Sunday, March 20, 2016

The end of an era.

Nine months ago, I wrote this blog post. Up to that point, it was one of the biggest decisions I had made for my business. But recently, because of another "9 months" situation, I am writing the most important blog post to date! If you missed the BIG NEWS, Kelley Hurtt (my baker, employee, right hand, other half of my brain, and one of my best friends) is PREGNANT!!! Her husband and her are having a baby boy, and I'm so excited for them!
What does this have to do with the cakery? Well, I knew Kelley wanted to stay home after having the baby, and that she wanted to leave at the beginning of the third trimester, which would be early May. I wrestled with the decision of what to do as far as continuing with the cakery without her, and I cried MANY MANY tears. Do I hire another person (Kelley offered to train him or her), do I try to do it alone, do I close for just the summer? The more I thought about it, I realized that if I didn't have Kelley, I didn't want to do it at all. She has become the other half of GWIC, and without her, it won't be the same. SHE is what makes it fun for me. SHE knows what to do before I say it. SHE knows what I'm thinking before I open my mouth. And as much as I knew it could work with someone else, I decided that this was the push I needed to step out of my comfort zone.
tag team fo life, Kelley and me

Here's the thing, I had been feeling in my gut for a while that I wanted to do something else with my life...with my career. I fell into cakes almost 10 years ago, and stuck with it because I had a natural talent for them. I didn't want to waste that talent, especially after feeling like I hadn't quite found my calling in my adult life. But all good things must come to an end, and I want to challenge myself with something totally new! I want to have a more steady schedule, and more steady pay (please baby Jesus). I want to get paid what I'm worth for the hours I work (or at least come close to it). I want to contribute more to my family, in all ways (emotionally, with my time, financially, etc). I've felt for some time that I'm not using a very smart, capable, and able body to my full potential, even though I work so hard. Believe it or not, I don't want to be a business OWNER anymore. It's absolutely exhausting to feel like you're always behind the 8 ball, with a list of things to do, AND a list of things that still hasn't been done yet. You have to be thinking 10 steps ahead, but also dissecting what happened in the last few months. You rarely get to live in the moment, and that's what I'm all about! I want to enjoy life, and not be stressed to the max every single moment.
i love our logo and biz cards...sprinkles!

So going back to what happens in May. Well, it just so happens that my kids will be out of school in the beginning of June, I started to think...'what if I got to be home with my minis for the first summer EVER?!' I've been "home" with them when I ran the cakery out of my house, but I wasn't really "home" because I was always working. I was telling the minis to entertain themselves, please get out of the kitchen, hurry in to the car for deliveries, we can't go to the park because the ovens are going non-stop, we need to stay home for pickups, we can't have play dates because the entire downstairs is devoted to cakes and they can't get messed up, and the list goes on. I did my best to juggle it all, and give them a good time still, but it wasn't enough. And I want to make it up to them. I posted this on Facebook a month ago...

Made a huge life decision at 6:47am with the help of a 7 and 9 year old as my sounding board. That should make the rest of the day quite interesting. wink emoticon

Want to know what I said to them? I went in to their room to wake them up for school, and I watched them sleeping so peacefully. And I realized that I am always in such a rush, that I'm not absorbing these moments. So I woke them, and grabbed Lilly and put her in Bella's bed, and said, "what if mommy closed the shop for good, and it would mean I could be home with you girls this summer?!" Bella started to cry, hugged me, and said that it was the "best gift ever." Lilly was smiling and said it would make her "heart happy." So there was my decision...from the mouths of babes.
my minis, Isabella and Lillian

So I am going to go home and be with my loves for the summer. And possibly have three extra littles to take care of! Joshua and I are the guardians for my brother's and sister-in-law's sons, and they may need us to watch them while they are in training in different places (they're both in the Army). I need to be available at a moment's notice, and more importantly, I want to be available. What will my job be after the summer ends?! For the first time in my life, I HAVE NO WORDS. I truly don't know what I'm going to do, but that's exciting for me!!! I have so many options, because I have ALL of the options!
Joy, John, and my nephews Gavin, Aiden, and Ethan (eat them up!)

