I've Moved!

Visit me at my new blog:

Monday, June 30, 2008

You're invited!

National Sugar Cookie Day is July 9th and I thought it would be fun to have a little blog party/cookie exchange.

•Bake up some sugar cookies (plain or decorated)

•photograph your cookies

•blog about them

•post your photos to the National Sugar Cookie Day Flickr group

•e-mail me with your info/blog link. I'll post the links and some photos here on July 9th (late evening)!
Have fun!

P.S. I've never hosted one of these blog events before. I'm not sure what to expect. If you think I should structure this differently somehow please let me know!

Have fun!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

While the weeds grow…

Thank you so much for all the nice, encouraging comments on my last post! Sometimes I think I must be a little crazy to even think that I might be able to make a living making cupcakes and cookies. I'm still trying to figure out how to make the transition from employed graphic artist to self-employed baker. A few of you have told me you want to bake for a living too and I wish you the best of luck! I've had a couple of bakers agree to let me interview them so we can find out how they've done it. One works from home and the other rents a kitchen space. Hopefully, I'll finally get these interviews done and posted sometime in July. If you have any specific questions you'd like me to ask them let me know!

This was a really crazy week and I didn't have much time for any business planning. I did get some great new business supplies though. I went to an antique show in Walnut, Iowa and found some Sugar and Meringue uniforms(the vintage aprons shown above). Meanwhile, my mom went to the local junk store and found some great glass plates and domes for me to use as display pieces. The "Disco Dust" that I ordered came in the mail this week too. I finally got to play with it today. It's so much fun! Here's where I got it.

…and while I'm baking, planning and blogging…the weeds in my flower beds just keep growing and growing and growing… huhhhhhh

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!