This Barter isn’t going to work for me.

Another installment of Horror stories from cake artists …

Thinking back to the time I thought id be interested in bartering my cakes ….

And what turned me off from the trade…

Another mom approached me wanting a cake for her daughter’s birthday.

She was a face painter and was offering in exchange to me her services as a face painter for a party I’d host.

I wasnt planning on having a party for anyone in my family any time soon… so I suggested She could hang out at the Pittsburgh Public market booth with me one Saturday and do her thing.

She didn’t feel like this was a good deal because …

So if I were to agree to this and have her I’d be throwing together an entire farmers market event as well as her elaborate cake and cake pops, all on my dime – so that her daughters can have a big free cake.

I was having a really hard time wrapping my brain around the facts that I was going to spend at least 15 hours on her cake order and that in turn was equivalent to her 2 1/2 hours of face painting .

It was 2014, I had a 4 year old, 2 year old, cancer, a cake business, I had NOT the spoons to explain this to her . I politely declined.

I think I’d like to have had the patience to explain why I declined. It wasn’t an equal barter if time. As a cake artist compared to a face painter, we are both artists. I am not a professional face painter as I’ve never charged for my time while I volunteered to face painting at the kids bizarre. It was simple little quick pictures because we had long lines of kids. And then that was that. A little prep work and set up. Sure. Travel. I get it. Artists of all mediums should be valued. And I wasnt feeling valued when my time wasn’t part of the consideration. Clearly I dont charge enough for cakes! I should also be making that . Over Triple the amount of time needed from the ingredients procurement to the time messaging back and forth, baking, making buttercream, molds, supplies, supplies, supplies, box, board, I mean the list just keeps going. Sooooo much goes into making cakes! That’s for another time.

I’ve never considered barter again since then, because clearly cake artists aren’t charging enough for their time, energy, and skill. 🎤

Go forth and charge more, cakers !!!

Seriously. Raise your prices right this very minute. You are worth more than what you are charging. Think like a face painter 👩‍🎨



Brandi Janine

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