DURING years of crunching numbers as an accounting technician, Kirsty Ashton secretly dreamed of owning her own business.
It was not assets and audit trails that kept her awake at night, but the thought of swathes of ivory and blossoming bouquets.
The wedding industry was where Kirsty was destined to be, she says, and earlier this year she made her dream come true with an unlikely transition from accountant to wedding designer.
With a love of ‘all things wedding’, an eye for detail and impeccable business acumen, she has put her skills and passion to good use.
The Whiteley-based, 34-year-old is now her own boss at Hitch and Moon.
The company offers a luxury design, planning and co-ordination service for weddings (the hitch) and honeymoons (the moon).
Established earlier this year, Hitch and Moon is the culmination of Kirsty’s hard graft and unwavering ambition.
Kirsty previously had aspirations of owning a bridal gown shop but her dreams were shattered when the recession hit.
Refusing to give up, she toyed with the idea of buying a venue-styling franchise.
However, she decided to up-scale her plan and go it alone.
She said: ‘When I decided to finally take the life-changing step into the wedding industry, I knew I would put my heart and soul into it.
‘I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of girl and I certainly don’t do things by halves.
‘So rather than take the franchise venture any further, I decided to go it alone and offer the full wedding planning service instead.’
‘One of the reasons I started my business was to assist naval couples.
‘I used to work at HMS Dryad and I have close friends and family who work in the navy.
‘I heard sad stories of couples struggling to organise their weddings having just moved from another town and having to start a new job, settle into a new house, cope with their partner being away at sea and plan a wedding.
‘This is what gave me my motivation to become a wedding designer and featured heavily in my original business plan.’
Kirsty makes a promise to couples who choose to use her services that she will get to know them on a very personal level, to make sure she provides the support and empathy needed to make their trip down the aisle and honeymoon trip to paradise, extraordinary.
‘By making the best use of your set budget, saving you precious time and money and going that extra mile for you.’