when it's safe to quite my day job and start baking full-time?

Is it worth going through all this work and stress and risk to make this happen? YES darnit! The alternative would be to spend the rest of my days in a windowless cubicle at the mercy of a boss, probably watching someone else open up this type of business. NO WAY!


Susie Scott said...

You are so talented! I know your cupcakes and cookies have to taste as good as they look. They are OUTSTANDING! They are Beautiful! You make Sprinkles look like Walmart!
You have done the research(more than most) dreamed, plotted, planned and planned some more. You know the look and feel. You have exquisite taste! You are on your way. You are Ready! Go forth.... I only wish I lived in Nebraska! Who knows though, you may have a store coming to my area before I know it!
I truly wish you all the best.
With very warm regards,

Hazel said...

Oooh I wish you so much luck with your venture plans, fingers crossed for the community event in July! Your cookies and cakes look amazing, and I am sure are delicious.
The photo collage of bakeries with 'the look' is pretty and certainly inspiring.
Keep us all posted on your progress.
Hazel x

Teena said...

Oh your things are so fantastically wonderful - just go for it! Take a look at cakeadoodledo.co.uk. There was a recent article about the lady in the weekend papers over here- she started business her kitchen at home and sold mail-order cupcakes. She figured that if a box of cakes was similar in cost to a bouquet of flowers then they were a good contender to be chosen as a mail-order gift. The reason the lady was in the paper was that she is selling her house (a big country farmhouse) as the business had outgrown the space available! You see we all love to buy cakes!!! Especially ones as pretty as yours! (although I'm not suggesting you offer send them airmail!! xx

Véronique said...

I wish you good luck in your efforts. Me too I want to do the same thing as you. In September, I returned to school in pastry! I would like to start my business at home and then find a local ... I am confident that you will succeed and that you make the right choices! Your pastries seem delicious and you're on track!


ArtsyMama said...

Wow, good for you! Can't wait to hear about this journey. Fabulous that you are following your dreams!!

Heather said...

Emily --Way to take that next big step! You absolutely have your product perfected, and you know that we all LOVE the way they look. I just wish I could taste test them for you :)
The market is totally there and you've been doing your homework. Do you want an actual bakery that is open to walk in customers? Or do you just want baking space to work out of?
I wish you the VERY BEST and hope you find a fabulous space soon so you can move forward.

Katie Runnels said...

Best of Luck! You're ready to fly!!

Noble Beast Natural Market for Pets said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
catslye said...

:) so exciting and thrilling and maddening all at the same time...I hope you find time to breathe and feel the joy in following your dreams. all the best.

Véronique said...

this is my new blogsite: http://madamemuffin.blogspot.com/

Kim said...

hi! i think your plan sounds wonderful! i love your work it's absolutely beautiful! i can't wait to see how things turn out! good luck with everything! i think you'll do great!

Lark said...

Hello, I just discovered your blog and it's wonderful, your cookie designs are fantastic. I love the Cath Kidston-inspired cookies, she is one of my deesign heroes too! I started my own business making children's things 4 years ago and t was a huge step but I've never looked back. Go for it!! I wish you lived in my neighborhood (in Australia)!


Kat at Muddy's Bake Shop said...

Best of luck!
Where is City Cafe and bakery??