This “Series” of blogs has to do with giving. Giving to others seems to be a “thing” for me :) I decided when I started baking that it couldn’t always be about money. Money tends to take the fun out of things anyway. We worry about prices and what we should charge and how much our “time” is worth and on and on. Pretty soon I feel indignant about those who don’t want to pay and discover that gem that rises up in me. I always come back to “but I want to give to those who can’t and won’t be able to pay.” That’s the real heart of it.
So, I looked around me. I have been baking for people who didn’t always have a fortune but they had enough to pay for the ingredients. So, I’d charge lower prices that often just covered cost and baked to my hearts content. Some of my best pieces brought in money that would shock other bakers… a mere $20 for a cake that would normally sell for $150 and so on.
To keep things fair, I realize that I am a home baker so my prices are usually lower for that reason anyway. I certainly am no Colette Peters! Still, I try to average prices so that they aren’t too much lower than local bakers. To do so would be to de-value them! So, I respect the baking community. But, then there’s that person….
You know, the one like my order. She really wouldn’t be able to afford the real cost for that cake and she didn’t ask for THAT cake. She asked for whatever her $20 budget could pay for. I knew she didn’t have much. But, she’d also reached into that pocket before when I needed a prescription… and again to encourage me when I was too sick to raise my head off the couch and my chemo-filled body prevented me from doing much. She was always there with encouragement and love when it seemed the world was just demanding and painful to live in. So, I agreed to a $20 cake. What happened after that was pure love.
Out came the fondant, and the simple thought… “But what would she love?” I knew the cake was for a family member and they told me the basic parameters. Her family member loved birds and gardens. I went from there. I was always taught to go above and beyond expectations when I was young… so why not now? What happened was purely amazing! Do I mind if she doesn’t realize that there was an entire week of late nights and hard work? Not at all. That wasn’t the point. The point was her delight in the finished product, the pure excitement at having a piece of artwork that went well beyond what she’d ever expect or be able to afford.
That launched what I do now and again… that project that touches lives and brings a smile and excitement that only a beautiful cake can. This week, I selected another recipient or two. One has cancer… the other is a little girl with a rare disease. I can’t wait to decorate Hello Kitty cookies, to raise the money for supplies… to delight someone I’ve never even met. I am so excited to delight someone who doesn’t expect the package… who wouldn’t be able to afford what’s coming past the doctors and the medications… past the turbulence of their lives. I can’t wait!
What inspires an artist is the message and joy they want to convey… the money only helps fund the dream!
I’ll hop on often to tell you about my little recipient… and share the work I’m doing. I’m going to tell you who, on this wonderful platform of community, inspired me and gave me that wonderful gift of community and encouragement so I could reach out to her. Because, when it all comes down to it, it may be my cookie… but all of you on Cakes Decor and those in my Facebook world… inspire me, encourage me, keep me company, and teach me. So you, yes you, are part of what I’m about to do for Baylee!
-- Kelilah, Missouri, http://www.kelilahskreations.com