Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's time...

I really don't know where to start yall. This post has been a long time coming, and it's equally the best, and the saddest post I've ever had to type. So instead of beating around the bush, I will just spit it out. After I complete the ones already booked on the calendar, I'm retiring from custom cakes and wedding cakes. Okay, I typed it, and you've read it. Let's take a minute to let it sink in together. I realize that to some of you it seems crazy for me to be doing this, and to others, you're saying, "yes girl it's time!" And don't panic! I'm still keeping the store, and the retail portion of it...single tier cakes, the cakes by the slice, cruffle pops, etc. But I had to draw the line somewhere, and I would miss seeing the daily customers too much to give up the retail part.

Photo by: Old South Studios

The truth of it is this. I work all of the time. If I'm not physically in the shop working (which in any given week is from 30-90 hours), I'm somewhere else working. I'm home on the computer. Or on the phone with customers. Or at 6 million stores shopping for ingredients. Or running every facet of my social media while I'm walking. Or updating my website. Or editing pictures. Or driving all over this city (and more) delivering cakes. Or meeting someone for a pickup. Or filling out order forms. Or doing sketches. Or searching for THE perfectly sized toy for a cake. Or emailing people all the time EVERYWHERE because all I really do is email people. Seriously. 2am, Sunday mornings, on "vacations," while camping, at birthday parties, school functions, sports games, family dinners, movies, etc. And I just don't want to be that way anymore. I want to focus wherever I am, and on whatever I'm doing. I've checked myself out of the hospital three times because I've had a cake that needed to be done for an event. Two years ago, I had an emergency appendectomy at 2am on a Saturday morning, and delivered a wedding cake that Sunday afternoon. That's not a good thing. Being the only decorator and the only delivery person in my business is too hard on me. I can't continue at this pace. And hiring additional people to do those things isn't the right answer for me. We don't have the room, and I don't want to move to a bigger space (yet). I've run this business debt free since the beginning and I want to keep it that way. I want to grow it as big as I can, but at a pace I'm comfortable with. 
 Photo by: LunahZon Photography 
 I'm a wife to an amazing man, and a mom to the two sweetest girls in the world. And I'm missing out on too many parts of these days, and months, and years with them. I can always go back to the custom cakes, but I can't get the years back with the people I love most. People will always be getting married, celebrating birthdays, having babies, etc., so cakes will be around forever. But my girls, living under my roof, who want to actually hang out with me, won't. So that's really the driving force behind this decision. Time. I don't have enough of it to go around, so I'm making the priorities where they need to be right now. I can't continue to work all week, nearly every weekend, every holiday, etc., and miss out on life. I've missed karate belt testings, mom and me breakfasts, school parties, recitals, trips, vacations, birthdays, births, showers, weddings, funerals and so much more. I need to be more available to my family and my friends. They deserve a better me. And I do too. 

 Photo by: The Beautiful Mess

Focusing on just the retail portion of the store will enable me to simplify life because I can stream line the order process for those small cakes. Our retail has picked up SO MUCH in the last 6 months, and it can be even bigger if I stop the custom/wedding cakes. I want to be a destination that people just HAVE to visit when they come to Charlotte. I want a line out of the door daily. I haven't been able to truly market the way I've wanted to because we really couldn't grow any bigger. We were already at capacity. Without custom cakes, we will have more room on the calendar for the single tier cakes...people won't have to always hear, "sorry, we're booked." I can get the mail-order cruffle pops business off of the ground so everyone can send cruffle pops as a gift to someone who deserves them! I can start to offer same day cakes, for those who might need a last minute whole cake for an occasion that's taking place that night! Things that people have been asking for, can start being done. I want more time to devote to the charitable organizations I volunteer for as well. Giving back is beyond important to me, and I can't wait to do bigger and better things with and through GWIC in that way!


I realize that this means not doing custom cakes for people that I have grown to love. And that has been the hardest part in the decision making process. People like Anna Furr, who came to me as a customer, and is now a dear friend. She has trusted me with every cake for her two sons, multiple family members, work colleagues, friends, and more. She always trusted me with the design, never complained about price, and had a hug waiting for me at the right time, every time she picked up her cakes. She hung in there through the thick and thin of my business, and never left. And there are so many "Anna Furrs" in my business. I love you all so much, and can't express my gratitude enough for giving me the opportunity to be a part of THE most special days in your lives. I hope we can still be there for yall...just in a little bit different of a way now. But in saying that, I totally understand if you need to go somewhere else for your tiered/wedding cakes. Because that's what friends do. We understand each other, and the ebbs and flows in life. Just please know how much I love yall for making GWIC what it is today. YOU built this company, not me. Without loyal customers, I was just a girl making cakes for my family or close friends. To all of the wedding planners and industry people who have passed my name on to your clients, you've been the best support I could've ever asked for. People always ask me what it's like to work with bridezillas, and I say the same thing every time...I've never had one. I've been so incredibly fortunate to have awesome clients. I've still never refunded a penny to anyone in all of these years. Do you know how rare it is to say that? To have so many people that love your work? It's truly humbling.

Photo by: Sean Pressley

I have had incredible luck in this business. I know it sounds cliche, but I have done more than I EVER could have imagined! I certainly didn't set out to be in The New York Times, or be interviewed by Katie Couric, or to meet Sheryl Sandberg or Andy Cohen. I have made cakes for celebrities, been on TV almost as many times as I was when I was a reporter (LOL), have been featured in nearly every local and regional magazine imaginable, won multiple awards, and so much more! I can't even explain how lucky I have been. Don't get it twisted though...I've worked my ass off, but I also know I'm lucky. Especially because I've been very vocal about winging it since day one ;) I don't always know what I'm doing, but it's worked so far to go with my gut, so I'm going to continue to do that now.

 This isn't goodbye. I am SO EXCITED about what is to come! We will still be making single tier cakes, still selling the cakes by the slice, the cruffle pops, and more! We're looking to add more open hours, ship our cruffle pops, have additional products to offer, host events at the store, etc. But I need your help. In order for me to succeed this way, I need support. Please come in the store, buy our cakes and cruffles, share our pictures on social media, tell your friends, and simply consider us for your dessert needs. If you're hosting a party, we can make the dessert! Instead of going to a huge, chain grocery store, call us! We make every bit of cake, filling, buttercream, toppings, etc. from scratch. We work so incredibly hard to make the best products possible, and we'd love to earn your business. And if you've had a great experience, please leave a review online somewhere! Orrrrrr, just come in to the store and hug me...most days I need those more than anything!

Thank you so much for reading, for supporting me, and for loving me all of these years. I hope you'll continue to walk on this journey with me. It's time...