I'm Not The Cake Lady, I'm The Business Owner. Or, You Deserve To Be Paid What You're Worth.

I'm Not The Cake Lady, I'm The Business Owner. Or, You Deserve To Be Paid What You're Worth. www.acaketorememberva.blogspot.com #cakebusiness
Something that really annoys me is when people refer to me as "the cake lady." It makes me cringe because to me it smacks of people not taking me and my business seriously.

Some people might think it's cute, or promote themselves that way, but I just don't. I feel like it rolls up everything bad about the cake industry into two little words. It gives me the feeling of "isn't that cute, little lady, thinking that you are a businessperson" with a condescending pat on the head.

When I arrive on deliveries there will occasionally be someone who announces to the room "The cake lady is here!" I always says "Yes, I'm the decorator." Or the baker, or whatever. I'm not the cake lady, I'm the business owner.

I might be overreacting, but I don't think so. I think that women tend to be self-deprecating and put up with the "isn't that cute the way you like to make those cute little cakes" kind of stuff way too much, which is one part of the gender pay gap. In a world where people who make the fries are saying they should be paid $15 an hour, why do a lot of cake decorators charge so little they're making about $3 an hour? Because they're not taking themselves seriously, that's why. And if they don't, why should anyone else?

Women tend to not ask for raises as often as men do. We also tend to worry about being perceived as not being nice, so we feel bad about charging for our work, or asking for a raise. If your first concern is whether someone will be mad or think that you're mean for pricing your cakes higher than they want to pay, then you need to take a step back and reevaluate whether you should be in business in the first place.

In an industry where the majority of people in it are women, why did the two most popular cake shows feature men? It chaps me.

Your cake is a product. You deserve to be paid a fair price for producing it. If you know how much you need to charge to make a profit that's acceptable, that's the price. If you're professional enough to charge for your work then you should charge what it and your time is worth. Don't charge what the people who consider you to be a cute little cake lady think you should be charging, because chances are it isn't enough.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA, and online at www.etsy.com/shop/acaketoremember

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