Your artistic vision vs. client's budget

As a cake artist and business owner, I’m often having to compromise my artistic vision for the sake of my client’s budget. Many times I feel like I’m delivering an “unfinished cake” because I’ve had to elliminate some details my client couldn’t afford. Sometimes, I still go above and beyond the budget because the design is so important to me. What is your experience and your opinion on this subject?

Thanks for sharing!

Maria @ http://www.facebook.com/rooneygirlbakeshop or http://www.rooneygirlbakeshop.com

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10 Replies

Carole Wynne ...

Totally agree :)

Xclusive ...

When it comes to such situations, I always experience an internal struggle – trying desperately to keep within the client’s budget, yet knowing my “artistic vision” for the cake has not yet been achieved. Presently, I have come to realise there is need to balance the two issues and since am not running a charity based organization; the budget ultimately determines the extent of “artistic vision” for the cake! For me its now either a basic designed cake or a customized designed cake – which cost more!!

Fun Fiesta Cakes ...

I’m guilty of going beyond what client paid for – I always do more because I want the cake to look its best. Oh well… I’ll learn some day

Jenniffer White ...

It is a fine line we’re walking here. You don’t want to do more work than you’re getting paid for, but you don’t want a product going out the door that doesn’t accurately represent your talent. And worst of all, you don’t want customers (or money) walking out of your shop. Currently, I’ll take a client’s ultimate vision (let’s say a football stadium cake) and then their budget (lets assume its on the low side) and then I try to fit the vision into their budget. I won’t allow myself to do a bad stadium cake, so I try to talk the client into a sculpted helmet or maybe even just a basic football field cake.

I still find myself going the extra mile so that I’m happier with the design. When I did my banjo cake, the couple was OK with a more basic design, but I since it’s not something I get calls on every day, I decided to take it up a notch.

Jacqulin ...

I agree with Xclusive and Jennifer. Of course you want to create an amazing cake but you don’t want to keep dishing out more than the customer is paying for. I’m learning (as I still go overboard mostly) and have created a New Challenge for myself which is to create a beautiful cake based on the customers budget. So I ask their budget first then discuss their concept, if it’s something grand I encourage them to get smaller tiers if they just want a display cake and maybe cupcakes or something. From now on that’s my goal and challenge as an artist. To really be successful at it (to me) would be to master the art with the little I’m given. Most times tho’ I don’t mind doing extra, I guess it’s just innate for us all. It’s something you’re passionate about…

Amy ...

This is something I know i will struggle with once i am a licensed business. I always feel compelled to to finish a cake until I am happy with it. I imagine in the long run I would be getting less than the cake is actually worth.

Nuria Moragrega - Cake Mistress ...

I always go overboard, and end up doing an all nighter, but lately i’m trying to do more simpler cakes to match the price, but thats a total struggle and i just itch to do a little more just to be satistfied

Allways Julez ...

Sometimes “more is less”. A cake that is simple, with one stunning flower…can have visual appeal, just as one that is covered in fine detail can. Just different STYLE.
If someone is on a tight budget… try to steer them towards a design that will satisfy both your needs.
Julez.

Karen MacFadyen ...

I would always work to my budgeted time I allowed myself to do the cake. Anything else is using your own personal time and giving it away for free. Which is fine – if you completely enjoy what you are doing, but my view is that people start to expect gorgeous cakes at low price, just because they have not got the budget. If they were offered a choice of complexity of design and budget – and this was stuck to, then the general public would begin to understand that cake decorators do not work for free. Hairdressers do not, they cannot keep tweaking and touching up a hair design – because there is another lady in the queue awaiting their time. We need to have a more commercial head on if we want to make a business from our craft. If we just want to make a superb cake and not get paid – might as well just enter competitions – and do it all for nothing!! (Just the recognition of winning perhaps!!) Kx

Kara ...

Having a minimum for your orders can also help by preventing you from undervaluing your time. I’ve had people ask me if i would just slap something together for less than my minimum, and I tell them that I can’t NOT try to make it look good, so no. The minimum reminds me that i put more time into thing than I estimate!