Hello! My name is Alana, editor and publisher of the newest and first cake business magazine education resource for cake and baking enthusiasts–Sweet Success Magazine™! We are relaunching the publication, just in time for the new year!
About Sweet Success Magazine
Sweet Success Magazine™ is an online publication that provides business education, resources, and tools for cake and baking enthusiasts. Sweet Success Magazine™–a blog/magazine hybrid– provides you with everything you need to grow your baking business to the next level. We are the first cake business magazine where you can learn how to market you business, make sales, conduct wedding cake consultations, work with vendors for profitable partnerships, book more birthday cakes, hire interns, use social media to increase sales, manage your cake business finances and taxes, plus much more–Create your free account here!
Whether you are a hobbyist, or full-fledged business, learn from industry professionals, get motivated, and grow your baking business!
How I Became a Cake Decorator
I have been a cake decorator and entrepreneur for many years…since 1999 to be exact. I started learning about cake decorating when I picked up the hobby as a nine year old, however it wasn’t until college when I started cake decorating again. I learned on my own by reading the few decorating books that were published at the time, and practicing what I read about. At the time, there was no YouTube, Facebook or Craftsy, and there were definitely no tutorial resources or websites about cake decorating. The one and only website that I can remember was Miss Earlene’s. She’s a cake legend. There were the cake decorating 1-2-3 classes at the craft stores, however, I could never find the time to attend due to being a full-time college student with no car, in small town. Because of this, I just learned as I went along, through trial and error. Trust me I had a lot ugly cakes and I even had some cake wrecks. (I will be telling you all about that at a later time.) Honestly, now that I think about it…my friends were so nice to eat all of my ugly cakes! They were ugly and delicious!
Along the way I found my craft and became a strong baker and designer. I entered cake competitions where I actually won. Much to my surprise! At that time I realized I was probably good enough to start selling my product and earning some money from my efforts. That is when I turned my cake hobby into a cake business. I admit I did not really know what I was doing but I was eager to learn and I sought out as many business resources I could find. I met with the small business development centers, spoke with mentors at SCORE, read hundreds of articles and books on small business, marketing, finance and management. I also subscribed to publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, which was one of the few publications at the time that was geared exclusively towards business owners.
How did I grow as a cake designer?
To grow my business I tried pretty much everything. I participated in bridal shows where I would be face-to-face with potential clients and vendors. I participated in open houses where I showcased and sampled my cakes. I also attended hundreds of networking events and tried different advertising avenues including cold calling. I’ve even learned how to develop and design my own website and design my own business cards so clients could find me. All of this activity was slow going at the time, but it worked. Clients started to trickle in and went from selling my cakes for $1.25 per slice…(yes I know!!) to my current rates which average over $1000 per wedding cake.
During this time, I also continued to work full time and attended graduate school. What can I say, when you are young and single….you have a lot of energy! I don’t know how I managed it all. After I earned my masters degree I started to land larger clients and gain more exposure. I also began to teach college business courses due to my newly earned degree and experience as a small business owner. I ended up renting commercial kitchen space to do my orders. My efforts paid off again when I was recruited to be a college professor in the business college at a second university. My graduate school professor remembered I had a small business and knew I had been teaching previously. At the end of this journey I was a professor for almost five years.
In growing my business I have encountered almost every scenario you could think of. At one point early on I even worked at a bakery as the cookie girl, where they fired me after seven days because they thought I was too slow. Well I definitely showed them who’s the cake boss.
Sweet Success Magazine™ – The Next Chapter
I tell you my background to let you know that I have been where you are. I have baked great cakes and bad ones, and made a lot of mistakes along the way. I had a lot of successes and achievements. Now my next phase in this journey is to help other bakers navigate the world of baking as a business through an online, digital publication.
Everything I have done as a baker has led me to the creation of Sweet Success Magazine, an online publication that provides business education, resources, and tools for cake and baking enthusiasts. Here you will find articles, tutorials, and guides on business topics as they relate to cake and baking.
Here is a sample of what you can expect to see in Sweet Success Magazine:
- How to market your business
- Setting up a cottage food business
- Managing your small business and staying organized
- Pricing and selling your products
- Working with preferred vendors
- Breaking into the wedding market
- Working with customers and providing customer service
- and much more!
In addition to business education, Sweet Success Magazine™ will feature group coaching programs for personalized help, workshops, courses, and webinars, in addition to a podcast and YouTube channel. I hope you enjoy Sweet Success Magazine and find it as a valuable resource when starting and growing your cake or baking business. Our goal is to provide you with content that is useful, relevant and timely so you can get the business help you need to be successful!
PS – Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and subscribe to our free newsletter where you can get bakery business help and advice directly to your inbox! OR, if you want even more, sign up for a free account and get instant access to some of our best articles and resources.