For 10 years, I've done cakes. And just kept doing cakes because I had been doing cakes...if that makes sense?! But I truly believe I can do many jobs now that I've run a company! And not only run a company, but succeeded. I'm not stopping because it's not a great company. It makes a profit, and always has. I have a huge social media following, and so much support from the community. I have no business debt whatsoever, and never have...no investors, no loans, no credit cards, etc. I've only grown as big as the cash flow allowed, so that when I did decide to be done, I could walk away not owing a soul! I'm also very proud of the fact that we have never had to refund a penny...in all these years! So make no mistake, GWIC is thriving, taking names, and kicking ass! It's just not my passion anymore.
the day i got the key to the shop (2 1/2 years ago)

So what would my dream job be? Being Cam's personal assistant, duh. ;) Or Ron Rivera's. Maybe do PR for the Panthers or the Hornets? I would LOVE to combine my love for my city, the fun things to do in it, and the sports somehow, but I don't know just what that is yet! A blog is probably a good place to start! Do you know of a job I'd be great at?! Have you been waiting to snatch me up?! LOL! Hook a sister up! ;)
Panthers, HIRE ME! I can even make the stadium in cake!

We've had the most incredible customers over the years. I have one word...LOYAL. People have followed us through it all. From the first home, to the next home, to the cakery...from small cakes, to big cakes, to wedding cakes, to tiered cakes, back to small cakes, and everywhere in between! I can't possibly express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me and us over the last decade. I'm obsessed with our customers...and my love for them is what has made this decision so hard. Not seeing their smiling faces, getting their warm hugs, hearing what's new in their lives, making cakes for their most special days...it's going to be heartbreaking. PLEASE friend me on facebook so I can keep up with your lives! But I know it's the right call.
(Keep scrolling past the cute pics of some of our customers)









Want to know one of the most frustrating things though?! Time for some REAL TALK. I'm mad at myself because I FINALLY figured out the right recipe (pun intended) to the perfect business model for us. When we stopped the custom tiered and wedding cakes last October, things got SO.MUCH.BETTER!!! (Why didn't I do that sooner?!!!) Welllll, I wasn't sure if we'd have enough small cake business to make up for all of those big money wedding cakes, but WE DID! I was kind of shocked, but not only did we sell plenty of small cakes and cruffle pops, the margins were far and away better, and we exceeded any and all expectations. AND I worked waaaaaay less (some weeks, I even worked LESS than 50 hours!!! ;)) . I didn't have to go back in to the cakery every night, and having the majority of my weekends back was blissful. There were SO many less emails to respond to because we could take small cake orders easily over the phone. No more sketches to make. No more consultations and tastings. I got my life back in many ways! At least I can say NOW that I know what works :) And I probably would've stayed in it as long as I had Kelley. But baby boy Hurtt was the catalyst I needed to pursue what was in my heart, and I can't wait to see where it leads! I'm so grateful for a baby who's not even born yet! So if you're keeping count, that's a 21 week old baby, a one year old, a three year old, a six year old, a seven year old, and a nine year old helping make my major life decision! LOL!


In saying all of this, I would be remiss not to mention that I'm toying around with the idea of selling Got What It Cakes, the business, so if you know anyone who would be interested, they can contact me! If it's not the right fit, or if someone is simply looking for a bakery/food space to rent in Pineville, let me know that too! My lease is month to month right now, and would be available June 1st essentially. If you want the space in Pineville AND the biz, then even better! Email is mandie@gotwhatitcakes.com. Let's chat!


Our last day will be May 20th, so please let us know what we can do for you before then!!! We want to make as many FINALE cakes as possible, to make as many people happy as possible! Here's the link to our Easter offering's newsletter (always plugging :))! And come shop in the gift shop! We have so much cute stuff in there!!!

I really can't believe it's almost done, and the amount of tears shed. Telling our regulars that we're closing has been brutal. I know what you're thinking, "won't you miss it soooooooo much?!" Well, yes, of course I'll miss some things about it! But I can't WAIT to see what this next journey is.

Maybe it will take me nine months to figure it out ;) {And no, I'm not pregnant}