The Herald is this week profiling people who have made a living by turning a hobby into a job.

Megan Hutchison has never been one to do it everyone else's way. So when she and then-boyfriend Blair got engaged, they questioned everything.

"I don't have a traditional family or life. Neither myself or Blair have parents, and a lot of wedding planning is normally a family event," Hutchison said.

"Because we didn't have any of those influences from anyone else, we were able to make all of our own decisions and question what was really important."


Suspecting others might be in a similar position, in February 2015 Hutchison started a wedding blog chronicling the pressures and choices brides have to make before the big day.

The blog, She Said Yes, struck a chord with readers, and quickly became all-consuming for Hutchison.

Then in July 2016 Hutchison launched the Little White Book, a wedding planning diary and organiser.

Sales took off and soon she was wrapping and dispatching books every night, roping her sister, husband and flatmates to help.

Blair, a pilot, is away for long stretches of time, and with Hutchison working so hard it was a struggle for the newlyweds to see each other.

"By September, I realised something had to give. That was when I had to sit down and make a decision - could this actually be my livelihood?"

There were plenty of naysayers at work.

"I felt a lot of pressure from within the firm, people saying 'what are you doing? Oh so you're a 'blogger' now," Hutchison said.

"It felt like a vanity project because I was putting a lot of myself online - but now there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of women that I've helped, I feel vindicated - it's made a difference to a lot of people's lives."

Hutchison now makes more money than she would as a lawyer, and in a job she finds much more fulfilling.

The 28-year-old is now considered an "online influencer", with some 50,000 social media followers.

The Little White Book is the backbone of Hutchison's business, and has been followed up by anniversary journal I Still Do. Photo / Supplied
The Little White Book is the backbone of Hutchison's business, and has been followed up by anniversary journal I Still Do. Photo / Supplied

Sales of the Little White Book have cornered more than 10 per cent of the New Zealand bridal market, and it's stocked in "beautiful boutiques in Paris, Dubai, Berlin", she said.

A second book, "I Still Do", launched this year. The anniversary journal lets couples write about their memories and dreams for the future.

Despite the positive change of moving to her passion, Hutchison warned a hobby is never the same once it becomes a job.

"You'll have all the same issues and responsibilities as any other business owner - and it's all you. There's no IT guy in a cupboard under my stairs to fix issues."

She warned Kiwis launching business ventures would be wise not to put all their eggs in one basket by leaving their day job without a guaranteed income.

"I was able to afford to purchase a large number of books in advance and put ads on Facebook because I had a job that was paying my bills. Otherwise who knows - I may not have been able to launch into the market with quite as much oomph."