Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones brings idea of event design business to life

Riding in a floral van on her way to help set up a wedding, Ashley thought of an idea. She immediately typed it into the notes app on her phone. Now, this idea has evolved to become a live website and has won her two pitch competitions.

Ashley came into college undecided but soon discovered her interest in event planning. After declaring an event management major and taking some classes, she realized she also wanted to go into business.

While she knows what she learns in her classes will be applicable in the future, Ashley said the real-world experience she’s gained from her internships is invaluable. Working as an event intern also gave her the idea for her business: an online events studio where brides and event planners can design aspects of their event themselves.

“[My events internships] really taught me what the industry is really like,” she said. “I realized a need in the market for [my business].”

Being in the College of Human Sciences and taking classes that teach wedding planning and event sales has allowed Ashley’s creativity to flourish.

“In classes, everything with event management is creative in some way,” Ashley said. “Even if it’s just creating the timeline [for an event] – the major as a whole encourages creativity.”

Ashley acknowledges that getting the push to actually start a business can be difficult. It was winning her first pitch competition (the 2018 College-By-College Pitch Competition for Human Sciences) that motivated her to give it her all.

“That really validated my idea and encouraged me to keep pushing forward with it,” she said. She has since entered 10 competitions and has either won or been a runner-up or finalist in five.

Ashley’s advice for bringing an idea to life is simple: Just go for it.

“Just try,” she said. “Who cares if it doesn’t work out? I almost didn’t do my first pitch competition… but it’s my dad who would tell me – you have to share your idea to make it happen.”