Manhattan Beach Community & Destination Guide 2021-22

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W O M E N V I S I O N A R I E S O F M A N H AT TA N B E A C H

aged her and helped her find the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA). “I highly recommend it,” she says. “It’s great.” YEA is a national program that teaches kids grades 6-12 business plans, margins, investment opportunities, and more. She won the Shark Tank-style Manhattan Beach competition (complete with seed money) and advanced to Nationals, where she made the Top 8. Though this is her first formal invention, Taylor’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit. “I always came up with creative solutions to problems I’d find around

“I’ve always loved the idea of being my own boss and creating a company of exactly what I want.” Taylor Ryan the house,” she says. I asked her what some of her creative solutions to everyday problems were. In the most charming yet professional response, she said, “I might turn some of them into businesses in the future, so I maybe shouldn’t reveal those at the moment.” Brilliant. And this proves she’s not done yet. “I’ve always loved the idea of being my own boss and creating a company of exactly what I want.” With a business in hand and a trove of ideas, Taylor plans to study Entrepreneurship and Business in college at USC or Pepperdine. Though she’s over three years away, I bet she’s a shoo-in. Taylor’s advice for other entrepreneurs young and old is: “Even though you might set a plan, lay it out perfectly - anything can change. There are always ways to manage. Even if everything gets hectic and doesn’t go according to plan, just stay calm and work around it. It’s gonna be a lot of work and incredibly time-consuming. And at times, you might think, ‘Maybe I should just give up.’ But if you keep pushing, it’s incredibly rewarding.” A fifteen-year-old just inspired me to go for my dreams.

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Not Stephanie - she founded a business to do her part in solving the problem (even with a full-time workload as a dental hygienist). She’s diverted hundreds of thousands of pieces of plastic from landfills and planted more than 4,000 trees since the opening. “It’s inspiring knowing that my small actions as an individual are creating measurable change. If we all believed in that power, the world could look very different than it does today.” Stephanie’s womanhood has shaped her personal and professional journeys. “Growing up,” she says, “it was impressed upon me to find a stable, well-paying career that allowed flexibility in motherhood. I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit since I was young, but was raised in an environment where taking risks was not really encouraged. As I grew in my career and as a woman, I became more STEPHANIE COCHRANE

Stephanie Cochrane envisions a future with less waste. She runs The Waste Less Shop in North Manhattan. Her storefront is a Rose Apothecary-esque boutique featuring sustainably sourced and packaged artisanal items. Stephanie started the shop in 2018 after realizing that she couldn’t find plastic-free products in stores. “I’ve been in love with nature and our planet since I was young,” she says. “I didn’t realize that love would evolve into a career until I was hiking in the Himalayas. I saw plastic Coke bottles and Snickers wrappers littering the most beautiful region in the world. That triggered something inside me.” Many people have these Eureka moments that inspire temporary or superficial change.

M A N H AT TA N B E AC H D E S T I N AT I O N G U I D E & B U S I N E S S D I R EC TO RY

“If you want to start a business simply to get rich, you will likely find yourself miserable in the pursuit. However, if you start a business to fulfill an inner purpose, even if you fail you will have spent your time doing something you love. And I don’t see that as a failure at all.” Stephanie Cochrane

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