From Zero to THE RESULT OF PERSERVERANCE. Brace yourself…
These were my very first cake pops made at home, inspired by Harry Potter. I remember them sweating, leaking oil, and melted sprinkles. I took them to a friend’s get-together, and nervously told the party that I was going to start a cake pop business. I’m pretty sure they thought they tasted great (BUTTER BEER, YUM!) but thought I was crazy AF.
This was one of my very first “characters”, which was part of a set that I practiced a few different designs on. This pop took me 45 minutes to make. After I made the pop, I made a post on FB telling everyone that I was experimenting, and shortly after that I made my Instagram account. I got minimal response.
These (below) were many of horrible swirl, design, and drizzling attempts, complete with horribly staged pictures. A few of them pictured were in fact paid orders as well. Some were gifts/freebies so that I could share what I was doing. I posted pictures like these because I didn’t know that presentation would positively (or negatively) effect my credibility. I didn’t even realize that my presentation was bad, or know how to improve it.
These scuba divers were one of my local orders (in the neighborhood, actually) that I scored just a couple months down the road, when I posted about my services on the NextDoor app (which, I wasn’t supposed to do…but didn’t know at the time).
Although they turned out pretty cute, I remember feeling extremely insecure because I was still learning to bake and my cake didn’t turn out how I wanted. I remember reaching out to the client (and telling on myself) and followed up by offering a discount on her next order, instead of asking for feedback. I never heard from my client again, and honestly it really bothered me for a long time. I realized that it was a learning lesson to:
1) Not tell on myself
2) Make sure I always put in effort to put out my best work
3) Not take things personally and keep it moving.
Later down the road, I realized how grateful I was for the clients that are STILL a part of my journey, for giving me a chance to grow and to see me WIN. I went from not being able to sleep at night to feeling LIBERATED.
When I made these Power Rangers, I thought they were the hardest, most tedious thing I’d made yet. They took me HOURS to make. Someone asked me about them not long after, and I remember being embarrassed to tell them that I would charge $60 a dozen for them. I did not score that order, but I knew how difficult they were and it was one of the first times I challenged my pricing. I learned to trust the VALUE of my TIME and the value of those who appreciated where my skills were at that specific time in my journey. It made me want to push harder
for cleaner work and consistency.
In 2017, this was also one of my very first character orders. I’m so grateful for the client who trusted me with them. She has followed me from the beginning and ordered again later when my work had naturally improved.
Fastforward to March 22nd, 2019
when I made these again…
Take a look at my very first cake ever:
And the very first time I ever even piped frosting onto a cupcake was December 9th, 2017
I was incredibly proud of my work. Until I started looking at others’ photos and realized I had serious room for improvement.
These were some of the first 3 cakes that I sold. I felt extremely insecure about them. One was an engagement cake that I could’ve said no to.
I made them anyway. I received great feedback on two of them, but the basketball one, not so much. I learned that it was okay to push the limits, but to be honest with my clients if I didn’t fully understand what they wanted or didn’t feel comfortable with the theme.
But with some time, a lot of patience, a lot of work, a lot of research, and trusting the process, I was able to transform not only my product, but my confidence AND my photos. Here are some BEFORE & AFTERS of repeat themes/Holidays from the very first times I did them to the most recent/popular photos.
Although I no longer offer cakes, you can see how I improved over time!
For my very first Christmas in business, I was overwhelmed creating product that no one had even ordered or paid for yet. I did my best to take pictures of everything I made, setting it all outside on a table while the cold wind blistered my face. By the time I posted the cake pops online, all 20 boxes of goodies sold out in just a few hours. It was the best feeling ever. Just 2 months before, I had left my job at the bakery up the street. Overall, that December, I DOUBLED what I made in one month at my previous well-paid job of 6 years.
Here are many more before and after pictures of my work, with many more stories than we have time to tell.
As you can see, I’ve come a long way.
Just know that every step that you take is one step closer to bettering yourself and achieving your goal. ❤
Just so you know, a lot of these works of art came with insecurities, tears, falling and getting back up, ruining ingredients, imperfect recipes and hoping they would suffice, and a list full of imperfections. I haven’t stopped going, and never will!
I have lost clients along the way, I have gained clients along the way.
I have had to make changes over and over again.
I have had to invest in classes and new supplies and web services and work long hours.
None of this happened overnight, but a new mindset came with overcoming these obstacles.
How do your before and afters look?