• Jen Hettenhouse

Only One Way To Go From Here



Flour. Sugar. Milk. Eggs. Butter. I got this caking thing down pat. Even if my kitchen is in a perpetual mess with flour and powder sugar. I get it clean long enough to make it a mess again. Ah...caking! When I got licensed as a cottage baker and officially became legal to sell, I honestly thought that no one would want my wares. I knew I had a great tasting product. And I sort of thought that I was okay as far as decorating. But I never thought anyone would actually want to buy from me. I am ruled by fear. When my first official order from a stranger came in, I was elated, over the moon as it were. I learned a lot with that order. I learned that I will always second guess myself but really, I just need to trust my gut and go with it. I learned that I can make mistakes but with cake, it is fixable. As long as I fix it, the client will be happy. I learned that I need to seriously pay attention to my time so I am not up until 5am working on that ONE little detail. I cried real tears over that first "real" order. I had previously gotten orders, but this one...it was someone I did not know. And all my fears compounded into one and letting someone down...wow...that is a real fear for me. In the end, she was super happy for her cake. And I was seriously considering backing away from selling cakes. I was so distraught over that first one. Life did not give me a chance though. Less than 2 days later, I got a call for another order. And then another. And another. That gave me another life lesson. You cannot back out of something because of fear. And that first cake? Oh boy. It would forever be one of the easiest cakes I have ever done. Easier than my first wedding cake. Easier than my first carved cake. Easier than my first stiletto cake. Way easier than my first rainbow cake. I will not even go into how much of a nightmare that number cake was.


I went from freaking out with every order to getting giddy with excitement. You want that?! Oh gosh yes! This will be so fun! Wait, I have full creative freedom?! Oh my goodness you rock...and kinda scare me. You want a what? Yeah...I can do that...after I watch dozens of hours of tutorials on YouTube. I stress out over every last cake. Thankfully, I have not cried over another cake. The potential is there. I know it is. These cakes are my babies. My heart. My soul. My all. When I say they are made with love, I mean it. I give everything I can to produce the perfect cake for my clients. I want them to have the magic in their eyes like my daughter did the first time she saw my WonderPets cake, which, was only my second cake ever I might add. But I want to recreate that sparkle. Because it is pure happiness and bliss. And that is what cakes are for me. My happy place. So I want to share it with the world.


A few weeks back, I got a call that started the whole fear roller coaster again. I was asked to be the exclusive cake vendor for a really nice country club. Correction, for FIVE country clubs. I had a good 15 minutes of excitement before fear took over and I declined the offer. Mainly because it is just me, I work out of my home kitchen, and I work other jobs too. I was afraid I would let people down as my time does not currently allow cakes exclusively at this time and moment in my life. I feel confident I made the right call. In the end, that conversation was a huge ego boost for me. Shortly after that call, I got approached to be a sponsor and vendor for a local dance school. In crept that fear once more. What if everyone hated me? What if everyone loved me and I ended up overbooked? What if I sold cupcakes but no one bought? What would I do with the leftovers? What do I even bring to a vendor booth? What do I need to plan ahead of time? Folks, the struggle was real. The fear was real. The fear still is real. Yesterday, I agree to it. Sign me up and color me crazy. I now have a table runner with my logo on the way. I have ZubCakes shirts coming for my family. I have magnets on the side of my car advertising who I am. I have brochures and business cards. A pricing schedule as well as a cutting guide all made up. I am in the process of creating a portfolio as well as crafting a dummy cake for display purposes. I am working on a menu of flavors I plan to offer.


And you all are my sounding board as I lose my mind over all of this. I know I made the right call. I cannot help but be afraid. But it is the right call. I am getting business and I have not yet advertised myself. I run mostly on referrals. I think it is time to let the world (okay, town) know I exist. Time to advertise. Time to man up and cake like I mean it. And I am here to document along the way. There will be ups, there will be downs. But there will also be moments of clarity and tutorials and neat designs. I feel it is time to open the doors. I have been hidden in the shadows too long and there is no way to truly give that gift of cakey magic if I remain hidden. I'm taking you along with me. Stay tuned. I will have a lot to say. And probably a few tutorials along the way. Time I share my talent in more ways than one. Thanks for sticking with me. I truly value the experience and the loyalty of you all. Always made with love, from me to you, this is Jen at ZubCakes, ready to take on the world!


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Buford, GA   ***BY APPOINTMENT ONLY***

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