This is very important for us all to consider.
It is super expensive to put on a cake show!! The organizers take a great risk to try and bring you the best of the best to you so as you do not have to travel far. So when a cake show comes to your state or sometimes even country please make sure you do your best to attend. If you want these shows to keep coming to you, you have to support them otherwise they die and that is not just bad for you but also your city and your cake community. We need to keep florishing as a cake community and supporting each other. If we cannot take the time and money to perfect our skills and learn new things from these instructors who are coming to you, many from across the world, then those instructors will just stop coming.
We all need to keep getting better and you cannot always learn what you need to know online. I can tell you as an instructor that you will never learn what I have to teach you if you do not take one of my classes! I go much further into detail and we also have wonderful discussions in class about many things such as how to price that cake , time spent, products used and always secrets that I keep just for my students.
Me speaking out today is not for me! It is for all of the cake shows and especially the instructors and vendors who are attending these shows to give you the products and the expertise to take your cakes to the next level. Many people think us instructor are making a killing with our classes. And I cannot lie, there are a few that most certainly are. But for the most part most of us are barely breaking even if not going into debt to come teach you.
No , this is not me having a pity party...this is me being truthful, open and honest about what instructors go thru.
Since I started my cake career 6 years ago I always dreamed I would be where I am today. I know there are many of you that have dreamed the same dream as me. I can honestly tell you that I am exactly where I want to be in my career. If it never goes further than today I will still feel entirely blessed and humbled for everything this community has given me.
Now on the flip side of that comment I have to say there are new upcoming and super talented artists all ready to fill my spot which I am ore than ok to give up to them. I feel we all have our time and if mine has come and gone I am ok with that. But I am getting very discouraged lately on the attendance for classes (not for me per say as I still feel I have been doing quite well). But like I said above, everyone seems to think instructors have a very glorious life making a tonne of money but this is truly not so for most.
Have you considered that when we offer our class proposals to a show we actually have to be prepared to have each and every utensil that student uses. Yes... in most cases all instructors bring all the materials. So just for me that means 20 exacto knives, rolling pins, rulers, pencils, heating pads, paint palettes, paints, dummies, wipes, Dresden tools, ball tools, molds, etc, etc...and the list goes on and on depending on my class. We are sometimes super blessed that the fondant companies such as Satin Ice, Renshaw and many more supply our fondant, and believe me as instructors we are so very grateful. But then we have our airfares, accommodation, fares to and from the airport, extra luggage fees for all our supplies, food and God knows how many cake orders we turn away and business we may lose because of that show.
So no, the life of an instructor is not us making a big bucks and living a lavish life style. It is us doing what we love and the love we have of sharing our knowledge with others. We sometimes work in conditions that are not even proper for a class to really be taught such as no air conditioning, which I can tell you can change a great class into a totally horrible one. Shows that promise you things then when you get there they are not there. Dirt falling from ceilings into your fondant while you are teaching. Fondant that we have never used before and does not work for our type of class or in some cases just not good at all. And we as instructors take on all these challenges for our students and our love for cakes and teaching.
I hear all the time how classes are just too expensive. I get it, believe me I do. I barely break even doing cakes and that is if I am lucky as my area truly sucks if you want to charge a decent price. I also have a very large family who always seem to need braces, school supplies, school sports fees and now a car and car insurance :(. But I do believe in taking classes. Even as an instructor myself I still have so much to learn. Yes, there are websites out there that you can join for a fee each month or buy a class at a time. But if we do not keep taking classes at shows or small studios we are honestly killing the cake community. If you solely buy classes or learn online you are truly only supporting one or two people. You are not supporting the cake community as an entire entity. The community needs to stick together as a whole. If we only learn online and forget about the cake shows or studios the cake shows and studios will fade away and you will be left with nothing but online tutorials. You will create a Walmart ( supermarket chain) like cake community where only one gets rich and all the other smaller businesses die out because of that one big chain store. Basically the mum and pop shops of the cake community die...that is what cake shows and studios are.
I am not telling you to stop taking online tutorials. Just do not forget the bigger picture. You may someday want to become an instructor or have that opportunity given to you. But if the shows and studios die out because no one wants to take those classes anymore, then those opportunities will never come your way because they will not be around. Or you may want to take a class from your favorite caker but they do not travel anymore as there is no money in it.
All I am asking is that you all consider what I have said. I can tell you that in my small cake studio I have made some of my best friends and created other forever friendships between my students. I have also met some of the nicest people on the planet in my classes at cake shows. They too usually form bonds with other students in my class and then too have wonderful long lasting friendships. You cannot get those things from online and they are what keeps the heart of our community beating.
I recently heard from one instructor who was coming to a show that they had no idea how they were going to eat while they were at the show as they had sold almost no seats. They were travelling across the world to a show in another country and had booked their tickets so could not pull out and now had to worry if they could even feed themselves while there. And I am not talking about an artist who did not have talent. They are at the fore front of the cake community. Always pushing boundaries and coming up with new and fantastic ideas that I must say are too often ripped off by others and then sold for very few dollars in online tutorials and the true artists who create it now cannot sell classes because of it.
I love my cake community and only wish for it to keep thriving in every way. Do not too to caught up with what you can buy online. Yes, there are some great online tutorials I have quite a few of them myself. But don't forget the bigger picture which is cake shows and cake studio classes. This is the true heart of the industry and we need to keep it pumping strong and hard!
Big Hugs , Shags xoxoxo