Cakes that defy gravity? Is that a bottle…oh no, it’s a cake! Ooooh, that bag is expensive…wait, it’s not a bag…it’s a cake! I’m sipping my coffee and eating the mug too! Whaaaat?!!! Are these cakes for real? Yes, they are! As real as you and me. Meet Mayen Orido.
She’s the female powerhouse that founded Way Beyond Cakes which specializes in these unique and novel cakes that changed the norm of cake decorating. Her cakes are these awesome works of art that you can hold, carry and sometimes they defy gravity. Let us get to know the woman behind these masterpieces.
Mayen was a teacher in the Philippines teaching high school BIology and Chemistry. Later on, she also joined the corporate world as a medical representative of a multinational pharmaceutical company before moving to the United States in the early 2000s. As she settled in a new country, she continued her career in the pharma industry.
Way Beyond Box Mixes
But it wasn’t until several years later that Mayen got interested in baking. She had a hard time conceiving so for the baptism of her son she wanted a really grand cake. The price of custom cakes urged her to make cakes for her kids.
“ …I started with a box mix. I baked it and nakakatuwa pala ang feeling na something from the box turned into something you can eat. Parang nakaka-amaze!… Doon ako na hook! …Pag naalala ko yung first cake ko. It was the most unimaginative cake, pinaka ordinaryo na cake na nakita ko pero nung ginawa ko sobra akong happy!”
She started doing more cakes and she learned through trial and error. While she was making more cakes she realized that this will make her stay home with the kids. This can be a career for her. She also started a YouTube channel with the aim to help beginner bakers shorten a twenty step process into four steps. Well, once a teacher… always a teacher.
So, that’s how Way Beyond Cakes by Mayen got its start.
Of Lemons and Lemonade
Now, with almost 12 years of cake decorating experience and several international awards tucked under her belt, Mayen is a sought after international cake artist and educator. She travels the world to teach her unique cakes. In fact, she has a gravity-defying cake class here at The Bailiwick Academy.
But despite her success and stature, Mayen experienced loss and uncertainty when the pandemic hit. Her workshops, which are her bread and butter, got cancelled. There were even no cake orders. It was an awful time.
But as the saying goes,”When life gives you lemons, use them to make lemonade!” And so she did! Instead of wallowing in defeat and giving up, she created cake decorating kits that can be shipped and made more online teaching tutorial videos. Now, she’s back on track and as busy as she’ll ever be.
Fortunately for us Bailiwickers, Mayen shared valuable tips and advice on work ethics, pricing your cakes and dealing with challenges. Read on to find out.
Think Outside The Box
Competition is fierce in the cake-ing world. One way to stand out is to have something unique and different to offer. Look around you, everything is an inspiration for cake design. Go beyond the ordinary!
Don’t Turn Down Cake Orders
Dealing with difficult designs or designs that you aren’t comfortable with will make you grow as a cake decorator. You will learn new skills, gain confidence and discover new abilities that you think you don’t have.
Work Smart and Know Your Worth
Aside from the ingredients, we also need to put a premium on the time spent creating a cake. Sadly, this is the most neglected factor but it is also the most valuable. Clients should not only pay for a cake made of flour, eggs and milk. They should pay for the design and all the years you spent perfecting your craft. Don’t underestimate yourself. Charge what you’re worth.
Be Comfortable In Discussing The Budget
This is an awkward situation for most of us. But we also need to protect ourselves. It is always a must to safeguard our business by requiring the client to pay a downpayment before we discuss our ideas with them. You have the option to decline too if you feel that this project is not worth your time.
Identify Your Market
Selling your premium cakes with premium prices won’t work if you sell them in the wrong market. You must first need to know what your market is and then make products that your market can appreciate.
Paid vs Free Tutorials
Sure, there are a lot of free tutorials out there but you’d still undergo trial and error for the most part. Whereas, paid tutorials are almost foolproof. You will be guided accordingly by the instructor. Not to mention, you will learn a lot of tips, tricks and industry secrets. We have lots of excellent classes here at The Bailiwick Academy that can jumpstart a business in baking (some of them are free too!)
Practice Makes Perfect
Even if you watch hundreds of free and paid tutorials, they won’t be making much of a difference if you don’t practice what you learned. It is only through constant practice that you will be able to hone, improve and perfect your craft.
Mentorship and A Support System
Having a mentor and a good support system behind you is one way to ensure that you stay on the right path.
Lastly, Mayen has this to say to newbies and oldies alike.
“Persevere! I think that is the key word. You should have this mindset to keep on going. You have to persevere through all the challenges that will come. Because the only way that you will fail is when you stop trying…”Mayen Orido